The Controversy Behind Kate Middleton's Fingers

You really have to hand it to high-profile women like Kate Middleton. It can't be easy to have every single detail about you scrutinized on a regular basis, yet no matter what inane conversation the world gets into about her toes, her baby bump, bandages, body language, etc., she always comes out of it with her head held high.

The latest discussion revolves around the Duchess of Cambridge's fingers. More specifically, her finger length is under fire.

The Duchess recently appeared at Oxford primary school, looking stunning as usual. In her cream coat and matching dress, designed by Jenny Packham, Kate was looking fit in her last trimester of pregnancy and positively glowing. She paired the look with brown heels and a classic clutch.

Instead of the event, or even the outfit, getting the bulk of the attention, many reports seemed to zone in on the length of Kate's fingers. Zooming in on some photos in which she's holding her purse, it appears as though her index finger, middle finger and ring finger are nearly the same length.

In some photos, they even appear to be the same length.

The Daily Mail went into some detail about how finger length is believed to reveal a variety of things about a person, from health issues to personality traits. While there are many theories, a lot of experts chalk it up to a pseudo-science similar to phrenology (the suggestion that your intelligence and character could be determined by the bumps on your head).

Another high-profile woman was constantly being scrutinized over her fingers. Former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama was accused by many people of being a male-to-female transgendered woman because in some photos, her index finger appeared to be shorter than her ring finger, a trait more common in men.

Thus, they concluded, this must mean that Michelle was really a man in disguise.

The problem for that argument is that in other photos, her index finger appeared longer or equal to her ring finger. It mainly depended on angles: the position of her hand and the position of the camera when the photo was taken.

Any photographer will tell you that even the slightest adjustment in angles can make something look longer or shorter in a photo. Hand motions captured while someone is moving around or holding something doesn’t really result in photos that can be used for accurately measuring the length of fingers.

Middleton’s fingers may be close in length—it’s not unheard of—but it would be hard to tell from candid photos of her hands. And even if they are nearly the same length, it’s not going to tell us whether or not she’s at risk for cancer or hay fever, or whether she lovers horror movies or prefers peanut butter on her toast.

The Duchess came under scrutiny a couple of years ago for another set of digits: her toes. When she and Prince William went to visit the Gandhi Smiriti museum, they slipped off their shoes, as is customary.

The fact that her toe nails were unpolished seemed to raise an uproar. Media sources dug up experts to comment on Kate's arches, bunions, corns and nail clarity.

The best thing that Kate can do with all this discussion of her hands and feet would be to point her toes in the opposite direction and walk away. It’s a good thing she’s so lady-like, because if she wasn’t she might give these discussions the finger.

Source: Good Housekeeping
Photos: Prayitno Flickr, Ricky Wilson,

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