Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Just Plain Kate

I was at the checkout counter of the local supermarket yesterday and I read the tabloid headlines while I w.

aited for a slow checker. One of them said "Kate Middleton puts on pounds in preparation for a baby."
A couple of things about this made me think... first why are tabloid headlines so obsessed with babies. In a society where childbearing has become almost a thing of the past, it seems that every popular icon has to be continually pregnant or adopting from Africa to be appealing to the masses. "Is Jen Pregnant?" "Will Angelina adopt twins from Ethopia?"  Frankly who cares, but pictures of big bellies seem to sell copies. Weird.

The other thing that I thought was strange is that she is still refered to as Kate Middleton. Actually she is now Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. So speaking of her as a commoner by her former name is in fact a put down. You're still no better than us--that's what it's saying to me. You may have married a prince but you actually aren't royalty

I've noticed the same sort of attitude with President Obama. When Clinton or Reagan were presidents, no one ever refered to them as Bill Clinton or Ronnie Reagan. They were President Clinton. President Reagan. And yet commentators and tabloid headlines often refer to the current president as Barack Obama. Is that their subtle put down? Are they saying, as they did with Kate, "You're an ordinary person, no better than us?"  What do you think?

And as for Kate putting on pounds--she was really too thin for her wedding so that she looked great in her dress. And it's not necessarily for a baby that she's gaining weight, but rather it's lving in a cold Welsh farmhouse with bitter winds howling outside the door. One needs more fat to survive up there. Trust me, I know.


  1. Thank you for saying this! I agree that it is actually a bit if a "dig" to refer to the Duchess of Cambridge as plain ol' Kate Middleton now. Any other girl who takes her husband's name on marriage is referred to by her marital title, so she ought to be afforded that respect. I think it shows a lingering resentment of anyone who has "done well for themselves" - as you say, President Obama is aqnother prime example. As for the pregnancy speculation - give the girl a break! She's only married a few months! She was indeed too thin at her wedding and on her North American tour, surely a result of half the world's eyes being trained on her and wanting to look perfect. She has always had a beautiful figure - why can't she go back to her still-very-slim pre-wedding shape without it being called "putting on pounds" with a snide undertone of major weight gain? But the media love to sensationalise...

  2. Hi all,

    Well I agree that there should be some respect paid to the Duchess of Cambridge, it may be that the general public isn't "digging" but that they just feel so close to Kate that she doesn't have to be referred to as Princess or Duchess or anything other than who she still is, which is Kate Middleton. It can be viewed as a compliment as much as it can be viewed as a "dig". The same could be said for President Obama -- the people feel close to him, which is what he wanted and had hoped for during his campaign.

    As for the whole pregnancy and the tabloids constantly having to shout about this pregnancy or that adoption -- it is beyond me but obviously is selling papers or the tabloids wouldn't bother.

    I think the Duchess of Cambridge would be beautiful regardless of her weight or her size and I hope the general public doesn't ridicule and follow her like they did Princess Diana...it is really an awful thing to do to anyone.

  3. Although I agree with you that President Reagan was referred to by his office, I DO remember hearing President Clinton referred to simply as "Clinton." I see it as a time/space saver on TV/newspaper, respectively. It is also possible that President Clinton invited a greater sense of familiarity when he told us what kind of underwear he dons.

  4. Thanks for the comparison. I'd noticed the way the press refer to President Obama also and it has always bugged me. I don't care what one's politics are, when someone is President (of Her Royal Highness), then respect is called for. Funny how subtly our prejudices and biases can be expressed. I suspect lots of people do not realize they are doing it. Here's to Her Royal Highness's new pounds and happiness!

  5. President Obama is more of a rock star than a politician - at least he was during his campaign - and I think that same sort of aura followed him into office.

    I rather like the new Duchess. She seems so down-to-earth, practical, and stylish.

  6. Some people never referred to Reagan as President Reagan ~ they called him Reagan. I think it depends on one's politics. And some people called Bush "Dubya" instead of President Bush and his father was called Bush 41 instead of President Bush. There are always some people who continue to call every president by their official title.

    Regarding the new Duchess of Cambridge, we had years of the press calling her Kate Middleton and perhaps it will take a while for some of us to say "Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cambridge". Perhaps it is similar to when some people write 2010 instead of 2011 a few weeks after the New Year.