Kate Middleton and Marilyn Monroe are trending on social media, thanks to the Times of India trying to cash on the Kate-Marilyn comparison at India’s war memorial. With the image of Kate’s disheveled skirt on the front page, social media users blasted the Times of India for turning an otherwise solemn occasion into a “Marilyn Monroe moment,” when a gust of wind blew her dress up as she paid her respects at India’s war memorial in New Delhi.
The newspaper flashed Kate Middleton struggling with her white dress. The caption read, “Kate Marilyn Moment at India Gate,” describing the British royal couple gesture a “solemn occasion” in which Kate had “anxious moments.”
The royal family is on a seven-day tour to India and Bhutan. From the moment Kate and William embarked on the tour of the country, their appearances at different high-profile occasions in India triggered a predictable media frenzy. People are getting an hour-by-hour account as the media tracks the young couples’ every move.
Reportedly, 34-year-old Kate briefly felt strong gusts of wind, which tossed her skirt and cream-collared dress, and the tabloid compared it with Marilyn Monroe’s seductive moments in the 1954 film The Seven Year Itch.
Compared to Monroe’s seductive pose, the Duchess looked composed and elegant throughout the ceremony that honored thousands of Indian soldiers who died fighting for the British Army during the First World War.
Kate Middleton cautiously held her skirt against the gusts of wind with complete grace as she assisted husband William with laying down the floral wreath at the memorial. India Gate is a towering 42-meter high-arched war memorial designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in the heart of New Delhi.
Reportedly, it was not just Kate Middleton who had to struggle with her white dress at India Gate. Prince Williams too struggled to manage his navy suit, but the Times of India chose to highlight Kate, which seemingly made for a better caption and comparison with popular Hollywood sensation Marilyn Monroe.
Middleton looked stunning in the white knee-length Emilia Wickstead dress, but the nature of the media coverage triggered outrage on Twitter and social media, many criticizing the inherent sexism in the Kate Middleton’s Marilyn Monroe front-page story.
An op-ed piece in DailyO captured the trending, critical sentiments with the following words.
“Talk about misplaced priorities, sexists editorial standards or just plain desperation to secure another million page views!”
“The answer’s blowin’ the wind, and in bold literally. And even perverts in the newsroom know it,” the piece added.
Another user in Twitter vented his anger out.
This is not the first instance when the Times of India flirted with controversy. Earlier, a picture of Indian actor Deepika Padukone’s cleavage flashed by the tabloid triggered outrage on social media, including Deepika criticizing the “cheap” publicity, saying, “Yes, I am a women. I have breasts and a cleavage! You got a problem?”
It is not just the Indian media that seems obsessed in objectifying the duchess. While Indians debated on Kate’s disheveled skirt, the Daily Mail picked on Kate Middleton’s “un-pedicured toes.” Western tabloids have been equally notorious for their almost stalker-like coverage of celebrities and the British royal family in particular.
Judging from the trending criticisms in social media, the public perception is that the Times of India overtly sensationalized Kate’s “oops moment,” turning it into a sensational front-page news. While such pictures do make interesting stories, the tabloid missed the difference between Monroe’s iconic photograph and Kate’s accidental one, conveniently ignoring aspects of consent and privacy that Kate Middleton deserved.
[Photo by KGC-22/STAR MAX/IPx/AP]