• Wed, Jul 24 - 9:00 am ET

Kate Middleton ‘Proud Of Her Mummy Tummy’ Is Sneaky Post-Pregnant Body Shaming Snark

wenn20529158__1374665605_74.134.205.46I knew this would happen. Didn’t I say this JUST yesterday?

If I see any post-baby body weight shaming posts about Kate, I’ll punch someone in the throat.

And ladies and gentlemen, we are seeing EXACTLY this, but under the guise of this disgustingly sneaky body-shaming snark all wrapped up in a bow of how BRAVE Kate is for daring to appear in public after she just had a baby two days ago. When I watched Kate and Will present their new baby to the world, I never even considered what her belly looks like. It didn’t even cross my mind. I was aware of how glowing she looked. I adored how Will fussed with the car seat. One of our readers pointed out that Kate’s dress was similar to the one Princess Diana wore when she introduced Prince William to the world. I noticed how gorgeous Kate’s hair looked. But according to the Daily Mail, other moms all over were more impressed with Kate’s body:

But for the mothers watching around the world as the Duchess of Cambridge walked out on to the steps of the Lindo Wing yesterday, the real delight was her ‘mummy tummy’.

That neat bump was the only thing which gave away the fact Kate had given birth to an 8lb 6oz boy just a day earlier.

And the glowing duchess clearly felt no need to hide it, a decision praised immediately by mothers’ groups.

Netmums founder Siobhan Freegard said the duchess had dispelled the ‘myth that all mothers should be perfect postpartum’.

‘In a couple of minutes on the steps of the Lindo Wing Kate has done more for new mums’ self-esteem than any other role model,’ she said.

‘Sadly, too many celebrities often have ultra-fast tummy tucks or strap themselves down to emerge in tiny size six jeans, leaving everyone else feeling inadequate.

‘Kate shows what a real mum looks like – and natural is beautiful.’

EYES UP HERE BITCHES, UP HERE TO THE BABY. What the fffffffff. seriously, what the ffffffffffffff.
Why are people even NOTICING what her stomach looks like when she just had a baby two days ago? I don’t care if her stomach was perfectly flat or if she magically gained 800 pounds overnight and her stomach was stretching all the way to Kensington Palace. It is NOT Kate’s job to make new moms feel okay with their own bellies. It is NOT Kate’s job to make other woman feel OK with their bodies after they give birth. It is NO ONE’S JOB and it should not even be a consideration. This conversation, whether pro or con regarding the state of a woman’s body after she has given birth should not even enter into the collective consciousness of the masses. We do not need to have this conversation. Ever.

This is what matters about a woman’s body after she gives birth:

Is she sleeping enough?

Is she drinking enough water?

Is her postpartum body healing correctly?

Is she eating enough food?

End of fucking discussion forever and ever amen.

Applauding a new mom for the way her body looks after birth is just as bullshitty as shaming a new mom for how her body looks after birth. It’s not important. It just isn’t. If a new mom wants to lose weight or gain weight or get a million piercings all over her lady garden or get breast implants so she has four extra boobs or get some magical surgery where she has a third eye it is NO ONE’S BUSINESS. It doesn’t matter if it is your neighbor or the Duchess of Windsor.

The post baby belly bump bullshit needs to stop.

All that matters is that the new mom is healthy, and her child is healthy. Kate’s belly is fine regardless and none of our business. My belly is fine and none of our business. Kim Kardashian‘s belly is fine and none of our business, Your belly is fine and none of our business.

It’s disgusting enough that women who are not pregnant and who didn’t just have a baby get scrutinized for how they look and how their bodies look on a second-by-second basis. Having these conversations about a woman who just went through labor less than two days ago ( I HAVE MILK IN MY REFRIGERATOR OLDER THAN THE FUTURE KING OF ENGLAND) is something we all need to refuse to participate in. I’m utterly sick of this entire conversation.

(Photo: WENN)

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  • Nicole

    “End of fucking discussion forever and ever amen.”
    I’m copping this to use in any and all future arguments.
    All I noticed was how stupidly gorgeous her hair and face was. But then the baby waved and stole the show.
    She looked perfect. And content. And if they need a place to hide out…no one would come looking for them in Iowa! I’ve got a bedroom!

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I’m really pissed off about this, obvs. BUT COME ON. When I wrote about her leaving yesterday I had a mess of comments and NOT ONE person mentioned her stomach, not one. WHO even thinks this way? SHEESH.

    • Nicole

      People who believe she is public property, sadly. You should be pissed! We should all be pissed that apparently, we all need to look like sticks after popping watermelon and/or cantaloupe sized humans out of our bodies.
      Honestly, the only thing I noticed about her lower body was the fact that she WAS WEARING HEELS. HEELS, PEOPLE! Less than 24 hours after giving birth SHE WAS WEARING HEELS.

    • anon

      this is what i noticed too and even rushing down those steps to the car in it . must have cost her loadsss of efforts to do this. i guess seeing all the crowd there or something must have helped her forget the pain for a few minutes.

      irony is that earlier i remember her last july 2013 hairdresser appearance people were saying her bump is so small for being 9 months pregnant and now when the bump shows the headlines

    • EmmaFromÉire

      I can’t even put words to how much I love that poppet amuses you this much!! I say it a lot too, i’ve never even considered that it may be unusual to other people!

  • Molly

    I usually agree with you, but in this case I don’t see it that way. I DID notice her “bump” and thought “Oh yeah! I remember that.” It was a fond memory for me, since I was proud of that little post-birth pooch. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me.
    And, no, it’s not Kate’s JOB to do any of the things you mentioned, but I am glad she came out looking more or less “natural”. Too many celebrities hide their true bodies (maybe for fear of shame), but that just perpetuates that post-birth bodies are not to be seen or talked about, because they are bad. I think talking about this topic in positives is actually important, especially for women who are about to give birth so they know what to expect and don’t feel disappointed when they don’t look like the false bodies the media portrays.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I think showing women of all shapes and sizes after having a baby is awesome. I think making it into a THING is drawing attention to something that is totally normal and 100% fine.

    • Blue

      I’d like to point out that it’s YOU making it a thing.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      Nope. I pointed out the tabloids making it a thing

    • AugustW

      The only part that bugs me is calling it “brave”, like she had any other option but to be in public that day.
      It’s only brave if we all keep body shaming people. Otherwise, it’s just Tuesday.

    • Tah

      I think the point is that it IS a thing, weather we want it to be or not. NOT talking about it doesn’t help – it just perpetuate the myth that your body will go back to normal right after the birth, and when it doesnt, we feel hugely disappointed. There is an abysmal lack of awareness of the reality of post partum bodies, and ridiculous standards for women’s bodies in general. Is this right or fair? Of course not. But does that change the fact that women all over the world are held to unreal standards and constantly stressed about their bodies? Unfortunately no.
      I agree with you completely, that in an IDEAL world, this should be a non issue, but the fact is, in this world, it is an issue, and seeing Kate will definitely help increase awareness and redefine the standards of what is considered beautiful, especially for mothers. It may not be her job, but she has done us all a favour.
      And yes I agree with you, the fact that it is considered “brave” for a new mother to not try to “hide her post partum shape, is a sad, sad commentary on our society, but nonetheless, in the world she lives in, what she did WAS brave, and she deserves applause.

      .

    • Myriam

      I agree with you Molly. Do you expect people to be blind? Because I notice doesn’t mean I judge. I notice a person’s hair color or height, but do not judge her worth on it.
      She came out looking like a 2-day postpartum Kate Middleton! That belly is what it is, and it is good that now, women will know that even “celebs” look 6 months pregnant for a while after giving birth (a few weeks, or a few months sometimes). It is not her job to make a statement, but she is a good role model, no matter her intent.

      It is like when a celebrity breastfeeds, she can become a good role model for moms who want to do so, and when another chooses to bottle-feed, her story might be an inspiration for a mother who feels shame about her choice (not matter the reasons).

    • jec

      Er no, she came out looking like a 2-day postpartum Duchess of Cambridge! Kate Middleton was nowhere in sight as that’s not her name any more!!! And she came out just over a day after having the baby (27 hours). Not long at all.

  • JLH1986

    Clearly not besties with the Duchess, but I have doubts that she was sitting in the hospital and was like hmmmm Should I hide my tummy or show it off? I’m thinking she was going…find me something comfortable to wear since yoga pants and a t-shirt aren’t an option. She always looks so put together so I wasn’t expecting anything less for yesterday. But I was too busy trying to catch a glimpse of the pumpkin’s face and trying to hear them talk (btw, anyone catch William calling her poppet? I want to hear this for some reason) to really notice her belly.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      NEW RULE, WE MUST ALL CALL EACH OTHER POPPET FROM NOW ON ALWAYS

    • JLH1986

      Oh the joy I will get out of people’s confused looks when I call them poppet!

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      That will be lovely, poppet!

    • Véronique Houde

      funny story about that – one of my good friends married a brit, but the first time she met his mom when she went over there, she got really confused when she started calling her poppet… she thought his mom was calling her PUPPET, and asked her fiancé that night if it was secretely an insult!! lol

    • whiteroses

      As a side note: my husband often says “you’re not half good looking.”

      The first time he did it, I had to do a quick Googling to make sure it wasn’t an insult.

    • AugustW

      Yeah, I didn’t notice it until this article about how we shouldn’t notice it came out.

    • Katia

      Same! Haha her hair looks great that’s what I noticed!

  • TwentiSomething Mom

    It’s not Kate’s job to make women feel good but believe it or not, women (especially young women and girls) may give in to pressure to look a certain way after giving birth. We hear all too often about celebrities that get tummy tucks, go on special diets, wear corsets and begin exercising way before they probably should to look “perfect”.

    Kate looked not only gorgeous, but she showed what a down to earth person she was that does not give in to ridiculous standards of beauty and that is why people love her. She shows she’s not too insecure or self absorbed to hide her body or not appear publicly at all.

    Her belly is noticeable, that’s why people are talking (and in some cases praising).

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      People can have whatever discussions they want. I will not participate in these because I truly believe how a woman looks while she is pregnant or after she has a baby is 10000000% None of mine, or the media’s business. I don’t care if she gained weight or lost weight or grew a second head. I refuse to participate in a discussion where the focus is on what a postpartum body looks like. It’s is so NOT important.

    • TwentiSomething Mom

      Ok, so don’t.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      hee hee. I do appreciate your comment I’m just so fed up with the analyzation and overanalyzation of lady bodies

    • ElleJai

      Which means this is the only article you can write about it because sadly, we’re now discussing someone’s actual stomach. I mean sheesh, out of all the issues we could pick, we’re talking about a stomach?!

      Let’s talk about something else. Like whether or not being a royal automatically excludes the right to privacy. Or if being a celebrity means the same thing.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I think in essence it’s a good convo to have. What if all the women stopped paying attention to this? what if we refused to buy magazines that headlined with SO AND SO POST BABY BODY? what if we only talked to our daughter’s about all bodies are different and all bodies have worth and women’s bodies change and grow and age and it’s all OK?

    • ElleJai

      Then can we write an article on how we can stop the madness/talk to our kids in an appropriate manner (without referencing anyone in particular)? I’d love to have that conversation, in fact I’ve been dying to have that conversation for the better part of a decade, but I just keep thinking that if it was me, I’m incredibly unsure whether I’d be ok with igniting that discussion or whether I’d want to throat punch every single person hauling me up on their soapbox, for either side.

      However I do love you Eve. I’ve forced my family to be on first name terms with you because I talk about you nearly every day. (Ok, it’s through referencing your articles, but it sounds way cooler to say “So, I read this post by Eve, you know, my favourite writer” than “I saw this article and… “)

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      Awwww, that’s so sweet. Thank you. and I have no fucking idea. I think I’m this enlightened woman person and yet about a year ago my own lovely daughter (who is now 8) came to me and said her thighs were fat. FFffFFFfffFFFfffFFFF. And the fact that the media is all ready tossing their 2 cents in on whatever Kate’s body looks like less than 48 hours after giving birth freaks me the F out. It used to be that we only discussed non-pregnant ladies, and now every pregnant or postpartum woman gets body shamed in one way or another. It’s amazingly frustrating to me.

    • ElleJai

      I’m still stuck on the fact that in many countries/cultures across both time and the globe, being fatter was seen as an indicator of wealth, success, and sexiness. Now you’re lazy, sick, and a bad influence that must be avoided like the plague.

      Being HEALTHY is the goal and that looks different to everyone. Because each body is individual and only the owner (and the owner’s doctor) gets to comment on them. If you’re not fat, you’re anorexic. I saw that The Guardian has decided a supermodel is fat based on some dodgy pictures. Excuse me?! What the actual F?!

      In the vein of “Leave Brittany alone”, join with me and scream “LEAVE OUR BODIES ALONE!” We’re more than a number on a scale or a tag, we are people with dreams, talents, goals and gifts. We are contributing to the world every moment. Our character should be more important than our size and anyone who judges based on that should take a good, hard look at the state of their own self-esteem.

      Meanwhile, have another cocktail and stop buying exploitative magazines. We’ll start a book club instead.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      amen times a gazillion gazillion.

  • Fabel

    I agree with you, but as an aside, I don’t have children, & was never really around many pregnant women, so I actually didn’t realize the post-birth tum could still look so full? It was cool to see. I guess I’m more influenced by the sight of celebrities dashing out looking exactly the same as they did pre-baby than I thought? (That, or the Sims…)

    • Whatwhatque

      I mean, I wasn’t staring intently at her belly trying to see what she had going on but in casually watching the coverage I saw her and thought “oh that’s cool, I didn’t know the belly was still like that right afterwards” since I’ve never had kids. So to notice is not the worst thing in the world, but to act like it’s a big deal one way or the other is pretty silly. I also thought her dress was cute and that her hair was pretty- it’s possible to notice more than one thing at once.

  • historychick79

    Most Americans are so shielded from real human functions these days. How many people see a pregnant woman’s body the day after labor (or watch and assist with a delivery); how many of us have watched someone die (peacefully in bed or otherwise); do most of us know basic gardening and butchering skills; heaven forbid if there’s a glimpse of breastfeeding going on. 100 years ago, it was part of everyday life for everyday people. Now everything is whitewashed, sanitized, and packaged neatly until we no longer recognize how natural functions simply happen. No matter how advanced we become with technology, Mother Nature always wins.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I love this so much, thank you

    • Rachel McLaughlin

      Me too. :)

  • Kathy at kissing the frog

    It was Kate’s “duty” to show herself in front of billions of people ONE DAY after her baby’s birth. She had to. So yes, she was herself, and she happens to be gorgeous. For anyone to be talking about her stomach or being in front of people is ridiculous! People need to leave her alone and let her be a Mummy.

    • AugustW

      Her job is basically wearing pretty hats every day. And yeah, being in public is part of it.
      She is a “celebrity” in that she had a choice in the matter. She wasn’t born royal. She chose this life. Even Wills could abdicate and not be in the public eye if he wanted.
      I’m kind of meh on on whole thing.

    • whiteroses

      He’s second in line to the British throne, and there’s a lot of expectation that goes along with that. Just ask the Duke of Windsor.

      She wasn’t supposed to marry the love of her life because she would live in a fishbowl? I’m sorry, how does that make sense? They dated for what seems like forever, precisely because William wanted to prepare her as best he could for what would happen should she chose to marry him. She went in it with her eyes completely open, which is why she seems so confident.

      But royals have every expectation of privacy. When it comes to celebrities- they truly didn’t have to become famous. Being successful at what you do and being famous for that is a completely separate thing than being born in a fishbowl. When you think about it, this is the only life that William has every known.

    • AugustW

      I’m not saying she wasn’t supposed to marry the love of her life…but she didn’t “have” to. It’s not an arranged marriage. She was a fan of his before they met or dated or married. She pursued him and knew exactly what kind of life she was getting into.

    • whiteroses

      Still doesn’t mean she deserves to have everyone on earth breathing down her neck about every choice she makes. Yeah, she could have not married him. But she did- so that’s a moot point. Nobody deserves the kind of scrutiny she’s subjected to on a daily basis, whether she chose it or not.

  • ChillMama

    I think what I don’t understand is, what else was she supposed to do/look like? *Of course* she had a “mummy tummy” (awful term) because…well, everyone does after giving birth. So, honestly, what were her options? Strap herself into a corset? Hide under a tent? This is so odd because it almost seems like having a belly or not after giving birth is a choice, and so your “decision” to show it or not says something about you as a person. What a messed-up way to think about the post-partum body.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      Yeah it’s like someone will come up with removable bellies at some point so women can be part robot

    • OhHeyDelilah

      yes! This! I get so fed up with all these articles praising or blaming women for making ‘decisions’ that aren’t actually decisions at all. And the Daily Fail article about how mothers’ groups are coming out and praising Kate for showing the world what a real post-partum body looks like really gave me the shits – it’s like people are buying into the idea that the appearance of Kate’s body is somehow an active choice that she made FOR THEM. That how she presents herself post-partum either validates or invalidates other people and their choices/bodies/feelings and that those people who see their own post-partum experience as being similar to Kate’s now have the right to publicly praise her for making the right choice – a choice to … what? Have a post-birth experience they recognise? Have a belly that looked like theirs?And because she HAS ‘achieved’ those things, she is being praised for being ‘normal’, but presumably if she had looked smaller, thinner, different in whatever way she would be lambasted for being ‘abnormal’. How is that okay? And the fact is, as ChillMama points out, how she looks is not actually a choice at all.

  • Jen

    Can I get a hands up if anyone else felt kinda bad for her that she was on such a public display yesterday? All she prob wanted to do was rock out in some sweatpants and no bra and put her aching vajayjay in chair and not be up walking around?

    • Carmen

      Get that woman an ice pack made from a diaper and leave her alone.

  • lyzl

    Stands and applauds.

  • Whitney

    Hmmmm… on first read I really agreed with you. “Why are we looking at Kate’s belly or commenting on it?” I asked myself. But, on one hand, I WAS really surprised to see she still had a belly. And I don’t mean “surprised” as in “why is it there?” But surprised in the fact that, most of my family members–cousins and siblings, are significantly older than I am or live far away. I haven’t been around pregnant women or babies a lot and had no clue what someone’s body looked like after baby.

    I know it isn’t Kate’s “job” to make anyone feel better about themselves. She has enough on her plate as a new mom who has to raise a son in the lenses of the world. But, she did make me feel better. It was so natural and down-to-earth. It was beautiful. These days, we constantly see scrutiny of the female body and any starlet who gives birth can’t wait to show off their “post-baby body” on a magazine. We read articles about Kim Kardashian staying in the house, until “she feels slim and confident enough to leave the house>” …WFT kind of society do we live in where women who just created and birthed a human feel underserving if they have a baby belly??

    I admit. I am biased. I love Kate and everything she does. I think she is a great role model for young women today.

  • noelle 02

    And I just looked at the picture and said, “Gee, her tummy looks just like mine did after my first kid. I think my stomach is bigger now and kid number three is four.”

  • Jessica

    Here’s what I liked about their exit: They were pretty much like regular parents. Sure, they had one security person which probably was not even close to optional and it seemed like William had probably spent a fair amount of time practicing with the baby seat ahead of time so that they could snap it in and get a move on instead of fumbling with it while everyone and their dogs took pictures. I noticed that Kate seemed pretty damn spry and was intrigued that they let her walk instead of the usual “You must take a wheelchair!” thing.

    I did notice and appreciate that, even knowing there was going to be a ton of paparazzi, she just looked normal. Her hair wasn’t fancy and she didn’t slap on a ton of makeup. I wonder if she wore what she did because maybe William really likes the pictures of Diana leaving the hospital. I appreciated that it was an image of two parents and their newborn without a whole hell of a lot of concern for what the free world thought. So no, I don’t necessarily think that it was specifically “brave” of her to not feel like she had to try to look like pregnancy Barbie (where you just snap her old tummy back on after you yank the baby out) but I liked that it seemed to have not crossed her mind either way. Just more, “Wait. What? Hmm. Was busy thinking about the next feeding time and didn’t consider that.”

    So, I have to admit that I noticed her stomach as part of that entire package but more as, “Oh, God. The poor lady didn’t feel required to put on a girdle to leave did she? Nope. She kicks ass.” Like it or not, a lot of women will use her as a guide. It’s good for women to see someone of Kate’s standing being an actual human. Especially ones who haven’t seen a lot of regular women postpartum and have only been fed the Hollywood, “Oh, I left the hospital looking just like I did three months before I even got pregnant!” So perhaps not everyone means it in a sly-snark way. I just count her among my heroes.

  • CrazyFor Kate

    Nope, sorry Eve, I really think you missed the point on this one. I’m glad she didn’t feel pressured into hiding her belly like I think many people might have; and when you’re as public a figure as that, it is bravery. In this society, the pressure to be perfect is enormous. It’s not her job, and I wouldn’t have judged her for wearing “slimming” clothes or something, but that she essentially said “screw that” and wore what she did was a sign of validation for new mothers everywhere, whether that was her intention or not. Give the world a little credit, why don’t you?

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I stand by what I said – it’s no one’s biz how a woman who just gave birth looks. Society needs to stop making it our biz. Women deserve to not be scrutinized every single second for how they look – ESPECIALLY after giving birth

  • Elizabeth

    I could not agree more. She is a true example to all women. Confident and stunning. It is the same people that will criticize Kate for being too thin in a few months. The fact anyone is drawing attention to this is disgusting. And enough with speculations of post partem. If she does or does not it is no one’s business. Kate will be a great mother. She is a solid woman. She is her own woman and I love that about her.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I think part of what hurts about it is that kate is OUR woman, ya know? Yes, she is royalty and she comes from a privileged background but she seems so kind and down to earth. she never made a sex tape, she is not on reality TV, she is doing amazing charity work and for the press to discuss her body RIGHT after she had a baby!!! UGH.

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  • Rachel McLaughlin

    Hey, as a mom, I want two things; I want to feel good about my body and the job I’ve done to nurture a baby, and I want to show other moms that they can feel good about themselves, too. If the Princess of Wales is different, it’s too bad she’s in such a public position. No matter what, she is going to be a symbol for something. Why not something good?

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  • Quite sane really

    This constant scrutinizing of every new mothers post baby body, has to stop, its childish and demeaning. There are a hundred other things that a new mother has to be concerned about that are more important, for Gods sake people get interested in something else that’s more productive.