The post partum tummy is not a taboo in Actual Town, USA.

Tom Sykes of The Daily Beast reports on Kate Middleton’s busting of what he refers to as one of the last taboos of pregnancy:

Kate Middleton stood up for new mums everywhere when she walked out of hospital yesterday, completely unembarrassed by her post-partum tummy.

This thoroughly modern royal was apparently determined to lend a helping hand to women everywhere who have just given birth, and shatter one of the last taboos of pregnancy: the post-baby belly.


I’m sorry, Tom, but this is not a taboo. It never was a taboo.

Two days after giving birth, the only people who expect a woman’s baby belly to be gone are lunatic celebrities and former reality show contestants who follow up their deliveries with plastic surgery and stylist consultations.

Skyes claims that even though it takes at least two to three weeks for the uterus to return to anything like its pre-pregnancy shape after giving birth, “this fact is little acknowledged in modern Western society.”

What modern Western society is Sykes talking about?

Does he think that the city limits of Hollywood, California qualify as a modern Western society?

In Actual Town, USA, this fact is acknowledged by all. My four year-old would acknowledge this fact is asked. My dog would acknowledge it if she could speak.

No one expects a woman’s baby belly to be gone when she walks out of the hospital.

No mother expects her baby belly to be gone when she walks out of the hospital. 

If she does, she should turn around, walk right back into the hospital and admit herself  into the psyche ward.

Perhaps it’s because I don’t read celebrity gossip magazines or watch nonsense news shows that report on celebrity births as if they were real news, but I have yet to meet a single woman who has expected her baby belly to be gone 48 hours after giving birth. Nor have a met a woman who has attempted to conceal her baby belly in any way.

Skyes goes on to lament:

Sadly too many celebrities often have ultra fast tummy tucks or strap themselves down to emerge in tiny size 6 jeans, leaving everyone else feeling inadequate.

While it might be true that celebrities follow their deliveries with plastic surgery (let’s call it what it is), I hardly think that “everyone else” is “feeling inadequate” as a result of this inhumane, unrealistic, artificial, unnecessary, self-obsessed response to pregnancy.

When a woman sees a celebrity walk out of the hospital wearing size 6 jeans, does she think, “That self confident, highly motivated actress probably did about a nine thousand sit-ups and spent the last 14 hours doing bikram yoga in order to look that good.”

Or does she think, “That narcissistic, image-obsessed megalomaniac probably spent more time under the plastic surgeon’s knife than she did with her new baby.”

I know which one I think.

I suspect that most people living in an actual modern Western society think the same.

Do you want Kate Middleton’s nose?

TIME reports:

Among the many things that women envy Kate Middleton for are her style, her poise and her husband.  It may be time to add one more thing to that list: her nose.

According to the New York Daily News, young women in New York and Long Island are flocking to the plastic surgeon’s office like it’s a spring sale at Barneys to get the Duchess of Cambridge’s sniffer.

I hope that this story is hyperbole on all counts.

I hope that women aren’t actually envious over Kate Middleton’s style, poise, nose and especially her husband, particularly if they have a husband of their own already. 


Most importantly, I hope that women find the title (What New York Women Want: Kate Middleton's Nose) and the first sentence of this piece as offensive and demeaning as I do.

I happen to know a number of women living and working in New York, and I can’t imagine any of them expressing envy over the shape of Kate Middleton’s nose or anyone else’s nose.

My hope is that TIME has based this story (and its hyperbolic assumptions) upon an infinitesimally small group of horrible, superficial, low-esteem women and that the use of the word “flocking” does not imply a number large enough to constitute an actual flock. 

Does Wikipedia have a a woman problem or do women have a Wikipedia problem?

Torie Bosch of Slate wrote a piece about a recent debate on Wikipedia over the validity of an entry on Kate Middleton’s bridal gown as a means of illustrating the gender gap that exists amongst Wikipedia’s citizen editors. Only 9 percent of Wiki editors are female, which is actually an improvement over recent years but still exceptionally disproportionate.


Serious efforts have been made to mitigate this gender gap. Wikipedia’s cofounder, Jimmy Wales, recently addressed the problem and has taken action, as have female editors already working on the site. Despite these efforts, female editors, on average, “make fewer changes to articles than male editors” and frequently don’t continue to be active online.”

All of this brings me to Bosch’s title for the piece:

How Kate Middleton’s Wedding Gown Demonstrates Wikipedia’s Woman Problem

I can’t help but wonder if Wikipedia has a woman problem or if women have a Wikipedia problem. While the editorial pages are currently dominated by male editors, anyone is free to make additions, deletions and revisions to the encyclopedia, meaning that women have just as much access to Wikipedia as men. They may have to fight for turf and battle a horde of male editors in order to be heard, but nothing is preventing them from doing so.

Furthermore, the efforts made thus far to involve more female editors have not yielded meaningful results.

I would also argue that the inclusion of Kate Middleton’s wedding gown into the pages of Wikipedia was by no means a slam dunk and not representative of any gender gap. I am glad that there was debate about its inclusion. I’m still not so sure that it belongs in the encyclopedia, but I am confident that if a discussion took place, it’s inclusion is probably justified. This is what makes Wikipedia great. I would also argue that the debate over the dress’s inclusion would have taken place even if female editors outnumbered male editors by a large number.

Like I said, the dress was hardly a slam dunk, regardless of who is editing the site.  

I think it’s great that Wikipedia is making efforts to be more inviting and inclusive to women, but at some point, when a subset of people is not taking advantage of an opportunity that is readily available to them, we might need to shift our gaze away from  the missed opportunity to the people failing to take advantage of it.

Wikipedia may have a woman problem, but I suspect that the problem is the result of women having a Wikipedia problem.

I’m not sure what the problem might be, but knowing the source of the problem is often the first step in finding a solution.