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It is a busy week for Prince Harry and Megan as they carry out visits across the UK and Germany to highlight charities close to their hearts. And Meghan’s voice is also being heard by millions across the world through the third episode of Archetypes, her Spotify podcast, which came out today.
This week’s episode is entitled "The Stigma of The Singleton" and her celebrity guest was actress Mindy Kaling, who decided to have children as a single, unmarried woman. The two women discussed the feelings women can have about the social pressures and expectations around relationships, marriage, and having children.
During the episode, Meghan also shared some information about her schooldays at Little Red Schoolhouse and Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles. "I never had anyone to sit with at lunch, " Meghan revealed. "I was always a little bit of a loner and really shy and didn't know where I fit in. I was like 'OK, then I'll become the president of the Multicultural Club and the president of sophomore class and the president of this, and French Club. And by doing that, I had meetings at lunchtime so I didn't have to worry about who I would sit with or what I would do because I was always so busy."
Mindy replies, "Just what you said, that image is so vivid of sitting like… The, the girl that you described, sitting by herself, being like, how do I fill my day? And it'll be by trying to be a leader like—that makes me very emotional. And I'm happy that people know that because I think people see you and they're like, oh, my gosh, like the wedding, the couture fittings for that and this and that. And I think that I certainly didn't know that about you. And it's nice to know."
During the episode, the Duchess of Sussex also gave some further insight into her childhood telling Mindy, “ I was alone so much as a child, right, and also a latchkey kid...I read a lot of Archie comic books, ironically. My son is not named after Archie comic books—but I loved them. I collected them." She also surprised Mindy by saying that she was an "ugly duckling" when she was growing up, describing herself as "not [a] conventional beauty. Now maybe that would be seen as beautiful but I had massive frizzy curly hair and a huge gap in my teeth. I was the smart one, forever and ever and ever and ever, and then just sort of grew up."
The two spoke about Meghan's wedding and engagement elsewhere in the episode; Meghan began the episode by saying, “When I was 14 I planned my wedding,” citing how she had been given the task as an assignment while at Catholic school.
Meghan also recalled of her engagement announcement, “When I started dating my husband and we became engaged, everyone was just like ‘oh my god you’re so lucky he chose you’...And a certain point after you hear it a million times over you're like ‘well I chose him too!' But thankfully, I have a partner who was countering that narrative for me and going, ‘they’ve got it all wrong. I’m the lucky one because you chose me.’ But it’s gendered and it’s archetyped and it’s stereotyped that you’re so lucky. And it just feeds into this idea that you’re waiting for someone to tell you that you’re good enough, as opposed to know that you’re good enough on your own.”
Mindy, who has authored books Why Not Me? and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) , which are both collections of autobiographical essays, said, “When you’re a certain age and you’re a single woman, if you go to a party, it bums people out. You get this feeling from people that they’re like ‘oh man’... even your existence as single woman in a party where there’s married people, or just a regular party with single guys or something, you get this feeling that you’re like ‘oh I’m like changing the vibe here because everyone’s worried about me or sad for me.’”
The podcast also featured expert Rebecca Traister, author of book All The Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation, who discussed the origins of the world spinster. This is the third episode of Archetypes, following a first episode with Serena Williams about ambitious women and a second with Mariah Carey about the label diva.
Listen to the full episode here:
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