Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cambridge, “was safely delivered of a son” on July 22nd, 2013. Now the paparazzi and their cameras can rest, and the rest of the world can resume. Undoubtedly, the ensuing weeks and months will be rife with news and speculation of the newest addition to Wills and Kate’s family, fascination towards the baby who is now third in line to the throne, and implications of raising a child who will one day become King. People around me may wonder: Why are you so fascinated with Kate Middleton? Why are you excited following news of a baby not your own? The answer is simple: Because I live vicariously through Kate Middleton.
Hers is a modern-day, fairy tale romance found otherwise only in Disney movies – a commoner who fell in love with the man of her dreams, married into real-life royalty, and became a princess – or close enough, a Duchess. And though I am well aware that it will never happen to me, I am equally enamored by her poise, grace, and class. She is a living testament to the fact that it is the woman who makes the dress, and not the dress that makes the woman. And that lack of certain elements – whether it be royal lineage or beauty expectations – can be compensated through other factors. Factors that stem inwardly, such as personality, charm, athleticism, genuineness, kindness, and simply being yourself.
Every part of Kate has been well documented and even scrutinized by the media. Dubbed by the press as “Waity Kaity,” the media has made countless jabs about her stagnant courtship, her past-marriageable age, and her lack of career ambition. To this day, Kate still receives intense scrutiny when it comes to her body weight and what is perceived as healthy and acceptable. Though she experiences pressure and scrutiny on all sides, it is no different from what all women face – just to a magnified degree. At twenty-five years old, I can no longer count the instances where parents, relatives, friends, colleagues, and even strangers, have inquired about my relationship status, career ambition, and life plan. Sometimes, my answer is simply: “It’s complicated,” “In progress,” and “Whatever will be, will be.” It is equal part annoying and frustrating to live up to society’s timeline and expectation for women.
Yet Kate handles pressure with such ladylike poise and pleasant demeanor. Her life is living proof that the traditional and unconventional can happily coexist. And the woman herself demonstrates that though society has myriad expectations for women, what ultimately matters is being easy on yourself and simply being yourself. We as women must remember that we need not be pressured by outward expectations that are unrealistic. How often have we attempted to diet maniacally, lose weight unhealthily, dress uncomfortably, settle for less than the best, follow a timeline not our own, or live a life that pleases others and not ourselves? And what are we to do, because the pressure will invariably exist and only increase with each passing life milestone? My answer is simple: Keep Calm and Act Like Kate Middleton.