Belfast Telegraph

Lindy McDowell: It's time for sisterhood to lay off Duchess Kate for looking so good after giving birth... in her role there are no bad heir-days

By Lindy McDowell

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge may go down in history as the first member of the Royal family to have given birth to a blow dry. A few days ago when Prince William's wife left hospital with her new little son it wasn't the bouncing baby boy in her arms that most excited attention among some online critics - it was her bouncy hair do.

With access to a team that includes, among other aides, a make-up artist, stylist and hairdresser, Kate stepped out to meet the world's media, her hair flowing and glowing with natural health and high-end conditioning products.

This a mere seven hours after having given birth to the new fifth in line to the throne.

Royals don't have bad heir-days...

But while many of us were more touched by the genuine smile of happiness that lit up Kate's face, social media was soon awash with criticism of the effort she'd put into looking good.

If you were to listen to some, the blow-dry, heels and lipstick were nothing short of a betrayal of the sisterhood.

Newspaper reports even talked about online commentators being "utterly shocked" at how she looked.

Seriously? Utterly shocked?

By a young woman of lean build who always looks immaculate anyway who'd just had a healthy, normal birth and had stepped out to meet the media with a dazzling smile and a loose fitting dress.

Did they expect her to emerge to meet all those cameras in a dressing gown with greasy hair?

One of those expressing dismay was former Blue Peter presenter and mother-of-two, Katy Hill who now blogs on matters maternal.

While accepting that the Duchess was never going to waddle out in flip-flops she said: "I wanted to shout, 'Nooooo Kate'. I don't expect to see a woman hours after giving birth wearing tights and heels and earrings."

Why ever not?

Ms Hill says that hours after giving birth herself she was in what she describes as a euphoric haze. Kate's "haze", she claimed, "would have been filled with blow-dries and make-up and tights and heels and a flurry of business to get her camera ready".

"Kate was basically robbed of the intimate magic of those first few precious hours."

Elsewhere there was online anger that Kate had set "unrealistic" expectations and that she was piling "pressure" on other new mothers.

A typical tweet: "Am I the only one that thinks that pulling Kate Middleton out of bed, doing her hair and make-up, dressing her up, and then propping her up for a photo shoot immediately after giving birth is a really problematic image to be sending to women?"

Am I the only one who thinks that the twitterati are guilty of patronising (matronising?) young women by constantly assuming that a Royal or a celeb looking antenatal camera-ready puts "pressure" on every other woman to try to do likewise?

Kate knew she wasn't just posing for breaking news and morning editions throughout the world.

She was also, to some extent, posing for the history books.

That, in itself, would encourage you to take a bit more time with the haircare.

But that is her lot in life. And it is a very specific lot.

Kate looked great for her photocall. Good on her, I say.

And it's condescending to argue she's somehow let the side down by keeping up appearances and choosing an early exit from the Lindo Wing. She obviously felt up to it. She was going home, let us not forget, to a well-staffed palace.

What I do think is "problematic" is the argument that her making a bit of an effort was "pressurising" others. People need to get a grip.

A blow-dry is not a blow against womankind.

I wouldn’t be so bugged at finding a ‘visitor’

Just the ingredient to add a certain kick to a chicken and bacon salad. A locust. Cut in half and still writhing.

The creature was discovered (luckily before he tucked in) by a Belfast diner who, needless to say, was a bit revolted by the added insect crouton in his supermarket meal.

A video shows it was actually quite a big boy too. How did it get in there?

More to the point, how come it was still alive? Other people have found similar exotic beasties in packaging and I’ve always thought it would be fascinating to come across one too.

Although I would prefer my locusts in one piece.

Can Trump’s magic touch work for us too?

According to South Korean President, Moon Jae-in, who’s just held a bit of a love-in with North Korean, Kim Jong Un, the man to credit with this outbreak of outreach and the man therefore deserving (in his view) of the Nobel Peace prize is... Donald Trump. Yup. Donald Trump.

The summit between the two Korean leaders where they were pictured holding hands aloft like Hume, Trimble and Bono during our own peace process was only brought about by Trump’s intervention, adds Moon.

Maybe Donald could similarly work his magic on Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill when he visits the UK?

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