There have been rumblings and rumors recently that Kate Middleton and her sister Pippa may have eating disorders. Perhaps these rumors have been prompted by the fact that their pictures have been posted to pro-ana and pro-mia websites as thinspiration. So many parallels have been drawn between Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Princess Diana, who struggled with bulimia, that I am not surprised.
It is extremely common for us to be attracted to someone like one of our parents, which includes mental health struggles or irrational thinking patterns. It would not be surprising for Prince William to be attracted to similarities to his mother that he sees in Kate, including those things that might make her susceptible to an eating disorder. However, it could be a very dangerous message for the public to think that in order to be chosen by royalty one must have an eating disorder.
It was well publicized that Kate was working out prior to her wedding, just like most other brides. Her parents own a successful business and her in-laws are royalty, so it is not surprising that she would be able to dedicate a significant amount of time to working out and looking her best for her wedding. Losing weight prior to a wedding is not really enough to accuse anyone of having an eating disorder.
Planning a wedding is a pretty stressful undertaking in the best of situations, but planning a royal wedding…. I cannot imagine. Weight loss is also a common symptom of stress. Stress can also be the impetus that reveals our predisposition to certain mental health disorders. If Kate was predisposed to an eating disorder, planning a wedding and joining the royal family could be enough stress to bring out such symptoms. However, Kate may have plenty of support and ability to manage the stress. She does not seem to have made any other missteps that would reveal that she is experiencing distress.
I am hopeful that Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, will be able to declare that she does not have an eating disorder, and the accusations will end. She could easily become an ambassador for a healthy lifestyle if she so chooses. Whether it is Kate or a personal friend, rumors and accusations of an eating disorder are never helpful. Kate, I wish you all the best in dealing with the paparazzi.
August 1st, 2011