Kate Middleton Jumps, Shows Off Stomach, Creates "Post-Baby Body" Media Monstrosity

On Friday, Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton attended an event for one of her charities, Sportsaid, at London's Olympic Park. For some reason, this totally normal duty has become a top headline, churning out exclamation point-riddle post after post. Believe it or not, Middleton has not turned into Bertha Mason, raving like mad in the upper floors of Buckingham Palace while Prince William is forced to go Mr. Rochester on her ass. Childbirth has not fundamentally changed her ability to perform her princess duties. She can, in fact, put on a great outfit, look gorgeous in every picture (even the ones that catch her off guard), and make public appearances just like she always did because, I repeat, childbirth does not automatically turn women into trolls living under bridges. So why all the fanfare?

At one point during the photo-op, she jumped to spike a volleyball and a fleeting glipse of Middleton's "post-baby stomach" was freed as the Internet went wild. How could she have acquired such a perfect physique in just a matter of three months? Did she also go to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft, Wizardry, and Plastic Surgery for the last 72 days? This is "impossible." Let's all talk about how this so, so impossible. No. Stop. Drop that bone right now.

First of all, it's not impossible, because there's photo evidence from a credible photo agency who'd have no motivation to Photoshop the image because the fact that Middleton wore wedges to spike a volleyball has created enough of its own concurrent shitstorm. And then there's the fact that this appearance marks a repeat outfit for Kate, because God forbid a royal ever use the same garment twice — what are they, heathens? There's enough in her simple, everyday appearance to get the media masses churning, so no, it's not fake or a trick of the light, Middleton's stomach is flat. Let's throw her a party and decorate her belly button with troll doll jewels. Huzzah.

Or we could, you know, not jump like a pack of ravenous hyenas on a fly-ridden carcass every time a famous woman experiences the miracle of childbirth and then dares to parade herself before the public thereafter. Oh my God, you guys. What will she look like after having a baby? Herself? Not herself? The woman from the bathtub in The Shining? How about, let's focus on none of that, because if this person is tabloid fodder you've got two options: They look great because they can afford a trainer and a nutritionist to get them where they'd like to be or they're Jessica Simpson, who struggles with her baby weight like most women in the human race, and magazines give her endless flack for daring to wear shorts after having a baby.

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There's not a single iota of value in of it. We're either drooling over a star (or symbol of national pride, in Middleton's case) for daring to defy our notions of how long it should take to "get back to normal" after shoving a human through her birth canal, or we're passive-aggressively putting her on blast on the Internet's version of a Burn Book (also known as the whole Internet).

As annoyed as some folks may have been Thursday when Kim Kardashian posted a selfie of her incredible derriere (hey, credit where credit's due), that sort of self-exposure is a direct result of our tabloid obsession with the post-baby, pre-baby, and baby-bump-laden bodies. Kardashian did what Middleton could never do: She jumped ahead of the media's reaction to her upcoming public appearances, by writing the narrative herself: I'm hot again. You will love me. I run this.

And honestly, that may be the smartest way to get ahead of the game, because it doesn't appear that we, as a gossip-gobbling group, are ever going to stop clicking so hard on links to "Can You Believe This Famous Person Looks Good/Looks Terrible?" images that our forefingers earn their own charlie horses.

If we could all just stop caring so much about how a woman who's just housed an extra human life in her womb for nine months deals with the aftermath, this cycle could stop and we could stop finding another reason to judge ourselves by the impossible standards of the ridiculously rich and famous. That's right: Everyone loses at this game.