Kerre McIvor
Kerre McIvor is a Herald on Sunday columnist

Kerre McIvor: Privacy in public? Get real, Kate

Catherine's skirts have blown up in public at least six times, including at Wellington Airport in April. Photo /Mark Mitchell
Catherine's skirts have blown up in public at least six times, including at Wellington Airport in April. Photo /Mark Mitchell

The Duchess of Cambridge has a magnificent bum. She is blessed with one that is round and pert, buttocks that are clearly the result of superior genes, a great deal of exercise and a healthy dose of self-discipline.

Usually, a casual observer can only speculate as to the merits of the bodies of the rich and famous. Is it a tiny waist or is it great corsetry? Are those free-standing boobs in all their natural glory or can you see the surgeon's scars?

In Catherine's case, however, I have seen proof of her perfect posterior in the flesh. A German newspaper printed a photo of the Duchess on her trip to the Blue Mountains in Australia a month or so ago, with her dress billowing around her waist. She was either wearing a G string that had found its happy place and nestled out of sight or nothing at all because her bottom was exposed in all its glory, to the delight of the photographers in attendance.

The British tabloids showed admirable restraint in not printing the images but Bild, the German newspaper, had no such scruples and Catherine's bum has made front-page news. She, apparently, is mortified. And the royals are furious that her privacy has been breached. But she has only herself to blame.

I had every sympathy for her when a photographer used subterfuge to snap a shot of her topless on a balcony. She thought she was in a private place and had no idea the photographer was there. The photos of her baby bump, I thought, were a bit intrusive, even though she was on a beach in a public place.

But when Catherine is on official business and is surrounded by photographers at every turn, it's up to her to ensure the paps don't get their money shot. It's not as if it's the first time she has been taken unawares - there have been at least six instances when her skirts have blown up, including her first appearance on New Zealand soil.

It wouldn't matter in the slightest - after all, if I had a body like that, I'd be reluctant to put clothes on it at all - except that it matters to Catherine. She wants to be taken seriously and she wants to have a modicum of privacy in her very public life. She's not going to get that unless she puts some pants on.

Educate, don't legislate

Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me. Tell that to the kid who was called a fat, useless moron. Or the child who is repeatedly told by their mother that they should never have been born, that they were a mistake their mother never wanted.

Bruises fade but cruel, hateful words are seared into a child's consciousness and shape the adult they become.

A New Plymouth detective of some 25 years' experience is calling for legislation to protect children from obscene, abusive and threatening language. As it stands, psychological abuse of children is only a crime when a protection order is in place.

Detective Sergeant David Beattie says the way some parents talk to their kids has a big part to play in family violence and that his proposition is not about criminalising parents but protecting children.

He wants to see parents who abuse their kids sent to compulsory parenting courses.

But ultimately, laws would only serve to make some parents more defensive. We should be doing all we can to support parents to raise their children. But education, not legislation, is the way to go about it.

- Herald on Sunday

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