Keira Knightley Denies Shaming Kate Middleton In Childbirth Essay

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Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

From ELLE

Update 12 October: Keira Knightley has responded to claims she shamed Kate Middleton following her essay regarding the unrealistic standards put on women following childbirth.

Speaking to reporters at the premiere of her new film, Collette, at the 2018 BFI London Film Festival last night, the actress clarified via Press Association: 'I think it's very interesting that certain parts of the media have, I don't want to say purposefully, but let's just say misrepresented my meaning and exactly what I said.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

'So I would suggest to those people in the media that they re-read the entirety of the essay and not just take one bit out of it because the comments that I made are completely about our culture that silences women's truths and forces us all to hide and I absolutely did not shame anybody in any way, in fact quite the opposite.'

Hours after giving birth to each of her three children, Kate Middleton has walked out of the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, posed for photographers, smiled to television cameras, and waved to royal fans eagerly waiting to catch a glimpse of the new mother and her offspring.

However, actress Keira Knightley has opened up about the unrealistic standards put on new mothers, like the duchess of Cambridge, who are expected to mask the 'bloody, screaming' reality of childbirth.

In an essay entitled 'The Weaker Sex', published in feminist collection Feminists Don't Wear Pink (And Other Lies), Knightley recounted in graphic detail her own experience of childbirth and how it differed from what appeared to be that of the Royal's.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

'She was out of hospital seven hours later with her face made up and high heels on,' Knightley wrote of Kate Middleton. 'The face the world wants to see. Hide.

'Hide our pain, our bodies splitting, our breasts leaking, our hormones raging. Look beautiful, look stylish, don't show your battleground, Kate.'

The 33-year-old reportedly gave birth to daughter Edie a day before the Duchess gave birth to her second child, Princess Charlotte, in 2015.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Kate's appearances following the birth of her three children - Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis who was born in May - have regularly stirred debate on social media, with some praising the Duchess for looking great and giving the people what they want. Others, though have suggested the photocall is sexist and sets unrealistic expectations for women.

Knightley continued: 'Seven hours after your fight with life and death, seven hours after your body breaks open, and bloody, screaming life comes out. Don't show. Don't tell.'

The Colette star also revealed her own traumatic birth experience, revealing her vagina 'split'.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

'You came out with your eyes open. Arms up in the air. Screaming,' she wrote, referring to her daughter. 'They put you on to me, covered in blood, vernix, your head misshapen from the birth canal. Pulsating, gasping, screaming.

'You latched on to my breast immediately, hungrily, I remember the pain. The mouth clenched tight around my nipple, light sucking on and sucking out.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

'I remember the sh*t, the vomit, the blood, the stitches. I remember my battleground. Your battleground and life pulsating. Surviving. And I am the weaker sex? You are?.'

Knightley's essay comes amid her recent revelation that she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder aged 22.

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