Meghan Markle and Mariah Carey Talk Growing Up Biracial: "They Want to Put You in a Box"

Meghan Markle’s “Archetypes” podcast isn’t shying away from important and challenging conversations about being a women, race, and culture. This week (Aug. 30), the Spotify audio series featured pop icon Mariah Carey as the Duchess of Sussex’s second guest, whom she interviewed about the “duality of diva” and negative connotations that come with the label. During their conversation, Markle and Carey also found common ground in growing up biracial and touched on their personal experiences.

“I didn’t fit in anywhere at all,” Carey recalled of her childhood, with Markle noting for listeners that the singer “grew up poor in a mixed race family when interracial marriages were pretty rare in the US.” “I remember being in school in this predominantly white neighborhood where my mom felt comfortable, and I tried my best to feel comfortable,” Carey, whose mother Patricia is white and late father Alfred was Black, continued. “But this kid was in the hallway and he said, ‘Mariah has three shirts and she wears them on rotation.’ And it was like, it was true . . . But I was really like why do you care? In a world where you’re the mixed kid of a full-on white neighborhood, that’s what you get.”

Markle went on to add that she wanted to speak with Carey about this particular topic because of their shared backgrounds. “You were so formative for me. Representation matters so much,” the Duchess said. “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.'”

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