Kate Middleton bump photo: Privacy aside, let's talk body image

Kate Middleton baby bump photo captures the happy mom-to-be in a bikini as well as the world's obsession with body image. Let's remember the pre-delivery joy of the baby bump when we're tempted to analyze women's body images post delivery.

Associated Press
The Kate Middleton baby bump was featured in the Italian gossip magazine "CHI" edition that went on sale Feb. 13.

The bump was once a thing in the road until it became a dance, a place on Barbara Streisand's nose, an Android phone app, and of course, the source of pre-delivery joy and post-baby body image agony for celebrities. Kate Middleton's nose is without a bump, but her middle now has one and the world rejoices because we are fickle folk.

The Duchess of Cambridge's pregnant form was photographed by an Italian magazine while she vacationed on the Caribbean island of Mustique in – or rather protruding from – a bikini. That's so newsworthy it nearly bumped the State of the Union message from the top of the charts today.

I don't even think I am going out on a limb here to predict that days after the royal birth, Italian Vogue and everyone else will be waiting for the photos of the royal with eyes on the prize area which will be expected to be an ironing board flat surface.

It seems we forgot the damage done to Princess Diana by the media paying microscopic attention to her body, hounding her until she was no longer with us. When the media wasn't burning her like an ant under a magnifying glass in the sun, Diana harmed herself with an eating disorder and became a nervous wreck.

So it isn't surprising at all that the royal family has condemned the invasion of Middleton's moment in the Caribbean sun when at last her reported morning sickness has abated. I remember those precious moments when my body had finally taken a break from metamorphosis long enough for me to lie quietly and imagine what my baby would look like and how it would feel to hold in my arms.

Unfortunately, the Duchess is stuck in the role of media target for life, as will be her children and grandchildren.

According to Yahoo News, Woman's Day is set to publish shots of Prince William's wife Kate in their next edition Monday because, according to Woman's Day editor Fiona Connolly, "In this instance they are a beautiful set of photos.”

Aaah I see, beauty and a tender moment stolen are fair game and to be praised more than those photos that make a woman look fat and unattractive post-bump? 

It would feel so very good if they would stop making every little bump on a woman's body a news event for good or ill. Has the Duchess done nothing else in her young life or time as a royal that should merit our attention at the top of the news hour?

I looked it up and apparently Middleton is more than just a belly.

Action On Addiction has announced Middleton will visit Hope House in London Feb. 19. 

On the organization's website Nick Barton, chief executive of Action on Addiction, said: "Many women who experience substance dependence also have a history of difficult relationships, domestic violence, or other compulsive disorders. Hope House offers women a safe, secure and comfortable place to recover and receive a holistic treatment programme, offering additional support to help them come to terms with their dependency and other problems.” Barton added in a press release, “The Duchess’ support, in throwing a spotlight on addiction and recovery and helping us to break down the stigma associated with this complex condition, is enormously important.”

It is “enormously important,” but I'll wager we will be seeing photos of Middleton there with headlines that aren't about Hope House's cause, but what is causing Middleton to wear a larger dress size. They will continue to focus on her body as it grows and shrinks, or doesn't, no matter where she takes it or what cause she champions.

It's this kind of focus that has placed many of the women in Hope House in London and its counterparts around the globe.

I hope we can bear that all in mind so we can stop making mountains out of mole hills and see past it all to what's really important in the life of a royal - their ability to focus the lens of society on those who need and deserve our attention.

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