When they watched her every move for nine long months and began an international countdown to the baby's delivery, I was quiet. Then they sent journalists to wait outside the hospital for days, and had their interns live-tweet the boredom-inducing hours of waiting for her to show up and give birth. Still, I said nothing. Then the baby was born, and there was joy in the land and even I felt glad, but gladder still that this obsessive coverage would finally cease to fill my every news feed with trumped up headlines over non-stories. But then the entire world went berserk over the fact that she proudly displayed her postpartum tummy in a maternity dress - or merely stepped outside and existed without premeditated thought, depending on who you ask - and lauded her as the patron saint of women with mummy tummies everywhere.
And I can remain silent no longer. I hate to sound like a Scrooge or a cranky senior yelling at playful children to get off my lawn, but is there no one else aside from me who thinks this obsessive coverage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is ridiculous? Kate Middleton literally just stood there in a dress to introduce her son to the world and suddenly, it was a calculated decision on her part to inspire every single woman despairing over her body after baby. The press praised her for her generosity and altruism in deigning to appear common. Royals: they're just like us! Good god, will the overenthusiastic media coverage lose a little steam before there are headlines celebrating Kate's agony during her first postpartum bathroom visit, just like real mothers everywhere?
I get it: the royal family is a Very Big Deal. People love princesses; it's what's kept Disney in business for decades and little girls for having unrealistic ideals about men for centuries. Babies are great, too. So far I've had two of my own, and even without a team of nannies and assistants to help me with 3 a.m. wakeup calls and an overwhelming amount of diaper changes, I get why babies foster so much goodwill and exuberant attention. They're lovely little beings whose complete innocence and genuine sense of wonder about the world inspire nostalgia and warm feelings in the cockles of our jaded hearts.
But I'm tired of the media seizing upon anything they possibly could to squeeze out a headline or column elevating Princess Kate to demigod status. She's a woman who gave birth to a baby, and while she's beautiful and poised and in a position of great wealth and power, it's unfortunate that our country surrounds her with so much fanfare when there are other mothers out there - single moms, moms with unhelpful partners, moms in poverty or juggling two jobs just to get by and moms who get home in the late evening and then stay up all night making the costume for their child's school play - who deserve our accolades and acclaim but will never get them, because they weren't born into the right family in the right circumstances at the right time. They are not rich and powerful, and they are not celebrities, and that's who graces the pages of the magazines we read and the radio shows we listen to and the news shows that we watch.
I don't know if I'm being unpatriotic in voicing my ennui, because for some reason, it's become an American thing to be infatuated with the royal family. We couldn't get rid of England fast enough back in the late 1700's, but hey, I guess time really does heal all wounds. All I know is, I wish Will and Kate and George well, and at the same time, I wish the media would let them go away.
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