Allure's April 2017 issue is a beautiful thing. The beauty magazine is celebrating women of colour — and the issue features 41 ladies' candid opinions on diversity.
One of those 41 women is actress Meghan Markle, who stars in Suits and, oh, yeah, is dating Prince Harry. Markle told the magazine about her biracial heritage and how it's affected her in Hollywood. (Markle's mum is Black, and her dad is white.)
"For castings, I was labeled 'ethnically ambiguous,'" Markle told Allure. "Was I Latina? Sephardic? 'Exotic Caucasian'? Add the freckles to the mix, and it created quite the conundrum. To this day, my pet peeve is when my skin tone is changed and my freckles are airbrushed out of a photo shoot."
Markle also talked to Allure about growing up in a mixed family and taking an African-American studies course in college.
"I have the most vivid memories of being seven years old and my mom picking me up from my grandmother's house. There were the three of us, a family tree in an ombré of mocha next to the caramel complexion of my mom and light-skinned, freckled me. I remember the sense of belonging, having nothing to do with the colour of my skin," Markle told Allure. "It was only outside the comforts of home that the world began to challenge those ideals. I took an African-American studies class at Northwestern where we explored colourism; it was the first time I could put a name to feeling too light in the black community, too mixed in the white community."
The Allure interview isn't the first time Markle has addressed her heritage. In an essay on her blog, The Tig, Markle described a racist incident experienced by her grandfather, and the racism she's observed in her own life. "It makes me think of the countless Black jokes people have shared in front of me, not realising I am mixed, unaware that I am the ethnically ambiguous fly on the wall," Markle wrote in the essay.
We're happy to see Markle is speaking out about the microagressions she's experienced, both in Hollywood and in her personal life. To read all 41 women's stories, head over to Allure.