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Kate Middleton's discreet baby bump: Should all pregnant women look like her?

The Duchess of Cambridge arrives at The Willows Primary School in Manchester to launch a school counselling program, April 23, 2013.

Paul Ellis/AP

Poor Catherine Middleton. For all her money, fame and good looks, the Duchess of Cambridge cannot afford to let loose or (gasp!) gain a spare pound, even at six months' pregnant.

Obvious weight gain may tarnish the image of perfection she has burnished on behalf of the royal family, who would disdain another unruly Princess Di in their midst.

As if by royal decree, the Duchess's baby bump must be tasteful and discreet.

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Anything more womanly might subject Kate – and by extension, her royal in-laws – to the kind of ridicule endured by Kim Kardashian and Jessica Simpson, whose bodies, at six months' pregnant, have been deemed too rubenesque.

Kate has the tabloids asking why Kim and Jessica don't look more like her. "Not All Famous Preggo Chicks Have to Be HUGE," blared TMZ, noting that when the Duchess visited the Willows Primary School in Manchester, England, on Monday, "you could BARELY tell she was with fetus."

As if that's a good thing.

Prince William may be proud of his svelte wife, who has never copped to having food issues the way his mother did so publicly in 1993, when she revealed her history of bulimia.

But let's hope that Kate does not become a poster child for pregnant women everywhere. Health Canada recommends a pregnancy weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds for women with an average BMI. For women like Kate, who was undoubtedly underweight to start, the recommended weight gain is 28 to 40 pounds.

Not to be too judgy and all, but the mother of the future king or queen looks way under target. Eat up, Kate!

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About the Author

Adriana Barton is based in The Globe and Mail’s Vancouver bureau. Her article on growing up with counterculture parents is published in a McGraw-Hill anthology, right after an essay by Margaret Atwood. She wishes her last name didn’t start with B. More

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