Urgh, ladies and gents, the running commentary on this is driving me BONKERS. Unless you live under a rock you will know that Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has given birth to a bouncing baby boy. He’s gloriously healthy by all accounts and the parents are smitten. Royalist or Anti-royalist, anyone who remembers Prince Harry as that 12 year old boy stood behind his mother’s coffin, eyes downcast and heart broken, can’t help but feel pleased that he’s so smitten and filled with joy.
Yet the overwhelming conversation has been about Meghan, yet again, and everything the woman has done wrong. She wanted a home birth: birth brat, spoilt bitch, doesn’t know how lucky she is… and so on. She wanted to have a few days privacy from the paparazzi and world press – urghhh, it’s our right as a tax payer to see this baby on the steps of the hospitalllll, we need to see him/know his weight/ask moronic questions about whether he’s good or not… and then finally, when the woman DOES come out in public, she’s mocked, dissected and abused for not being real. “As if you would wear a white dress”, “Poor love, this isn’t real, I bet she wants her pjs and bed” and my personal favourite “This is like one of those reality vs expectation things isn’t it? NO ONE LOOKS LIKE THAT.”
Well, Meghan does.
Millions of women don’t and millions of women do.
I’ve said it with Kate and I will say it with Meghan, leave the poor woman ALONE. Birth, post birth – they aren’t pissing contests of who looked better after, during or before. Celebrities, famous women and royals have a glam squad, they pay a lot of money to a team of people to make them feel and look great – guess what, if Meghan had waltzed out in her pjs, the world would have eaten her alive too – “I didn’t look like THAT, she’s clearly not coping” or “Jesus love, I would have made an effort. I had family over and at least got dressed and did my hair.” The woman would never win – and I’d like to note that no one has noted that Harry is wearing a suit, though he was undoubtedly up all night with his wife in labour. Funny that, huh?
The problem with expectation vs reality is that no one, absolutely no one, should have an expectation either put upon them or put one upon themselves. Birth can be a walk in the park for some women, a few painful contractions, a bit of pushing and then voila, a baby. No tears, no issues and off home they trot. For others, there will be no trotting. There may never be home. Birth is SO different for us all, women still die at an alarming rate in labour, especially BAME women, and to see Meghan being reduced to a meme because she has donned a white dress and she’s managing to walk in heels is beyond the pale.
Everyone’s reality is different. I worked in Mothercare for 7 years, and I realised very quickly that there is no one shape fits all mould. Women would come in weeks after labour and it would be one of their first outings, they just didn’t feel they could get out and about, even for a walk because they were sore, or completely overwhelmed by new motherhood, what if they baby needed changing, feeding or suddenly started crying? A totally normal reaction. I would also see women come in, on their way home from hospital, to “pick up a few bits” with their hair blow dried and full faces of make up. Totally normal. I have helped countless women pack hospital bags, and I can tell you that more women than not have told me they want to pack a hair dryer, straighteners and a make up bag. Does that shock anyone? Probably not, but when it’s a princess? Shit the bed, she’s so unreal.
This is a royal couple with very little to lose. They aren’t ever going to be in power. Harry’s son is 7th in line to the throne, and that’s before project procreation hits Will’s kiddos in years to come. This is a royal couple that has bucked trends left, right and centre. BOYS AND GIRLS THEY CALLED THEIR SON ARCHIE HARRISON. I mean, come on – no one is imposing massive liberties on these people, they chatted for 2 minutes. They left and went to see his grandma.
The point is, they took a small amount of time, time people moaned about, to have a few days with their newborn, and then decided to show him to the world. Only for the world to make it all about what she wore and how unrealistic she was.
Shame on you world.