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Meghan Markle wants the world to know that she may be direct — but never difficult.
In the latest episode of her podcast Archetypes, the Duchess of Sussex, 41, welcomed guests Issa Rae and Ziwe to discuss their experiences challenging the "angry Black woman" trope — a toxic stereotype that mischaracterizes Black women as more hostile and ill-tempered than their white counterparts.
While sharing their personal experiences on the matter, Rae said she once took a friend calling her "particular" as a compliment.
"I'm particular," Markle agreed, before explaining why it's important for women to be direct when giving direction. "A, I think a high tide raises all ships, right? We're all going to succeed, so let's make sure it's really great because it's a shared success for everybody."
Still, despite her directness, there's a little voice inside her head that makes her doubt herself.
"But I also know that I find myself cowering and tiptoeing into a room. I don't know if you ever do that," she said. "The thing that I find the most embarrassing [is] when you're saying a sentence and the intonation goes up like it's a question? And you're like, 'Oh my God, stop!' Stop whispering and tiptoeing around and just say what it is you need.
"You're allowed to set a boundary, you're allowed to be clear," Markle added. "It does not make you demanding, it does not make you difficult. It makes you clear."
When she was acting full-time, the Suits alum remembered seeing the "angry Black woman" trope weaved into nearly every role that was available to her at the time.
"I remember when I was auditioning, the idea of even Black roles, and I remember those casting sheets where the description of the character, she always had to have an edge or an attitude," she said.
Markle is using her podcast to dismantle the stereotypes women often face.
When interviewing Paris Hilton for an episode titled "Breaking Down the 'Bimbo'" on Oct. 18, Markle recalled that she felt "objectified" as a briefcase girl on the show Deal or No Deal.
Though it was required for her job to hold a "briefcase on stage alongside 25 other women doing the same," she said she felt objectified and was made to dumb herself down.
"There was a very cookie-cutter idea of precisely what we should look like. It was solely about beauty — and not necessarily about brains," she told Hilton at the time.
"I was thankful for the job but not for how it made me feel, which was not smart. And by the way, I was surrounded by smart women on that stage with me. But that wasn't the focus of why we were there," she continued. "I would end up leaving with this pit in my stomach knowing that I was so much more than what was being objectified on the stage. I didn't like feeling forced to be all looks and little substance, and that's how it felt for me at the time — being reduced to this specific archetype."
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