With the whole world watching, it’s understandable that Kate Middleton wants to look her best on her wedding day. But her recent weight loss has provided the press with its favorite topic: deconstructing women’s bodies.
The same tabloids that criticized her curves are now the ones accusing her of being too thin, the ones who gleefully pick up on the slightest hint of cellulite on a model’s thighs on one page whilst wringing their hands about the pressures facing modern women on the next. When movies and magazines are filled with size zero women being presented as the ideal—or worse, the norm—any woman who does not conform risks being labeled fat. Being sent piles of designer clothes might sound wonderful, but when they come in traditionally tiny sample sizes, the message is clear.
She’s embarking on a lifetime of having how she looks be more important than what she does, and if the current coverage is anything to go by, she’s never going to be allowed to get it right. In our celebrity-addicted culture, women are too thin or too fat—the only time they’re just right is when they’ve been airbrushed so heavily that they’re barely recognizable. But Middleton won’t even be given that dubious privilege—the more perfect she seems, the more the paparazzi are obsessed with catching her on an off day.
When the Daily Mail ran a story about Middleton’s “reassuring” attempts to gain weight, they listed the calorie content of her favorite snacks. What could have been an affectionate look at how she is, after all, Just Like Us, became an insidious jibe at her eating habits. This, after a shopkeeper who serves her regularly decided that the contents of her shopping basket were newsworthy. Whilst her fiancé’s comfort food of choice was mentioned, it never became the focus of the article. His appearance doesn’t matter. He has what the beauty industry would consider flaws, but if he’s engaged in a last-ditch pre-wedding attempt to fix them then it has escaped the eagle eye of the press.
Crucially, we have no reason to believe Middleton is unhealthy at this or her previous weight, but if she were, that would be a matter for close friends and family and her doctor, not the media. It sounds strange, after everything from her ancestors to her favorite sweets have been hotly debated by the press, to say that her size is nobody’s business. But it’s true. She isn’t advocating a boot camp-style pre-wedding diet, she isn’t publicly bemoaning the size of her thighs, and she hasn’t become a spokesperson for Botox. There’s literally nothing controversial to report, and certainly nothing that’s anyone else’s business.