So the royal baby is here. Wave flags, put out bunting, blah, blah. I have very little interest in the royal family, so completely removed are they from my life. However, I do like babies so I did have a look at the photos of Kate and Wills leaving hospital with their new arrival on Saturday. And that’s when I got more interested. Because I think the photos of them on the steps of the hospital are a perfect illustration of the different standards to which men and women are held.
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There has been a lot of talk about how perfect Kate looked. The press have called her superwoman, and gone gaga over her beauty. I’ve heard some people saying she should be pitied for having to appear so groomed, and others pointing out that looking nice and popping out babies is kind of her job, so she should suck it up.
No one is talking about William,
Have a look at those photos. Kate is glowing – she’s wearing make-up, of course, perfectly applied. Her hair is clean, styled, pretty damn gorgeous. She’s wearing a light-coloured floaty, designer dress. She looks lovely. The poor woman pushed a baby out of her va-jay-jay not 12 hours earlier. She’s more than likely being held up by William, I imagine she’s got some fairly hefty maternity pads going on under that dress (that WHITE dress – let’s all take a minute to think about that one). Kate’s hairdresser, make-up artist and stylist must have arrived at the hospital almost as soon as she did. That’s some monumental pressure to put on a woman who’s no doubt bleeding and battered and in desperate need of some tea, toast and a box set of Orange is the New Black.
Now let’s look at Wills. He’s had nothing more complicated to do than drive his wife to hospital, and let’s face it, he probably didn’t even do that, then stay by her side as she gave birth. He didn’t have to push anything out of anything. I’m guessing he’s not bleeding or leaking or in pain. He brought little George to see his new sister, and then he took Kate and the baby home. I mean, it was probably a bit of a faff, but it’s not hard is it?
So Wills rocks up to the hospital, his Bobby Charlton hair all fluffy, wearing an outfit that surely came from the M&S menswear range for autumn/winter 1986. There was a bright blue sweater. There were moleskin trousers, Moleskin. It’s fairly clear that no stylist has even been within 10m of our future king.
Now do you see what I’m getting at? Kate’s done the baby thing, then she’s had to have her hair done, prop herself up and wave to the world’s media and the devoted royalists who have been waiting outside the hospital for like nine months. She is expected to look good. To be groomed. To be smiling. To be gorgeous. No one cares about what William looks likes. Because he’s a man. Because it doesn’t matter. Because he’s good enough exactly as he is. And I think that’s rubbish for Kate, for new mums, for old mums, for little girls watching the royal couple on the TV, and in fact, for just about everybody.