Keira Knightley Shares Graphic Childbirth Story, ‘My Vagina Split’

Knightley overshares to make a point about what is considered natural for women.

Keira Knightley attends the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards
Stuart Wilson / Getty Images

Knightley overshares to make a point about what is considered natural for women.

Love Actually star Keira Knightley left nothing to the imagination when she wrote an essay to share the gory details of her daughter Edie’s delivery in 2015. She wants women to know that actors and celebrities are not spared the indignities, pain, and need for recovery that the rest of us suffer and that you should question anyone that looks like they just took 20 minutes to get their eyebrows waxed.

Refinery29 says that Knightley wrote an essay that starts with the description of her perineum tearing and her daughter coming into the world.

“My vagina split. You came out with your eyes open. Arms up in the air. Screaming. They put you on to me, covered in blood, vernix, your head misshapen from the birth canal. Pulsating, gasping, screaming.”

Knightley dedicated her essay, called “The Weaker Sex” to her daughter Edie who seemingly taught her many lessons about recovering from a profound event. Her essay tries and succeeds to share the visceral details of childbirth.

She starts with being out for a walk in London the day before Edie was born when her water broke, ruining a favorite pair of shoes — “brown lace-up brogues which ended up crusted and sticky with amniotic fluid.”

Knightley shared in graphic detail that no bodily fluid was spared when Edie pushed her way into the world.

“I remember the s**t, the vomit, the blood, the stitches. I remember my battleground. Your battleground and life pulsating. Surviving. And I am the weaker sex? You are?”

The Pirates of the Caribbean actor explains that if the assault on her nether regions wasn’t enough, Edie came out of her womb hungry.

“You latched on to my breast immediately, hungrily, I remember the pain. The mouth clenched tight around my nipple, light sucking on and sucking out.”

Knightley then talks about the time after giving birth, where women are supposed to rebound by getting dressed and smiling to cover the pain, discomfort, and all around urge to burst into tears for the “natural” event they just experienced. She says that while male colleagues who have just had children are allowed to show up late, unshaven, even drunk, while women better not miss a line, be deep in thought, and have lost the appropriate amount of weight.

She continues saying that while men are given a pass, women are judged, despite the point that they were likely the ones up all night with a hungry or inconsolable baby.

Knightley’s essay is not a judgment, but rather a piece to make everyone think about what is considered acceptable to show or to admit to the world, and what should be pushed down and shoved away because it’s not socially acceptable.