A Spanish-language gossip magazine is under fire for its 22 July cover featuring Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands with a headline referring to her as a plus-size girl.
Caras used a photograph of Princess Catharina-Amalia and Queen Máxima at the Dutch Royal Family’s summer photocall at Huis ten Bosch earlier this month for its cover.
In addition to its headline about the teenager showing off her “plus-size look” it also includes a sub-header that reads: “The harassed heir to the throne of the Netherlands faces criticism with force and with the support of her parents. A princess who goes through puberty without taboos and defends her figure of ‘real woman.’”
Argentine newspapers, as well as social media users, have decried the magazine cover. In an interview with La Nacion, Brenda Mato, a body positivity activist and model said that with the progress being made in accepting different body types in mainstream media, “…what is counterproductive is what happened with this cover because the headline refers to having your body looked at.”
Mato said that the cover “continues to perpetuate that the important thing about a young woman is her appearance and her physique, which is not really what defines us. Her achievements, goals and what she does are never discussed. It is a stereotyped message. This has many negative connotations, especially adolescents who look at that cover, feel reflected and see that they refer to it in this way.”
Florencia Freijo, a feminist and political scientist and writer, said to La Nacion that “They wanted to join the body positive movement and it went very wrong. It is tremendous that a massive cover says: ‘Look, the daughter of royalty is allowed to be fat,’ but the question is why the weight should be on a magazine cover, bearing in mind that she had other achievements.”
It is important to note that Princess Catharina-Amalia has never publicly commented on bullying or body image issues and that the magazine cover is projecting as though she has. Mato said, “It seems to me a very rude mistake to comment on the body of a teenager. Privacy goes beyond who it is, it has to do with the way in which the subject is treated.”
Caras’s editor, Héctor Maugeri, stood by the cover, saying that Princess Catharina-Amalia is a representative for teenagers to show that they should not be ashamed if they are bullied for their weight.
“There is an aggression,” said Freijo. “The body weight of women is a recurring theme in the magazine Caras. It does not matter that at the age of 16 as Amalia, you have done a play in The Hague, or that you are a renowned singer… The kilos that you have or that you lost matter and how you feel about them. It also matters to subject those kilos to public opinion.”
The Dutch Royal Family has not commented on the magazine cover.