Some women believe they need to look a certain way and get into ‘tip-top shape’ once they’ve had a baby. For others, it’s the last thing they think about; they’d rather worry about their newborn than themselves. Neither is right or wrong; if you have a desire to set and meet certain expectations–that you look and feel the same as you did the month before you even got pregnant, OK, that is your choice. And if you’re in more of a “f*ck it” mindset, that’s cool too.
Keira Knightley is definitely in the latter category. In fact, the actress has zero f*cks to give. Knightley wrote an essay titled “The Weaker Sex” for the collection Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (and Other Lies), dedicating it to her three-year-old daughter, Edie, and not only did she get graphic about her own experience with childbirth but she seemingly criticized Duchess Kate — who had her second child, Princess Charlotte, a day after Keira had Edie — for her public appearances mere hours after giving birth.
“We stand and watch the TV screen,” Knightley wrote, according to The Guardian. “She [Kate] was out of hospital seven hours later with her face made up and high heels on. The face the world wants to see.”
Keira continued: “Hide. Hide our pain, our bodies splitting, our breasts leaking, our hormones raging. Look beautiful. Look stylish, don’t show your battleground, Kate. Seven hours after your fight with life and death, seven hours after your body breaks open, and bloody, screaming life comes out. Don’t show. Don’t tell. Stand there with your girl and be shot by a pack of male photographers.”
It might seem like she’s slamming Kate, but really it’s more about addressing the expectations put on women. People were salivating to see Kate after she had her second child. Did we expect to see her that soon? Maybe. With all the media presence, we figured. And of course Kate looked great. Just like she did with her first, and third child. It’s part of her job to look a certain way — even a few hours after pushing a baby out of her. Just think how exhausted Kate must’ve been. Even the idea of being put on display so soon after is exhausting. But this is no judgment on Kate; this is what the world has come to expect from her. Which is what Keira’s pissed about. Not at Kate, for her.
After posing on those hospital steps, smiling away to all the photographers, then getting into her and Will’s car, you know Kate couldn’t wait to get home, kick off those nude pumps, change into sweats, scrub off her makeup, tie back her hair and see her son George. Would we look down on Kate for leaving the Lindo Wing in maternity jeans and a baggy sweater, hair in a pony and zero makeup? Geez, hopefully not. It would actually be kind of refreshing and groundbreaking if she did just that. But she won’t, sadly. Until we change our expectations, Kate’s going to keep living up to them.