Topless Kate

My first thought when I heard about the latest British Royal scandal was, poor Kate. The Duchess of Cambridge was busted by prying paparazzi while sunbathing topless in Provence. At a private residence. While not on official duty or fulfilling her role as a member of the royal family. What a shame. She seems like a smart girl who’s got her stuff together. She’s young, in love, and on holiday — who can blame her for enjoying the sun with her hubby in [supposed] private?

Closer magazine has been ordered to hand over the original photos to the royal family. Can you imagine the stodgy, never-smiling Queen having an envelope of these photos cross her desk? Yikes. Poor Kate.

Aurelien Hamelle, attorney for the royal couple, declared that the photos were a violation of Will & Kate’s privacy.  She was quoted as saying, “It is a scene of married life, intimate, personal, that has nothing to do on a magazine.” I have to agree. Yes, she is a public figure, and yes she lives very  much in the public eye and therefore must endure the barrage of photographers everywhere she goes. But why can’t there be a moratorium on following and photographing while she’s on vacation?

Yesterday, Closer‘s sister publication Chi published 26 pages of photos of William and Kate on vacation, including the topless pics. Chi’s editor-in-chief Alfonso Signorini defended the decision to publish, saying, “It is a story worth publishing in an extraordinary edition because it shows in a natural light the everyday life of a very famous contemporary young couple in love.”

Who’s he think he’s kidding? It’s not about a famous couple in love, it’s about Kate’s breasts.

What a shame. And the fact that the pics used were ill-gained and taken in secret with a very long lens is especially shameful.

Even worse are those who are speaking out against Kate, saying it’s her fault. If she didn’t want nudie pics published, she shouldn’t have taken off her top. A CNN blogger says “…it also creates a situation that requires common sense. Kate, unless you know for sure that no one else’s prying eyes — or camera — will see you, don’t sunbathe naked.”

Donald Trump opened his big mouth and Tweeted, “Kate Middleton is great—but she shouldn’t be sunbathing in the nude—only herself to blame. Who wouldn’t take Kate’s picture and make lots of money if she does the nude sunbathing thing. Come on Kate!”

Way to blame the victim, Donald. As if anyone gives a rip what he thinks.

Also Tweeting was teen actress Emma Roberts: “I LOVE Kate Middleton…but when you’re A PRINCESS you shouldn’t be topless anywhere except the shower or the bedroom.” Thanks for that very valuable advice, Emma.

Kelly Osborne stood up for the Duchess, though, saying “The one thing that is hers is her body you know what I’m saying. Everything else belongs to the country.”

In the midst of the firestorm that surrounds this topic, I can’t help but think of myself and legions of other members of the Pink Ribbon Club. Radiated, surgically excised, and reconstructed breasts don’t exactly lend themselves to topless sunbathing. Negative body images abound after a bout with breast cancer, and the idea of hanging the surviving girls out there, even in private, is not likely on many BC girls’ list of favorite things to do. What a shame.

P.S. If you’re planning on leaving a comment saying “who cares if the breasts have been radiated, sliced & diced, and reconstructed, we want to see them anyway” — don’t. Just don’t.


25 Comments on “Topless Kate”

  1. David Benbow says:

    I completely agree with you. Poor Kate must be mortified. Maybe she should turn this into an opportunity to promote the SCAR Project.

  2. Bruce Kramer says:

    When you are right, you are right. It isn’t about Kate really–it is about the inability of a masculine media juggernaut to think about bodies in any way other than for their own titillation (chose that word on purpose), and when the objectification of humans gets called out, the response is to either blame the victim or double down on the object.

    Consider this an “Amen” to your sharp insights, as in “Can I get a…”

  3. billgncs says:

    I have visited near there, and it is a lovely place. Too bad we let no one have peace. For what, because we are bored.

  4. Eddie says:

    Sad. Independent of who she is or any issues of gender equality, what someone does in private is just that. I wouldn’t take photos of my neighbors, so why does being famous change the equation? It doesn’t.

  5. I hadn’t heard about this particular scandal until reading your blog post. I can’t believe the paparazzi would stoop to such levels. But then again, as you say, when breasts are involved, anything goes. It’s a shame that Kate is getting such flak from those who should keep their mouths shut if they can’t say anything edifying. I’m so glad you posted this, Nancy. xo

  6. Catherine says:

    It is a shame – it becomes that much more difficult to be ‘body proud’ after so much treatment and surgery. I remember the lady who decided to go swimming topless after her bilateral mastectomy: that take incredible courage. I don’t even like to flash my chest in the ladies change room, though secretly hope to one day do it despite my insecurities.


    • Catherine, I’ve been wanting to blog about the topless swimming survivor but haven’t been able to articulate my thoughts. Thanks for reminding me to get my thinking cap back on! I’m with you on the changing room, too. I turn my back in the locker room at the gym and change really, really fast.

  7. Nancy, another very special post, as always – thank you. Well done by Kelly Osborne whose opine is admirable. With regards to the sliced and diced, radiated and otherwise somewhat humiliated breasts I say this … we are in love with the woman who dares to undergo breast cancer surgery, we are in love with the woman who dares to battle breast cancer as we are only human and understand the greater piece of life than a pair of breasts. Thank you for taking a stand from across the pond and defending Kate.

  8. I had missed all the “excitement” but am glad to learn of it through your blog…good job…succinctly you see and present issues on privacy, body image and finally what those who have lost their breast’s because of cancer experience. Thanks for speaking up again.

    • Oh, Kathleen — funny you should mention me presenting the issue of what we’ve lost because of BC. I didn’t think I did a good job of articulating just how far-reaching the loss is. Not just of our breasts, per se, or of our sexuality or of our womanhood (because I don’t believe either is tied to breasts), but how the loss affects how we feel about our bodies. Ugh. Still can’t get it right.

      • You’ve said it very well. From age 12 or thereabouts our world changed as our bodies changed. Breasts are a part of the who that is you and it makes complete sense that with surgery and all the chemo and radiation, there is enormous loss…the sense of self is altered.

  9. Heather says:

    I still can’t figure out exactly what the ruling gets them. I’ve heard that it perhaps stopped publication within the UK.?.? However, the pictures are in circulation so seems like the cat is out of the bag, never to return in the age of the internet. It also seems like the ruling and uproar have created such a buzz that everyone that wouldn’t have cared before now wants to see them. Not sure if it is true and I haven’t seen the pictures, but I heard on GMA this morning that some of the pictures were taken from a public road. I guess the Brits must be different than a lot of Euros that wouldn’t care much since topless sunbathing is the norm. The Euros have done a good job of making naked people, just that–naked people–without sexualizing all nudity. Don’t get me wrong, I feel bad for her since she assumed she had privacy and didn’t. That part would be the worst price of fame, in my opinion.

    • Good point, Heather. I think the ruling is more a warning to the press for future incidents that William won’t put up with them bullying or disrespecting Kate the way they did his mother. Just my armchair psychiatrist idea. And you’re right about Europeans in general being less buttoned-up about nakedness. As for the public road, I still don’t think it’s right for someone to be able to photograph someone inside a private home. Some things should remain sacred, IMHO.

  10. Well SAID. On every count…. Those photographers are pond scum. I know it’s all about a buck but the fact is… until people stop paying, nothing changes… It’s sorta like that pesky ribbon problem we have going on, isn’t it???


    • Indeed, Annemarie — until people stop buying the trashy magazines, the pond scum will keep on clicking. And that pesky pink ribbon problem … it certainly is pesky, and with Pinktober coming, it’s gonna get even peskier! Always love your comments, dear.

  11. elizabeth connolly says:

    Okay, I do agree with all your comments but this is the world we live in and Even i know if you are a celebrity ,much less the number one royal that the world is interested in, you go topless only in your bedroom or house with all the heavy drapes closed. And even then i’m not sure it would be safe. To sue is just to bring more interest in the pictures. i don’t like it and it may be wrong but there are a lot more things that are wrong in this world that are much more important that Kate’s lack of privacy out side her home. Sorry. I have several experiences with cancers in my family, but i have not experienced cancer myself and i can only admire all women who are survivors and surviving breast cancer and my comment is only about the big to do over Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge’s photos. have a good day

  12. Thanks for this thoughtful, and respectful post. Your last paragraph has so clearly articulated what has been uppermost on my mind during this uproar. Thank you

  13. Maybe if she started doing things like wearing huge plastic costume boobs on top of her clothing the paparazzi would declare her too normal and boring and leave her alone.

  14. Efrat Roman says:

    Thank you for putting in words the essence of the change, BC brings to the relations between us and our bodies. The fact that almost none of us, would never even think about topless sunbathing, is one of the bigger issues from my point of view. It is even more complicated, if you are a feminist, because on one hand we are asking the world to stop judging us by the size or shape of our breast, but on the other hand, we are supposed to thank our good luck for surviving, and never wine about being expelled from this part of being a women…
    some kind of lose lose situation.
    At least we are alive to complain about it…

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