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Keira Knightley Pens Powerful Essay On Her Own Experience Of Childbirth

Keira Knightley Pens Powerful Essay On Her Own Experience Of Childbirth

Keira Knightley has opened up on her own experience of childbirth, penning a powerful message for newly released feminist essay collection Feminists Don't Wear Pink (And Other Lies).

In her essay, Keira hit out at the expectations set for new mums to look 'perfect' after giving birth, making comparisons between her own and that of Kate Middleton's.

The actress gave birth to her daughter Edie a day before the Duchess welcomed Princess Charlotte in 2015, and Keira's experience was far from Kate's glamorous appearance on the steps of the Lindo Wing.

In her piece titled 'The Weaker Sex', Keira shared: "We stand and watch the TV screen. She was out of hospital seven hours later with her face made up and high heels on. The face the world wants us 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.

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Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

"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. Stand there with your girl and be shot by a pack of male photographers.

Sharing her own graphic reality, Keira continued: "My vagina split. You can out with your eyes open. Arms up in the air. Screaming. They put you on to me, covered in blood, vernix, your head misshaped from the birth canal. Pulsating, gasping, screaming.

"You latched onto my breast immediately, hungry, I remember the pain. The mouth clenched tight around my nipple, light sucking on and sucking out. I remember the sh*t, the vomit, the blood, the stitches. I remember my battleground. Your battleground and life pulsating. Surviving. Am I the weaker sex?"

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Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

After giving birth to all three of her children, Kate has appeared just hours later looking ultra glam. It goes without saying that it's her decision to do that.

Keira's essay isn't intended to attack the Duchess, and is instead challenging the pressures put on women to look and behave in a certain way.

She continues: "I turn up on time, word perfect, with ideas and an opinion. I am up with you [her daughter] all night if you need me. Sometimes I cry I'm so tired. Up with you all night and work all day.

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"My male colleagues can be late, can not know their lines. They can shout and scream and throw things. They can turn up drunk or not turn up at all. They don't see their children. They're working. They need to concentrate."

Women must "be pretty. Stand there... Be nice, be supportive, be pretty but not too pretty, be thin but not too thin, be sexy but not too sexy. Be successful but not too successful. Wear these clothes, look this way, buy this stuff."

You can read the rest of Keira's essay in Feminists Don't Wear Pink (And Other Lies).

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Topics: Celebrity News, Kate Middleton

Rachel Andrews

Rachel Andrews is an NCTJ trained Journalist at PRETTY52. She specialises in Fashion and Beauty Journalism, and has experience at a range of online and print publications and joined the team in 2017. Contact her - [email protected]