Sheesh. No wonder people don't envy Kate Middleton. First came reports that she's become too thin ahead of her wedding day. Now, the tabloid press have revived rumours that she's pregnant.
The cover of this week's Star celebrity gossip magazine bears the headline "Pregnant Bride!" (It's not the first time the magazine's been on baby alert.) According to iVillage.com, the story cites an unnamed palace source who says Ms. Middleton and Prince William will announce they're expecting a baby soon after their honeymoon. Rival Us Weekly, however, reports that royal officials say the pregnancy rumours are completely untrue. Thank goodness no one is yet pointing out phantom baby bumps - although the way her every move is scrutinized, it's a safe bet that a pregnancy belly-watch will begin the minute she's photographed in a bulky sweater or indulging in a jelly doughnut.
Just the other day, the Daily Mail noted Ms. Middleton was looking "rather slender."
"She's so skinny, oh my God, she's lost so much weight," a shop assistant told the newspaper.
Even Peter Wehrwein, an editor at Harvard University's Harvard Health Publications, has weighed in on the buzz about her prewedding physique. In a blog, he speculated that if she stands at 5 feet 10 inches, her body mass index would be 17.2, putting her in the underweight category. Theories about the cause of her apparent weight loss abound, including stress, "brideorexia," characterized by extreme efforts to shed pounds before a wedding, and the Dukan Diet craze, a low-carb, high protein diet, Mr. Wehrwein writes.
Meanwhile, tabloid News of the World pounced on rumours that Ms. Middleton has lost two dress sizes and that her sapphire engagement ring, which previously belonged to Princess Diana, had been adjusted so it wouldn't fall off her finger. Ms. Middleton's mother Carole is urging her daughter to put on more weight, the tabloid says.
Are you rolling your eyes yet? If so, brace yourself for more. Now that she'll be in the spotlight more than ever, will Ms. Middleton's body ever be considered, you know, normal?
How would you handle being under such scrutiny?