Is it justified or has it all gone a bit far?
Meghan Markle is one of the most talked about people in the world, something that has both its advantages and disadvantages.
Sure, she has the power to turn independent brands into world-renowned labels by just wearing their clothes (the Meghan Markle effect), and she gets to live in a castle and travel the globe meeting world leaders.
But on the flip side, she is a point of focus when it comes to the dreaded rumour mill and online negativity – something that Prince harry reportedly feels ‘powerless’ about when trying to protect her.
From speculation around the intimate details of her family life to racist comments, Meghan is a constant conversation topic.
This week, the hatred centred around her attentiveness to her baby bump, with the now Duchess of Sussex seeming to hold her bump with both hands at all times.
This especially came to attention at the British Fashion Awards when the Duchess took to the stage to present the gong for British Womenswear Designer of the Year to Clare Waight Keller, the designer behind her Givenchy wedding dress.
‘Attention seeking’, ‘lapping it up’ and ‘Why does she think she’s so special?’, were some of the most common remarks circling the internet after her on-stage appearance, with a lot of people mocking the future mother for cradling her bump so obviously, using both hands to do so.
Yes, it got pretty divisive.
But mothers came out in their hundreds to defend the royal, pointing out that it could not only be a technique for easing pain, but that this is also her firstborn, and wanting to cradle and protect your bump is natural.
‘Cradling a baby bump is a natural gesture with women. They can choose to touch, love and cradle. It’s also known to ease pressure/pain,’ one fan posted to Twitter. ‘The irony between supporting women and tearing them down.’
Another seemed to agree, posting: ‘Meghan Markle graduated with a degree from northwestern, was a UN women’s advocate, involved in numerous charities and this is all pre-royalty and what she should be recognized for yet the media wants to drag her for wearing nail polish and holding her baby bump? Unbelievable.’
And they’re right. Mum shaming is an epidemic, but maybe it has spread so far that it is starting before the baby in question is even born.
If we’ve got to the point where a woman holding her growing baby bump is labelled ‘attention seeking’, then something about our society drastically needs to change.
Keep cradling that baby bump, Megs! Don’t let the haters stop you from doing your thang.