Stop Freaking Out Over Meghan Markle's Shoulders

Can people just let Meghan Markle live? The former Suits actress attended an event Wednesday wearing a sleeveless dress, a choice that's apparently attracted a wide variety of absurd negative attention.
At the Commonwealth Youth Forum in London (where the temperature was about 75 degrees Fahrenheit), Markle wore a strappy pinstripe midi dress by Altuzarra with a blazer by Camilla and Marc draped over her shoulders, which she took off once inside. An appropriate and pretty typical outfit for an uncharacteristically warm spring day, one might think.
But no. Online, on both Twitter and Instagram, Markle has been criticized for exposing her shoulders. Yes, really. While it's not common for royals to show their shoulders during official engagements, the reaction to Markle's skin has been disproportionate, to say the least.
Beneath an Instagram post with a picture from the event posted on Kensington Palace's official account, a dispiritingly large number of people expressed their disapproval at her outfit choice, with many making jibes about her "commoner" status, dubbing her an "attention seeker," and saying she would have looked more at home at Coachella. "I'm no fashionista but shouldn't her shoulders be covered? Seems a tad underdressed for the occasion," said one user. Another wrote: "Her dress does not seem appropriate for the occasion. She looks like the odd one out who didn't get the dress code memo!!"
Many also took the opportunity to compare Markle to her soon-to-be sister-in-law Kate Middleton. "Kate is better than Meghan. Kate always [dressed] appropriate with the event. Formal or non formal. I think Meghan should learn from Kate how to dress [for] formal [events]," one posted. "Even in denim, Catherine walks and carries herself with poise and confidence and her clothes actually have a good fit on her. Meghan slouches and her clothes always look about 2 sizes bigger than they should," another added.
However, many leapt to Markle's defense by reminding them that 1) it's the year 2018, and fashion "rules" are, frankly, old school, and 2) gasp, women have shoulders. Some also drew attention to the fact that the Queen 'bared' her shoulders many times as a younger woman, as did Princess Diana. Even Kate Middleton has worn strapless and off-the-shoulder dresses recently.
On November 8, 2016, Price Harry released an unprecedented public statement addressing the treatment of Markle in the national press and online. It read: "Meghan Markle has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public — the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments."
The statement ended with a plea to "pause and reflect before any further damage is done," but with the couple's wedding day quickly approaching, that (unfortunately) looks unlikely. So here's our plea: Let's cut it with the superficial criticism, please.

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