Kate Middleton's Pregnancy and a Call to Arms

The public's obsession is calling the Princess to an impossible standard

Kate Middleton is one of the most beloved and watched women in the world, and come July, that public obsession will spill over to the royal baby. Poor baby. And poor Kate Middleton.

Of course, her life is inarguably charmed. She's married to a prince, travels the world in private planes, wears designer clothing, lives part-time in a castle, and has access to things, people, and places most of us only dream of. But as her baby bump grows, so has the public's obsession.

People magazine recently printed "The Pregnant Princess Diaries," with Kate on the front cover, alongside blurbs promising to reveal her cravings, books she's reading to prepare for motherhood, and baby names being tossed around the palace. Turns out, they were all guesses, but why let the absence of actual information get in the way of selling magazines? Better yet, why let reality impact the fantasy that Kate is perfect and radiant and capable of showering starlight on everyone around her? That's a direct quote. And so is this: "Prince William, get out your sunglasses: It'll only get brighter from here."

Come on now. I've got four kids, and I love them with all my heart. But the truth is it'll get fatter from here. It'll get more wrinkled from here. It'll get stretch-marked, droopy, cockeyed, sleep-deprived, and easily irritable from here. Kids have a way of turning life on its ear and fleshing out the truth, and the truth is that when Kate is described as being perfectly mannered and manicured, dazzling, radiant, philanthropic, wonderfully lithe, always fashion-forward, and constantly steady—she's being set up to fail.

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