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Image / Editorial

Comment: Whichever way you cut it, Meghan simply can’t win


By Amanda Cassidy
13th Jul 2019
Comment: Whichever way you cut it, Meghan simply can’t win

She is one of the most scrutinised women on the planet. Yet nothing Meghan Markle does seems to endear her to the British public, writes Amanda Cassidy.


Criticised for holding her newborn the wrong way, photographed in Wimbledon in the wrong clothes, looking the wrong way during royal events, the wrong tights, writing the wrong messages on bananas…the coverage of Meghan Markle in the mainstream media has focused on everything she is doing wrong.

“If you want to be private, go back to America and live privately,” lambasted Piers Mogan on Good Morning Britain earlier in the week after reports of diva-like behaviour of the Duchess of Sussex in the tabloids. The comments on social media are also astoundingly caustic. But how did the world fall out of love with the Suits star? Nobody deserves this level of toxic criticism for simply marrying into a complicated family.

Related: Hyprocritical reporting of Meghan Markle 

Outsider

The fact is that when it comes to the Royal family, for many, Meghan is considered an outsider (read: imposter).  And literally, nothing she does will ever be good enough. Instead of embracing her differences (she is black, American, divorced and considered a ‘personality’ having built her own fame profile), she has been taken down time and time again.

The latest criticism is that she is holding her baby wrong. Now, even if there is merit in some of the reports about Meghan being difficult, nobody should be criticised for the way they hold their child in public. If she was out without little Archie, she would have been called out for leaving him at home. If he was in a pram, there would have more another version of criticism.

Of course, it is hard to be constantly compared to Kate who has never put a foot wrong – some would argue that she was born for the role of William’s wife. She looks happy, composed and elegant. If you believe everything you read in the media, Meghan is, in contrast, demanding, fiery, temperamental and unsatisfied.

Not humble enough

Ever since Meghan began dating Prince Harry, there has been an unsettling element that she has to ‘give something back’ to the public. She needs to demonstrate how grateful she is to take up such a precious public role. Yes, becoming a royal figure opens you up to public scrutiny but let’s get real for a second –  the idea of not conforming shouldn’t come as such a shock.

“We have no right to intimacy with Meghan and Harry, no matter how being a ‘royal’ is perceived”.

It is a strange and archaic way to view the life of another person – that the public should be entitled to pry into a family’s most private moments such as the birth, christening and other vulnerable choices. Pomp and ceremony has historic value but we are not talking about changing the way the royal family treats ceremonies – we are talking about people freaking out because Meghan may have considered a home birth.

We have no right to intimacy with Meghan and Harry, no matter how being a ‘royal’ is perceived. We know that Harry is particularly sensitive to the prying eyes that comes with his status. He never had a choice. And one might argue that Meghan knew what she was signing up for but it is unlikely she really had any idea of the pressures that come with being a leading figure in this highly classist monarchy.

Alarm bells should ring when people are being forced into ‘singing for their supper’ or not being humble enough. Meghan has been sized up and carved neatly into the ‘other woman’ persona. The public or at least the media, has cast her in the role of ungrateful outsider.

Her dignity is her silence. She should do whatever makes her, Harry and Archie happy because she is damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t.

Maybe her true feminist force is doing her duty… but on her own terms.

Image via BBC

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