Kate Middleton's Post-Baby Body Is Already Being Scrutinized

Getty ImagesIt’s only been only one day since Kate Middleton and Prince William introduced Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge to the world, and already her post-pregnancy body is under a massive media microscope. From the Internet's  fascination with her post-delivery "bump" to OK! magazine's instructions on how she should lose it, the royal baby obsession has just collided with our ongoing post-baby body obsession. Sparks are flying.

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"The question on everyone's lips is not just the name, sex or weight of the baby, but also how Kate plans to return to her pre-pregnancy glory," according to the July issue of OK! Magazine's U.K. edition, obviously published before Prince George's arrival. What follows is a six-page weight-loss plan for the Duchess that she probably didn't ask for.

A Twitter campaign created by British TV presenter Katy Hill is using the hashtag #DontBuyOK to urge people to boycott the magazine and there's no shortage of supporters.  “Absolutely disgusting!” wrote one Twitter follower. Another wrote: “Give Kate a break. @OK_magazine she has just given birth and needs to recover, what a bad example #dontbuyok #ever.”  Yahoo! Shine could not reach a representative from OK! for comment.

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On Tuesday, Kate Middleton stood on the steps of St. Mary’s Hospital posing for photos with Prince William and their new son and it took only minutes for the Internet to explode with debate about the new mom’s appearance. 

Middleton's hair had been blown out and styled, thanks to a visit earlier that morning from her private hairdresser Amanda Cook Tucker, who arrived at the hospital carrying a suitcase, reportedly full of styling tools. Middleton wore a cap-sleeve, empire-waist, cornflower-blue, polka dot silk dress by Jenny Packham and nude sling-back wedge heels. Her makeup, of course, was impeccable. And for the most part, Middleton looked as though she was en route to a royal garden party.

Naturally, her looks didn't go unnoticed. Those overjoyed by Middleton’s apparent lack of concern for her postbaby belly congratulated her “bravery” for “flaunting” it. @amflynn tweeted, “Delighted to see Kate Middleton proudly show her beautiful, normal, real post-baby bump to the world...” @ctothep20 wrote, “Proud of Kate Middleton flaunting her post-baby bump, because it looks like my everyday belly. Makes it seem like there's hope.” Siobhan Freegard, the founder of parenting website Netmums, even told the Royalist that by not concealing her bump, Middleton “has done more for new mums' self esteem than any other role model.”

There was also plenty of commentary on her camera-ready look, with people tweeting that they yearn to look like Middleton after giving birth. said, "Of course Kate Middleton looks absolutely perfect 24 hours after giving birth.”

The pressures new moms face to boomerang back to their pre-pregnancy bodies is nothing new—the late Princess Diana reportedly struggled with bulimia throughout her marriage to Prince Charles, which included two pregnancies. And it’s no surprise that the late princess was so concerned with her weight. Prince William’s christening was also “a second chance to show off her rapidly dwindling waistline," according to a story published in People. During a 1993 speech on eating disorders, Diana confronted these pressures, saying, “I have it, on very good authority, that the quest for perfection our society demands can leave the individual gasping for breath at every turn.”

Sixteen years later, and the body-image wars are still going strong (exhibit A: Has anyone seen Kim Kardashian since she gave birth in June to daughter North?) But whether the attention is positive or negative is hardly important. According to Paul Hokemeyer, PhD, a licensed marriage and family therapist in New York City, “praising” a woman for having the guts to reveal her post-pregnancy body is just another form of body shaming. “It may be well-intentioned, but when a woman is congratulated for not hiding her bodily imperfections, it sends the message that she’s still not good enough,” Hokemeyer told Yahoo! Shine. “The primary concerns of a new mother should be making sure she and her baby are healthy and well-rested, not thinking about how she looks or how she plans to lose the baby weight,” he said.  

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