Meghan Markle's race has never been something she's been able to ignore, and in a recent interview with Allure magazine, she touched on what it's like to be a biracial actress and also commented on a subject very close to my heart.
But before we get to that, let's take a look at what Markle has to say about her race.
Born to a Caucasian father and African-American mother, race has always figured predominantly into Markle's worldview, and she's struggled to find her place within her dual racial identities. "I took an African-American studies class at Northwestern where we explored colorism," she says. "It was the first time I could put a name to feeling too light in the black community, too mixed in the white community. For castings, I was labeled ‘ethnically ambiguous.’ Was I Latina? Sephardic? 'Exotic Caucasian'?"
Her racial identity has been put under a microscope even more so since her relationship with Prince Harry has come to light. Finally, the prince himself felt it necessary to release an official statement deriding the attention the couple had been garnering and calling out in specific "the racial undertone of comment pieces."
But in addition to struggling with the question of race, Markle has been grappling with another skin-deep issue: freckles!
Markle explains that, aside from fighting to prevent magazines from lightening her skin with photo-editing software or casting agents from trying to make her identity fit a single racial stereotype, she's fought to keep her freckles too. "To this day, my pet peeve is when my skin tone is changed and my freckles are airbrushed out of a photo shoot."
Markle's hardly the first person you'd think of when you think "freckled," but look closely at her photos and you see them: a light sprinkling of brown freckles across the bridge of her nose and dusting her cheeks.
As a fellow faintly freckled female, I have to say I share Markle's mixed feelings about her trademark spots. As a youngster I hated them. I longed for the peaches-and-cream complexion of my fair-haired friends or the Wakefield twins in my Sweet Valley High books.
But it may reassure Markle to know that, girl, freckles are in. Seriously! People are actually tattooing freckles onto their faces because they're so hot right now.
And besides, this is likely the only thing I will ever have in common with this royalty-dating, TV-series-headlining, gorgeous brown-eyed beauty. So I say, Meghan Markle, celebrate your freckles!
My dad used to tell me the exact same thing that her dad told her, something that I recently repeated to my daughter upon seeing the light dusting of freckles on her nose last summer: A face without freckles is like a sky without stars.
All together now, "Awwwwwww!"
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