I’ve been feeling really uncomfortable about how a lot of the moms in my world reacted so violently to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and her post-baby outfit. It feels like a pack of wild hyenas have descended on Kate and her white dress. And anytime I feel like a woman is under attack for her parenting choices, I get completely skeeved out, and I feel compelled to defend her.
You guys, Kate Middleton is fucking gorgeous. She just is. She was fucking gorgeous when she first met Prince William, and she is fucking gorgeous now. She wore gorgeous expensive clothes before she married Will, and she wears gorgeous expensive clothes now. That she came out of that hospital looking fucking gorgeous and wearing a gorgeous expensive dress was completely not shocking to me. It’s who Kate is. It’s how she rolls.
I almost never wear makeup. I also love to wear yoga pants. I left the hospital after both my deliveries wearing yoga pants and no makeup. Because that’s how I roll.
Neither Kate’s nor my choice of how to dress ourselves is wrong. Neither of our choices has any impact on anyone else’s life. Just because we chose differently, doesn’t mean either of us is a traitor to the sisterhood of moms. It’s not like either of us went around talking smack about other women and putting them down for having different wardrobe preferences, now did we?
Now, some folks have expressed legitimate concern that Kate isn’t actually the one making her wardrobe choices, that this whole perfect-looking-royal thing she’s been rocking is being forced upon her by Will’s family. And if that’s what’s really going on, well that IS shitty. Feminism is about personal autonomy, and if she doesn’t have that, then yeah, I do feel sad for her, and we should come to her rescue, the way someone should have come to Princess Diana’s rescue. But I personally don’t buy it. Everything I’ve seen from Kate over the years suggests she is her own woman in a way Diana wasn’t able to be. And frankly, if you looked away from the outfit for a minute and saw her face, I mean, she looked pretty damn happy to me. Like most new moms.
Which brings me back to the haters.
Look. I get that it’s easy to feel like a failure when you see a celebrity mom looking that good, when you’re struggling to find time for a shower. I really do get it. But I implore you to realize that that feeling of failure is because The Cult of Perfect Motherhood is trying to convince you that you live up to an idealized feminine beauty standard that 99.99% of us will never achieve, since we weren’t born looking like Kate and we don’t have a team of support personnel to help us look that good. The Cult has worked hard to convince us that we should look like Kate, because that’s how they get you to waste your money on beauty creams and shit. By making us feel like failures.
The thing is, once you get deprogrammed from The Cult, you no longer feel like shit when you see Kate in that $3000 dress. You just see a woman who’s just had a baby with a big smile on her face and an adorable child in her arms, and feel joy. Even though she’s doing motherhood differently than you. Because, her choices are hers, and yours are yours, and neither of you is wrong. You’re just different, and that’s OK.