- There's her dress sense. (Too long, too short, too safe, too expensive, too cheap, seen too often..)
- Then there's her looks. (She's too thin, Does she have extensions? what's with the sausage curls and hyena grin?)
- Not to mention questions about her marriage and 'commoner' family background (Catherine is nothing more than a social climber who duped William into marrying her..)
- Then there's her role within the royal family (Is she a senior royal or not? Her job is to give birth to an heir, why isn't she working more?)
- Comparisons to other royals (Is she the new Diana? Look at the Queen, 86 years old. What is Catherine's excuse?)
- As well as what she does in her spare time (Shopping, getting her hair done, vacations...)
- Then there is the media with their 'everything Catherine touches turns to gold articles'. Their relentless focus on Catherine's appearance to the exclusion of everything else. Along with a complete inability to write an article that directly criticizes her. Even if that criticism is valid.
Recently Catherine has slowly increased her duties. Instead of hearing that she is doing things 'behind the scenes' we are actually seeing her carry out royal duties in public. It is something that many Kate critics have waited a long time for, myself included. But there's also cynicism. Will she increase her engagements or will she go on a luxury vacation after doing four of them? How can we know for sure? Will we be disappointed by her yet again?
That cynicism is very apparent in the aftermath of her royal duties. It is as if people can't make up their minds. Despite wanting her to do more engagements, when she does do one, people criticize the type of engagement (too frivolous, not serious enough). If the engagement is a serious one, people will find something else to criticize her for. Case in point: Despite doing a great job during her visit to Child Bereavement UK, people criticized the length of her hemline. Then there's the motive behind the engagement. Is it a genuine visit or just damage control? St James's Palace's tendency to release engagement information on the heels of negative public opinion is suspicious. But is this can't always be the case, can it?
Given the amount of goodwill from the royal wedding, Catherine could have hit the ground running. But she didn't. There was a two year grace period filled with stops and starts and unpredictable engagements. Nothing consistent. Is it really any wonder that people are cynical about Catherine now?
It seems Catherine can't win regardless of what she does, it almost makes you wonder why she bothers to leave the house. But then people would probably complain about that too! Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion about Catherine. Having said that, there's a difference between criticizing her and putting her in an impossible situation by tearing her down no matter what she does.
Catherine has a fantastic platform to make a difference. With the increase in engagements, let's hope this is a sign she plans to do something with it.
© Marilyn Braun 2013
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