Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced their engagement—a fact virtually everyone in the world knows by now, but I digress—and media outlets around the globe have been analyzing, scrutinizing and sharing every detail they can get their hands on. While it’s mostly been darling photos of a couple in love, some of the more in-depth coverage has defs been better than others.
Take, for example, this stellar piece which ran on Joe.co.uk, entitled “Successful actress Meghan Markle to wed former soldier.” Are you chuckling? Because same, same! The piece goes onto talk about Markle’s successes (independent of her soon-to-be-hubby, Prince Harry), including (but not limited to) her role on the ever-popular TV series, Suits, and her philanthropic work as a United Nations ambassador.
While the piece is all in good fun (the author quickly notes Harry’s time as a soldier and that, although he is currently unemployed, he does do charity work—LOL), it’s a larger commentary on the normalized procedure for these kinds of announcements, in Hollywood and beyond. What so often happens in media coverage like this is that the man becomes the focal point, and his female partner falls to the wayside.
This pattern was blatantly obvious when George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin announced their engagement, with plenty of outlets highlighting Clooney’s successes (namely, that he’s a famous actor) while failing to mention Alamuddin’s long, LONG list of accomplishments. In response to the imbalance, Business Woman Media published a piece entitled “Internationally acclaimed barrister Amal Alamuddin marries an actor” to the delight of many.
Although the tides are changing (kind of), there are still plenty of solid examples for how *not* to talk about the royal engagement. A British tabloid, Mirror Online, featured article entitled “Bikinis, booze and bedroom selfies: The intimate photos Meghan Markle doesn’t want you to see now she’s engaged to Prince Harry.”
SIIIIIIIGH. How many times do we after to go over this, guys? For starters, a woman is allowed to wear bikinis and drink alcohol without permanently labelling herself as a repugnant tramp. Secondly, bedroom selfies? If we’re gonna start persecuting people for immortalizing their good hair days, SUE ME. Feeling cute and wanting to Insta about it is a right I will defend until the day I die. Freedom of speech and all that jazz, amirite?!
The headline isn’t the only prob with this
journalism trash. The piece continues on, dissecting each of Markle’s most “scandalous” ’grams, including everything from Markle and a group of pals cheers-ing their cocktails while on vacay (ugh! the horror!) to a shot of Markle’s feet in front of a parcel that says “good in bed,” containing new PJs (HOW DARE SHE ENJOY A CHEEKY PUN *AND* RECEIVING MAIL?).
Here’s a thought, maybe she’s just a normal gal who—till recently—enjoyed a relatively normal life, and liked documenting said normal life on an app literally millions of other people use (including the royal fam???) Woah, revolutionary.
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