Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, revealed the power of representation in her life on the second episode of her podcast, “Archetypes,” with guest Mariah Carey.
The former Meghan Markle told Carey how much the singer’s career meant to her while growing up as a biracial woman.
“You were so formative for me,” Meghan said. “Representation matters so much.
“When you are a woman and you don’t see a woman who looks like you somewhere in a position of power or influence, or even just on the screen – because we know how influential media is – when you came onto the scene, I was like ‘Oh, my gosh. Someone kind of looks like me,'” Meghan continued.
The pair also discussed their experience as being light-skinned Black women, and how as they got older, they realized people wanted them to “choose” — even though they wanted to call themselves “mixed.”
“You’re not treated as a Black woman. You’re not treated as a white woman. You sort of fit in between,” Meghan said.
“I mean, if there’s any time in my life that it’s been more focused on my race, it’s only once I started dating my husband,” she continued. “Then I started to understand what it was like to be treated like a Black woman. Because up until then, I had been treated like a mixed woman. And things really shifted.”
“I always thought it should be OK to say I’m mixed,” Carey responded. “Like it should be OK to say that. But people want you to choose.”
Later in the episode, Meghan revealed she “started to sweat” after Carey said she thought Meghan had “diva moments.”
Throughout the episode, Meghan and her guest would discuss the positive and negative connotations of a “diva.” In a conversation about Carey’s appearance on “MTV Cribs,” Meghan said she doesn’t connect to “the diva thing.”
“You give us diva moments sometimes, Meghan,” Carey said.
Meghan, surprised, replied: “I do? What kind of diva moments do I give you? Do you see me right now?”
Carey then clarified she was referring to the “visuals” and that it mostly comes down to the look, and later added she “didn’t mean” anything by the comment and was just “playing.”
Later in the episode, Meghan said she “didn’t see that coming.”
“It was all going swimmingly, I mean really well. Until that moment happened, which, I don’t know about you, but it stopped me in my tracks … when she called me a diva! You couldn’t see me, obviously, but I, I started to sweat a little bit,” Meghan recalled. “I started squirming in my chair in this quiet revolt, like, wait, wait, no, what? How? But? How could you? That’s not true, that’s not. … Why would you say that?
“My mind genuinely was just spinning with what nonsense she must have read or clicked on to make her say that,” she continued. “I just kept thinking, in that moment, was my girl crush coming to a quick demise? Does she actually not see me?”
But Meghan said she was relieved once Carey set the record straight.
“She must have felt my nervous laughter, and … she jumped right in to make sure I was crystal clear that when she said ‘diva’ she was talking about the way I dress, the posture, the clothing,” Meghan explained.
“She meant diva as a compliment, but I heard it as a dig,” the duchess continued. “That moment, as she explained to me, she meant it as chic, as aspirational.”
The interview comes one week after Meghan spoke with Serena Williams for the debut episode of “Archetypes.”
Mindy Kaling will be next week’s guest, according to Spotify.