Like many romantic and fashion obsessed women in America, I was eagerly anticipating photos from Prince William and Princess Kate's recent trip to the US and Canada. But when I saw the first startling photo of the new Princess (or Duchess...I get confused) wearing a stunning belted Alexander McQueen lilac gown accenting her ultra-thin waist I was stunned and immediately saddened. The princess has obviously dropped a significant amount of weight since her royal engagement and post wedding, it has become an issue of public concern. Already slender and fit, Princess Kate didn't need to lose an ounce of weight to begin with. After looking through photo after photo of the princess looking gaunt and unhealthy in her array of fashionable ensembles, I can't help being reminded of Princess Diana's similar ordeal after marrying Prince Charles. I don't know if I've mentioned yet my phase of Diana obsession in my youth, but I may as well come clean now. I became ridiculously intrigued with the princess after her death in '97 and collected everything associated with her. You name it, I had it. Anyway, you get the picture. I remember the first biography I ever read was one on her and when I read that the Princess battled bulimia, I remember asking my mom what it was. Princess Diana was how I first learned about eating disorders and I remember being so perplexed and sad about it. Why would someone throw up after they ate? Apparently, the princess's battle with bulimia began after her insensitive husband told her she was "chubby." Between that hurtful comment and becoming the most photographed woman in the world, I can't imagine the immense pressure she felt. After all, she was the people's princess and a fashion icon and was basically never out of the spotlight. Now, Princess Kate has taken her place in the public eye and I am saddened to see that she has already succumbed to the pressure her late mother-in-law battled on a daily basis. Princess Di actually advocated for those suffering with eating disorders later on and made a speech on it. The video below is where you can watch it but you'll have to fast forward through the first couple speeches.
Altogether I feel that unlike Princess Diana's battle with bulimia, Princess Kate's situation may be less conscious and more from her recent hectic post wedding schedule and increased stress. She seems to have a supportive and encouraging husband who would never repeat his father's mistakes and make a nasty comment on her weight. However, I hope we as a society don't accept her unhealthy weight as the new norm and brush it under the rug. According to doctors and therapists, Princess Diana's secret battle with bulimia has actually lead to a greater public awareness of the disorder, including my own. If anything, I hope that Princess Kate uses her place in society to continue Princess Diana's fight against the disease, even if she is battling it herself. Maybe once all this post-wedding whirlwind is over, the new princess will gain it all back. But what her and her late mother in law prove is that being a princess in this day and age isn't exactly the fairy tale it seems.