Skinny Kate Middleton – Icon Of Brideorexia
In the run-up to her historic April 29, 2011 wedding to Prince William, the former Kate Middleton dramatically lost weight. With that the Duchess of Cambridge unwittingly reinforced “brideorexia” in the minds of brides-to-be the world over.
Six months before the royal wedding, a biography placed Kate Middleton’s weight at nearly 130 pounds. But around the time of the nuptials, Buckingham Palace stated Kate weighs around 100 pounds. She had been known to wear size 8 dresses. On the big day, she was able to fit in a size 2 Alexander McQueen gown.
During its coverage of the ceremony, ABC News TV immediately drew attention to Kate’s “lean frame.” Such figure, the news outlet ventured further, could possibly create “questions about the newly titled Duchess of Cambridge’s health.”
In pop culture, “brideorexia” refers to an intense desire in brides to drastically thin down in time for wedding day. Considering that approximately 2.3 million brides wed in America each year, “brideorexia” is nothing short of a public health emergency. Compounding this fact is that millions of out-of-shape Americans watched the waifish Kate Middleton walk the aisle on TV.
Obesity researchers could not help but notice the unhealthy rate of Kate Middleton’s weight loss. Losing 20 pounds in 5 months may mean Ms. Middleton lost 1 pound every 7.5 days until April 29. Experts have always cautioned against weight loss of more than 1 pound a week. To Kate’s credit however, a sports nutritionist in the ABC coverage sized up the duchess as having shed no more than 14 pounds.
In her new role as monarch, Kate Middleton is not showing any signs of abdicating – from her newfound figure. UK’s state media still show the future queen looking very thin in photos. Hollywood Life, meanwhile, noticed how the Duchess of Cambridge’s waist looked “wafer-thin” on June 9, when she graced a children’s event that, ironically, stressed “the importance of health and fitness.” Scores of other witnesses throughout the UK also noted how Kate looked so “gaunt” and “emaciated” in public.
In July, Buckingham Palace gave the public a chance to view the Sarah Burton-designed wedding dress in an exhibition. Those who have seen it either remarked about the consummate craftsmanship that went into the dressmaking or the dress’ tininess.
British media quoted Ms. Middleton as saying that her drastic weight reduction “was all part of the wedding plan.”
Middleton ate like the French
Word went around that Prince William’s wife used the Dukan Diet to achieve her wispy shape. Even Kate’s mother Carole resorted to Dukan to shave off pounds before the nuptials, the Los Angeles Times claimed. True to form, Kate’s choice of diet sparked a fascination with Dukan in Hollywood, where slimming down to a wraith has always been the order.
Invented by Dr. Pierre Dukan, this eating regimen is essentially a Gallic twist on the high-protein, low-carb Atkins diet. The Dukan Diet is a huge hit in Dr. Dukan’s native France, where it sold five million copies. Due to renewed interest after the royal nuptials, a new American edition hit bookshops lately, this time with a prominent picture of a skinny Kate.
Then as now, nutritionists and dietitians in general have not warmed towards the Dukan Diet. They belittle Dukan as a shortsighted way to lose weight, striking at first in its results but hazardous in the long run. High-protein diets, over the long term, are no better than most calorie-restrictive plans, they say.
According to the American Dietetic Association, the Dukan plan obviates fruits, vegetables, and other important food groups, depriving dieters of vital nutrients. Plus, Dukan is known to cause less-than-queenly adverse effects, e.g. bad breath, mouth dryness, constipation, and fatigue.
New heir to the throne
As per tradition, the Duchess of Cambridge is duty-bound to sire a child who would become the British Commonwealth’s sovereign someday. But the duchess’ subjects fear Kate would be compromising her duties by keeping her figure too thin.
Ob-gynecologists and pediatricians all know either rigorous deprivation of food or heavy physical activity can lead to amenorrhea. This is a condition wherein a woman does not go through periods and ovulation, hampering conception. It is likely to occur in individuals whose body compositions are so lean that they always stay in starvation mode. In this condition, the ovaries have difficulty developing and releasing healthy eggs.
Should a skinny bride become pregnant anyway, she runs a high risk of preterm delivery. Or she may deliver an infant with low birth weight. Moreover, a highly restrictive diet during pregnancy puts essential nutrients out of reach of the developing baby.
Kate: Diana Part 2?
If her weight reduction does not let up, Kate could be following in the steps of Prince William’s late mother, Princess Diana. She memorably told Andrew Morton – then writing the 1992 tell-all Diana: Her True Story – that she suffered from bulimia and anorexia nervosa in secret.
Lady Di revealed she would binge on find and force herself to throw up as she grappled with her condition, which has been called “The Princess Diana Eating Disorder.” Despite her affluence, beauty and social status, Diana had a twisted self-image attendant on the disease. If she did eat, the intake never went beyond 700 calories a day. Also, she would wash down any food with laxatives.
A Princess’ Duty
Besides siring royal babies, Kate Middleton is also bound by another duty: to lead by example. As one of the hottest women on earth today, she could set a precedent by advocating balanced diets, healthy lifestyle and discouraging binge-eating. These are the least she could do to undo the brideorexia phenomenon she inadvertently fortified.