The Duchess of Sussex focused part of her conversation with Ms Carey on how they both struggled to “find her place” as mixed-race children during their youth. As she was introducing the singer, Meghan said: “Our conversation begins with something I can relate to, her constant struggle to find her place and to fit in.”
Ms Carey, whose parents divorced when she was young, can be then heard speaking about her life following her parents’ split.
She said: “I lived with my mum and we moved like 14 times.
“So I had nothing, no money, nothing, and I’d see on TV these people and their hair was flowing in the wind…that’s why I always have wind, I was like ‘I am going to have that!’
“I didn’t fit in, it would be more of a Black area of town or you could be where my mum chose to live, the more white neighbourhoods and I didn’t fit in anywhere at all.”
Meghan chimed in to say: “Yes, I understand that.”
Ms Carey went on to say: “I remember being in school in this predominantly white neighbourhood where my mum felt comfortable, and I tried my best to feel comfortable.
“But this kid was in the hallway and said ‘Mariah has three shirts and she wears them on rotation’.
“And it was true, I mean the fact that he noticed I am like, ‘Why are you so obsessed with me?’
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“But in a world where you are the mixed kid in a full-on white neighbourhood… that’s what you get.”
The Duchess then explained why it was important for her to have Ms Carey as a guest on Archetypes to discuss the issue of representation and fitting in.
She said: “Yes, and look this is part of why when I was putting together this conversation I had to talk to you, of course I had to talk to you.
“You were so formative for me, representation matters so much but when you are a woman and 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 on to the scene and I was ‘Oh my gosh, someone who kind of looks like me!'”
Asked by the singer whether Meghan could tell as a child just by looking at the screen that she was Black and white, Meghan added: “Yes, and even at a young age, and it’s so funny because I remember when I was young, I can’t put a number to it, I imagine at 12, I read this article about Halle Berry and they were asking her how she felt being treated as a mixed-race woman and her response was her saying, your experience through the world is how people view you, so she said because she was darker in colour she was being treated as a Black woman, not as a mixed-race woman.
“And I think for us is so different because we are light-skinned, you are not treated as a Black woman, you are not treated as a white woman, you sort of fit in in-between.”
Meghan went on to mention Prince Harry and how beginning a relationship with him changed the focus on her race.
She said: “If there has been any time in my life that has been more focused on my race it was once I started dating my husband.
“Then I started to understand what it was like to be treated as a Black woman, because up until then I was treated like a mixed woman, and things really shifted.”
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