In Scarlett Curtis‘ new book Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (And Other Lies), the actress pens a letter to her and husband’s James Righton‘s 3-year-old daughter, Edie. In the piece, titled “The Weaker Sex,” Knightley compares how she looked and acted after childbirth to how the Duchess of Cambridge appeared hours after she and Prince Williamwelcomed their second child, who was born a day after the star’s little girl.
“She was out of hospital seven hours later with her face made up and high heels on,” wrote Knightley, 33. “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 morning after Kate, 36, gave birth to Charlotte, she and William stepped out of the hospital and debuted their baby to the press. Beaming, the duchess wore a yellow floral shift dress, makeup and high heels, and her hair was smoothed and styled. Live video of the moment dominated news coverage at home and abroad.
“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,” Knightley wrote. “Stand there with your girl and be shot by a pack of male photographers. This stuff is easy. It happens every day. What’s the big deal? So does death, you s–t-heads, but you don’t have to pretend that’s easy.”
Kate and William had debuted their first child Prince George, now 5, and their youngest son Prince Louis, now 5 months old, in the same manner and the duchess had looked just as happy and pristine both times.
In her letter, Knightley recalled how loved ones came to the hospital to visit her and her then-newborn daughter while she “wore a hospital gown with paper pants on” and was still bleeding from childbirth. She recalled how she was exposed, even showing her cellulite, as she ran to take care of the infant upon hearing her cries.
“My breast is out in front of them all and I don’t care,” she wrote. “Your life is my life. You need me. I’m there. F–k them all with their eyes watching, their embarrassed faces at my animalistic semi-nudity. Is this soft motherhood?”
Knightley recalled how she didn’t sleep during her hospital stay and that a day after giving birth, she brought her child home and took a shower.
“My shoes are crusted and sticky with the amniotic fluid of yesterday,” she wrote. “They smell.”
“I remember the s–t, the vomit, the blood, the stitches,” she said. “I remember my battleground. Your battleground and life pulsating. Surviving. And I am the weaker sex? You are?”