Meghan Markle invited Mariah Carey to join her on the second episode of her podcast Archetypes for a conversation about “The Duality of Diva.”
On the latest episode released Tuesday, the Duchess of Sussex and the Queen of Christmas had a wide-ranging discussion that touched on subjects including their experience growing up biracial and the negative connotations often associated with a label like “diva.” Carey shared that because she was constantly moving throughout her childhood, she struggled with each new start to make friends. “I didn’t fit in,” she explained. “You know, it would be more of the Black area of town or then you could be where my mom chose to live, which were the more white neighborhoods, and I didn’t fit in anywhere at all.”
Meghan also identified with that experience, adding that even more than her music, she wanted to speak to Carey because of how important it was to her to see a famous biracial woman growing up. The Duchess revealed, “You were so formative for me. Representation matters so much. But 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—you came onto the scene, I was like ‘Oh, my gosh. Someone kind of looks like me.’” She added, “I had read this article about Halle Berry, and they were asking her how she felt being treated as a mixed-race woman in the world. And her response was her saying, ‘Well, your experience through the world is how people view you.’ So she said because she was darker in color, she was being treated as a Black woman, not as a mixed woman.”
The royal went on to explain that, “I think for us, it’s very different because we’re light-skinned. You’re not treated as a Black woman. You’re not treated as a white woman. You sort of fit in between.” In fact, Meghan confessed, “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. 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.” Carey agreed that feeling forced to choose between identifying with these two side of yourself is an “interesting thing.” She continued, “As mixed woman, because I always thought it should be okay to say I’m mixed. Like it should be okay to say that. But people want you to choose.”
The podcast episode also opens with actress Amanda Seales sharing a story about her own relationship with the word “diva,” and later on Meghan is joined by Dr. Mashinka Firunts Hakopian to discuss the definition and history of the label.
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