Family

Oh please! Why the mum-shaming of Duchess Meghan after her polo outing was just too predictable

We all saw it coming, right!

By Karyn Henger
This week the Cambridges and Sussexes delighted crowds with their unexpected double-family outing to the polo.
We probably expected the Cambridges to be there because they've attended polo matches before - who didn't coo over the images of Charlotte and George playing at one of their dad's matches last year.
But what a treat to also see new mum Duchess Meghan with a tiny, two-month-old Archie in her arms, just days after his christening.
It was their first public outing and Meghan looked happy and relaxed as she cradled her son in her arms. What a departure from tradition to see a royal baby being carried rather than kept out of sight in a pram. And, of course, a particularly touching moment was caught on camera when Meghan lowered her face to tenderly kiss Archie on the forehead.
But we all knew what was coming next... the mum-shaming, of course.
Within hours of the images hitting the internet the criticism rolled out - mostly for the way Meghan was holding her baby. Oh please!
"Meghan looks like she's about to drop him," one person wrote on Instagram.
"Meghan doesn't know how to carry her own baby! Such a shame," said another.
"You can tell she doesn't even take care of her own kid. What kind of mother holds their baby like that," said a third.
And the old classic: "She should have put a hat and socks on the poor baby." We've all had that one.
To be honest, she just looked chilled to me - a first-time mum venturing out to watch her husband play sport, with her new baby safely nestled into her. We've all held our babies a little awkwardly at times, especially when they start getting heavy.
I have a friend who carried her babies stomach-down along the length of her fore-arm and they loved it, as non-traditional as it appeared. (This is also a great hold for babies when they have wind, btw.)
But the thing with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, is that it didn't really matter what she did at the polo, she was going to be criticised in some capacity.
From the second she was linked to Prince Harry, she became the subject of intense media scrutiny, and while it's not uncommon for people in the public eye to have to deal with criticism and social media trolls, it would seem Meghan seems to be judged more harshly.
Meghan has been called out for being both too informal and then too formal in the way birthday messages from herself and Prince Harry are posted to other royal family members on social media.
She has been blamed for the supposed rift between Prince Harry and Prince William and constantly compared to her sister-in-law, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. She was even ridiculed throughout her pregnancy for touching her stomach too much.
So the mum-shaming was inevitable. In fact, it seems no mother in the public eye is immune to that.
There was the 'she's gone back to work far too early' brigade after Amy Schumer did a stand-up comedy gig two weeks after the birth of her son.
Earlier this week Hilary Duff found herself under fire from 'sanctimommies' after posting an image of her eight-month-old daughter with pierced ears.
Victoria Beckham was criticised for giving her daughter Harper facials, and husband David Beckham for kissing Harper on the lips.
Chrissy Teigen has been picked on for everything from choosing her baby's gender during IVF treatment to leaving their firstborn with a babysitter to go on a date night with husband John Legend.
John even went so far as to grant an interview with Romper to defend his wife, saying in reference to the date night, "Look, we're both parents and we're both going out. If you think that's not appropriate — and first of all, you shouldn't think that's not appropriate — if you're going to blame somebody, blame both of us, not just the mother."
Really, it's just no one else's business.
But will the mum-shaming stop? Probably not.