A Letter to Kate Middleton

Dear Kate,

You seem like a perfectly charming young lady from what I can see, although I must say I haven’t really seen much, not having watched any footage of your wedding or your attendance at other events apart from the Olympics where the cameras inevitably followed you as you cheered on your fellow Brits with enthusiasm, verve, and fun, which was nice to see, particularly after your Grandmother-in-law’s stern we-refuse-to-be-amused demeanor belied the obvious “good sport” manner lurking behind her skit at the Opening Ceremonies.

Now a French magazine has published topless pictures of you and everyone is up in arms about it; cries of foul have filled the airwaves and questions of privacy have been bandied about rather clumsily.  You’ve expressed your outrage and, I believe (although I’m reluctant to believe everything I read), sadness that such a thing happened. The British media, in a demonstration of good taste, refrained from following suit, even the Sun, that bastion of sleazy journalism which offered no such protection to your brother-in-law Harry.  Of course, I don’t care that he was cavorting naked with a bevy of beauties as much as I do care that he paraded about wearing a Nazi uniform or derogatorily referred to a South Asian colleague as a Paki; he’s an arrogant little prig and you married the better brother!

But Katie—may I call you Katie?  May I?  Thanks.  Katie dear heart, as an Englishwoman you should know better than to express sadness or surprise at anything your neighbors across the Channel would do.  I mean, this a country that might have elected as president a man who was accused of raping an immigrant woman in a New York hotel and seems to have had a checkered past, to say the least; a country whose greatest monument was described by a group of French artists as a “hateful column of bolted sheet metal.”  Besides, you know they love to stick it to you English as often as they can, so don’t give them the satisfaction of responding to their petty pricking, which is merely an attempt to counter their own jealousies and shortcomings—there’s a reason the monument I mentioned earlier is a phallic symbol rising above their capital’s skyline!

So my advice to you, now that you’ve expressed your initial disgust, would be to ignore any further reference to the pictures.  Of course, you should have known, given the history of paparazzi in Europe, that as soon as you started dating William every public and private moment of your life would be on display in one way or another.  Once you took your top off you should have known that the bottom would fall off any sense of privacy you might have naively clung to.  Now of course your breasts will find their way into the prurient gaze of every computer hack in the world.

But Katie, consider this for a moment.  They’re just breasts.  I mean, judging from your pretty face (although I don’t know why that would make a difference, except as part of a total package) I’m sure they’re nice breasts, but when all’s said and done, they’re just mammary glands, or, as some scientists would have it, modified sweat glands, or sebaceous glands as other scientists would insist.  Oddly, there are probably more names to describe them than any other part of human anatomy; would you believe 154 terms (I looked it up)?  Some of them make no sense except within some arcane context; and some are quite hilarious—Bouncing Betties, Conversation Pieces, Dueling Banjos, Non-Dairy Creamers, and Lactation Stations.

Of course, yours are royal jumblies (another term I found), which make them conversation pieces, but there’s no reason for you not to shrug your shoulders (watch out for bouncing) and remind yourself that over half the population has them and quite a few of the other half too, when you come to think about it.  As soon as you and your handlers pay no attention, it will cease to bother you.  Besides, hundreds of other celebrities find themselves in the same predicament without causing much outrage.  How can I say this gently, Katie, but why should your breasts get preferential treatment?  In the interest of full disclosure you should know that I’m an anti-royalist who believes there should be no place in a truly democratic society for kings and queens and duchesses.  But I don’t live in your country so my opinion shouldn’t really matter; your countrymen and women are the ones to decide and they have determined they’d like to spend millions of pounds on palaces and such!  And before you cock a snook through a Queen Anne’s Fan at me, do remember there are quite a few of your so-called “subjects” who think the monarchy is an anachronism.

But I digress.  I don’t want to give you the impression I endorse the French magazine’s actions.  But in the great scheme of things, whenever issues of privacy swirl about women I worry that there seems to be a greater maelstrom around such things as the actions of paparazzi photographing feminine body parts than around questions of abortion, rape, female genital mutilation, minors sold into prostitution, etc.  Perhaps you can make it your mission to take up one of these causes—they may not be popular, but you may actually be able to make a real difference and no-one will care whether you were photographed topless!  And like your mother-in-law, you may be remembered for much more than your pretty face—or breasts!

Anyway, that’s my free, unasked-for advice. Good luck with the paparazzi and the French!  Apparently the women in your family seem to have ongoing problems with both.










5 responses to “A Letter to Kate Middleton”

  1. Becky Straple Avatar

    Thanks for the great article, Dr. Pereira.

    The thing is, photographing women’s body parts is infinitely easier to talk about than FGM, rape, abortion, the sex trade, etc. And a royal being “exploited” really has a happy ending, doesn’t it? Of course it’s humiliating, it’s exploitation, and it’s wrong. But she’ll be fine, it’ll all blow over, and we can all return to our happy, ignorant lives. The woman who’s expelled from her village because she has a fistula as the result of a violent rape which leaks urine and causes her to smell, the woman who can’t have more children because an illegal, botched abortion ruined her reproductive organs, the 12-year-old being prostituted out to tourists–these are depressing, heavy issues, and people think they can’t help. So they ignore them instead. I completely agree that Kate could use her influence (whatever one’s opinion of it) to champion one of these causes. And people have to remember–no action is too small. Anything is better than ignorance. Find out about the state of women’s rights today: http://www.hrw.org/topic/womens-rights

    And then do something about it: http://www.care2.com/causes/womens-rights or http://www.womenforwomen.org or http://www.youcanhelpnow.org

    1. kimpereira Avatar

      Well said, Becky.

  2. Jimmy Gabacho Avatar
    Jimmy Gabacho

    In light of the pictures, one could add anorexia and bulimia to the list of causes.

  3. Jalma (Stuart's wife; his website too) Avatar

    As always, Kim, you make me think and laugh at the same time! You are good as gold and a special treasured friend of mine

    1. kimpereira Avatar

      Thank you J. I love and miss you:-)

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