Keira Knightley denies trying to mom-shame Kate Middleton over glam post-birth appearance

 Keira Knightley‘s searing essay for the new book Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies: Amazing Women on What the F-Word Means to Them was intended to offer a raw, no-holds-barred portrayal of the actress’s experience with childbirth and motherhood.

And while her account of giving birth to daughter Edie did just that, it was also accused of criticizing fellow mom Kate Middleton. Knightley contrasted the royal’s polished post-birth appearances with her own grittier experience.

“She was out of [the] hospital seven hours later with her face made up and high heels on,” Knightley wrote of the duchess, who gave birth to Princess Charlotte the day after Knightley’s labor in 2015, in her essay, The Weaker Sex.

“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.”

41 PHOTOS
Duchess Kate gives birth to baby No. 3! All the photos from the big day
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Duchess Kate gives birth to baby No. 3! All the photos from the big day
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born son, their third child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on April 23, 2018. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge depart the Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a son at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge depart the Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a boy at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their newborn son outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London. (Photo by John Stillwell/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge departs the Lindo Wing with her newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a boy at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge holds her newly-born son as he's presented to the press outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on April 23, 2018. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born son, their third child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on April 23, 2018. Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP 
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born son, their third child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on April 23, 2018. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) 
The newborn son of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge as they depart the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a boy at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The newborn son of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge as they depart the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a boy at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born son, their third child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on April 23, 2018. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) 
The Duchess of Cambridge with her newborn son outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London. (Photo by John Stillwell/PA Images via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born son, their third child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on April 23, 2018. (Photo by Isabel INFANTES / AFP)
The Duchess of Cambridge and her newborn son outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born son, their third child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on April 23, 2018. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (R) show their newly-born son, their third child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on April 23, 2018. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) 
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge depart the Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a son at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne. (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/ WireImage)
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge depart the Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a son at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne. (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/ WireImage)
Britain's Prince William arrives at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital with his children Prince George and Princess Charlotte after his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to a son, in London, April 23, 2018. (REUTERS/Henry Nicholls)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge arrives with Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the Lindo Wing after Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to their son at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a boy at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne. (Photo by Steve Back/Getty Images)
Princess Charlotte of Cambridge (L) turns to wave at the media as she is led in with her brother Prince George of Cambridge (R) by their father Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (C) at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in central London, on April 23, 2018, to visit Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and their new-born brother, the Duke and Duchess's third child. - Kate, the wife of Britain's Prince William, has given birth to a baby son, Kensington Palace announced Monday. 'Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 11:01 (1001 GMT),' the palace said in a statement. The baby boy weighs eight pounds and seven ounces (3.8 kilogrammes). (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Princess Charlotte arrive with Prince George at the Lindo Wing after the birth of his third child on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a boy at 11:01 BST, weighing 8lb 7oz. (Photo by Neil Mockford/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince George and Princess Charlotte arrive at the Lindo Wing after the birth of his third child on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a boy at 11:01 BST, weighing 8lb 7oz. (Photo by Neil Mockford/GC Images)
Princess Charlotte of Cambridge (L) turns to wave at the media as she is led in with her brother Prince George of Cambridge (R) by their father Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (C) at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in central London, on April 23, 2018, to visit Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and their new-born brother, the Duke and Duchess's third child. - Kate, the wife of Britain's Prince William, has given birth to a baby son, Kensington Palace announced Monday. 'Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 11:01 (1001 GMT),' the palace said in a statement. The baby boy weighs eight pounds and seven ounces (3.8 kilogrammes). (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge arrives with Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the Lindo Wing after Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to their son at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a boy at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, gives a wave as he leaves the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on April 23, 2018, after his wife Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to a son, their third child. - Kate, the wife of Britain's Prince William, has given birth to a baby son, Kensington Palace announced Monday. 'Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 11:01 (1001 GMT),' the palace said in a statement. The baby boy weighs eight pounds and seven ounces (3.8 kilogrammes). (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, gives a wave as he leaves the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on April 23, 2018, after his wife Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to a son, their third child. - Kate, the wife of Britain's Prince William, has given birth to a baby son, Kensington Palace announced Monday. 'Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 11:01 (1001 GMT),' the palace said in a statement. The baby boy weighs eight pounds and seven ounces (3.8 kilogrammes). (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, gives a wave as he leaves the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on April 23, 2018, after his wife Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to a son, their third child. - Kate, the wife of Britain's Prince William, has given birth to a baby son, Kensington Palace announced Monday. 'Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 11:01 (1001 GMT),' the palace said in a statement. The baby boy weighs eight pounds and seven ounces (3.8 kilogrammes). (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, gives a wave as he leaves the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on April 23, 2018, after his wife Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to a son, their third child. - Kate, the wife of Britain's Prince William, has given birth to a baby son, Kensington Palace announced Monday. 'Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 11:01 (1001 GMT),' the palace said in a statement. The baby boy weighs eight pounds and seven ounces (3.8 kilogrammes). (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, gives a wave as he leaves the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on April 23, 2018, after his wife Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to a son, their third child. - Kate, the wife of Britain's Prince William, has given birth to a baby son, Kensington Palace announced Monday. 'Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 11:01 (1001 GMT),' the palace said in a statement. The baby boy weighs eight pounds and seven ounces (3.8 kilogrammes). (Photo by Isabel INFANTES / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISABEL INFANTES/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Tourists and photographers take pictures of a notice placed on an easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace in London to formally announce the birth of a baby boy to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a son at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: A notice is placed on an easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace in London to formally announce the birth of a baby boy to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a son at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
A Royal bulletin, announcing that Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, the wife of Britain's Prince William, has given birth to a baby boy, stands on an easel on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace in London on April 23, 2018. - Kate, the wife of Britain's Prince William, has given birth to a baby son, Kensington Palace announced Monday. 'Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 11:01 (1001 GMT),' the palace said in a statement. The baby boy weighs eight pounds and seven ounces (3.8 kilogrammes). (Photo by Stefan Rousseau / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read STEFAN ROUSSEAU/AFP/Getty Images)
Palace staff position a Royal bulletin, announcing that Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, the wife of Britain's Prince William, has given birth to a baby boy, on an easel on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace in London on April 23, 2018. - Kate, the wife of Britain's Prince William, has given birth to a baby son, Kensington Palace announced Monday. 'Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 11:01 (1001 GMT),' the palace said in a statement. The baby boy weighs eight pounds and seven ounces (3.8 kilogrammes). (Photo by Daniel SORABJI / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL SORABJI/AFP/Getty Images)
A Royal bulletin, announcing that Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, the wife of Britain's Prince William, has given birth to a baby boy, stands on an easel on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace in London on April 23, 2018. - Kate, the wife of Britain's Prince William, has given birth to a baby son, Kensington Palace announced Monday. 'Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 11:01 (1001 GMT),' the palace said in a statement. The baby boy weighs eight pounds and seven ounces (3.8 kilogrammes). (Photo by Stefan Rousseau / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read STEFAN ROUSSEAU/AFP/Getty Images)
Camera crews prepare outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London where Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a baby boy on April 23, 2018. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Royal fans celebrate the news that Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a baby boy outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on April 23, 2018. (Photo by Isabel INFANTES / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISABEL INFANTES/AFP/Getty Images)
A town crier announces the news of the birth of a baby boy by Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on April 23, 2018. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
A town crier outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London, after the news that the Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to a son. (Photo by Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: A town crier announces that the Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to a baby boy at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's third child was born this morning at 11:01, weighing 8lbs 7oz. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: A town crier announces the birth of the new prince on the steps of the Lindo Wing on April 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Neil Mockford/GC Images)
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Some readers saw this as a mommy-shaming indictment of Kate for promoting an unrealistic, overly glamorous view of motherhood. Not so, Knightley told the Associated Press during an interview at the BFI London Film Festival premiere of her new film, Colette, Thursday night.

“I think certain aspects of the media have misrepresented — I hope not purposefully, because that would be extraordinary, wouldn’t it? — my entire meaning of the entire essay,” she said of reaction to her writing. 

“That essay is about childbirth, it’s about motherhood, and it’s about complete empathy with every other woman that has been through the extremity of labor. It’s also about my sudden realization that what our culture asks us to do is to hide our truths and to silence our experiences. So it is exactly the opposite of what certain media has reported it to be. And I think just shows [that] as far as the feminist movement goes, we have a long way to go.”

In other words: Knightley doesn’t hate the player (Kate) — she hates the game (societal pressures to look perfect in the post-natal state). And to have her words portrayed as a critique of another mom is just, well, especially annoying. Hopefully it’s nothing that can’t be resolved with, say, a playdate between a pair of British 3-year-old girls?

19 PHOTOS
Keira Knightley out and about
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Keira Knightley out and about
ROME, ITALY - MAY 22: Keira Knightley attends the 'La Traviata' Premiere at Teatro Dell'Opera on May 22, 2016 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 06: Keira Knightley takes a lunch break at Malaparte on April 6, 2016 in West Village, New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 02: Keira Knightley arrives at the set of Collateral Beauty on April 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 02: Keira Knightley seen on set of Collateral Beauty on April 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 21: Actress Keira Knightley is seen on the of 'Collateral Beauty'on March 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 29: Keira Knightley walks to the set of Collateral Beauty on February 29, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 07: Keira Knightley seen at 'An Evening Honoring Valentino' Lincoln Center Corporate Fund Gala on December 07, 2015 in New York City. PHOTOGRAPH BY Photo Image Press / Barcroft Media UK Office, London. T +44 845 370 2233 W www.barcroftmedia.com USA Office, New York City. T +1 212 796 2458 W www.barcroftusa.com Indian Office, Delhi. T +91 11 4053 2429 W www.barcroftindia.com (Photo credit should read Photo Image Press / Barcroft Med / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 29: Matt Ryan and Keira Knightley attend the Broadway Opening Night Performance after party for the Roundabout Theatre production of 'Therese Raquin' at Studio 54 on October 29, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 29: Judith Light, Keira Knightley and Matt Ryan during the Broadway Opening Night Performance Curtain Call bows for the Roundabout Theatre production of 'Therese Raquin' at Studio 54 on October 29, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 23: Actress Keira Knightley and husband James Righton are seen in Soho October 23, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10: Keira Knightley poses at the Roundabout Theater Company's 50th Anniversary Season Party at The American Airlines Theater Penthouse on September 10, 2015 in New York City. Knightley is slated to be in the production of 'Therese Raquin' this season. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 03: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Keira Knightley and James Righton are seen on September 3, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15: Keira Knightley attends the 20th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards on January 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amy Graves/WireImage)
Actress Keira Knightley and recording artist James Righton attend the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 22, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Axel Koester/Corbis via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 22: (L-R) Lady Gaga and Keira Knightley arrive at the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Dan MacMedan/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 16: Actor Benedict Cumberbatch (L) and actress Keira Knightley attend the Times Talks and TIFF In Los Angeles discussion of 'The Imitation Game' at The Paley Center for Media on February 16, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 14: Keira Knightley attends the 2015 Writers Guild Awards L.A. Ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on February 14, 2015 in Century City, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 11: Keira Knightley seen at LAX on February 11, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by GVK/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
Keira Knightley and friend attend the EE British Academy Film Awards at the Royal Opera House. (Photo by rune hellestad/Corbis via Getty Images)
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