Marie Claire’s Jenny Proudfoot explains…
And as a woman pre-baby, I felt immense relief.
The expectation to be perfect is a curse that plagues the royal women, with Kate Middleton sending the Internet into shock last year for emerging from the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s hospital just hours after Prince Louis’ April birth to pose for photographs. Did I mention she was wearing heels with perfect hair and make up and you could barely see a baby bump?
And that was her third child, with Kate performing an extremely quick turn around and emerging fresh faced with Prince George and Princess Charlotte, too.
This for us ordinary folk is completely unfathomable - I for one know that when I give birth, I’ll probably have to be wheeled out of the hospital days later in my pyjamas and I certainly won’t expect to lose my baby bump for at least a year.
When Meghan Markle was announced to be bypassing the traditional photoshoot on the day of the birth, women across the world applauded. Why should you have to parade in front of a throng of photographers and pretend you feel incredible when you just want to curl up with your newborn?
Instead, the Duchess of Sussex chose to step out with Prince Harry two days after little Archie’s arrival, and as the couple walked towards the cameras, I sighed in relief.
Don’t get me wrong - Meghan looked stunning, and she even donned heels for the occasion - but she also looked entirely relatable.
Her choice of dress accentuated her baby bump and she showed off her pregnancy curves, her hair and make up was very natural and she and Harry made no secret of the fact that they were exhausted.
Bottom line - they were completely relatable, coming across as new parents rather than royals.
While on the outside, Meghan has simply stepped outside with her newborn, she has actually done a great deal more - breaking down the antiquated expectations around postpartum body image.
That in my book is a huge step forward.
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
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