A magazine has come under fire after it described the 16-year-old heir to the Dutch throne as ‘plus-size’ on its front cover.
Princess Amalia, the eldest daughter of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, is pictured alongside her mother on the most recent issue of Caras, a celebrity gossip and royal news magazine published in Spanish and Portuguese.
The photograph, one of several released this month by the Dutch royal family and not taken for the magazine, is published alongside a headline that, once translated, reads: ‘Maxima’s oldest daughter proudly wears her “plus-size” look.’
The magazine’s subhead, once translated, 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”.’
However it is not thought the princess provided any quotes to the magazine or has ever commented on her weight in public.
Social media users and media outlets from Maxima’s native Argentina have blasted the magazine for using the term to describe the teenage royal, saying it is ‘dangerous’, ‘disrespectful’ and ‘shameful’.
In response, the magazine released a statement saying the story was designed to tackle stigmatization and inspire readers who might be struggling with their own body confidence issues.
The front cover photo shows Princess Amalia in a blue dress alongside her mother Queen Maxima during a summer photo call at their residence, Palace Huis Ten Bosch. The photos were released by the Dutch royal family.
Queen Maxima, who worked as an investment banker before marrying into the royal family, and King Willem-Alexander, son of former Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, are also parents to Princess Alexia, 15, and Princess Ariane, 13.
All five family members were photographed in the charming outdoor photo shoot, which is an annual tradition for the Dutch royal family.
The cover quickly garnered attention after it was shared via social media to Caras’ 2.7 million Instagram followers and 500,000 Twitter followers.
The post attracted thousands of comments, with many arguing it’s inappropriate to focus on the young royal’s body rather than her achievements.
National Argentine newspaper La Nación spoke to political scientist and feminist writer Florencia Freijo, who argued focus should be placed on the teenage royal’s achievements, rather than her weight.
Local body positive activist Brenda Mato added the headline is ‘counterproductive’ in its desire to celebrate diverse body types because it calls for the reader to ‘look at’ Amalia’s figure.
The sentiment was echoed on social media, with one Twitter user posting: ‘You have to be very nefarious to propose/ approve this cover. They belittle her Amalia, a beautiful, sensitive and intelligent teenager playing cool.
‘They talk about bullying and they are doing it to them. And they give a very dangerous message to the girls of 16 who read.’
Writing in Spanish, another said: ‘Chubophobic, violent and irresponsible cover. For people like you are, we are one of the countries with the highest number of cases of eating disorders in the world.
‘Are they are aware of the damage they do? ENOUGH to pass judgement on people by their physique!’
A third added: ‘They say that she looks proud of her “plus-size” look and then say that she is a victim of bullying. They are disgusting, they are late and they have a shameful social irresponsibility. Whoever she is, she is a 16-year-old girl with a real body that must not be objectified or stigmatised.’
Despite the criticism, Hector Maugeri, an editor at the publication, stood by the decision and argued the story was intended to help other teenage girls who might be struggling with their body image.
In a lengthy Instagram caption, he wrote: ‘The story of Amalia, Máxima’s daughter and heir to the throne, is a story of self-improvement and resilience.
‘The teenager, after having undergone brutal bullying during her childhood (something that Máxima also suffered and commented on on more than one occasion) managed to overcome it along with the love of her family, and above all, believing in her and in the woman he wants and chooses to be.
‘CARAS is a magazine that always gave “voice” to those that society once tried to silence. We are not qualifiers.
‘We are communicators and this week, Amalia’s story is an example for other girls who could – or go through – the cruelty of those who only know how to see darkness and not light.’
The Dutch Royal family hasn’t commented on the magazine cover.