It’s been almost six months since we first learned that Meghan Markle is dating Prince Harry, and the actress is still enjoying (or enduring) the sort of skyrocketing popularity that tends to come with dating one of the world’s most eligible bachelors.
We’re sure it can be disorienting to go from the obscurity of a basic cable legal drama in the midst of an overcrowded #PeakTV market to international household name who might soon be the recipient of a royal title, but Meghan seems to be handling it all with aplomb.
It helps that Markle is no stranger to the international humanitarian community.
The actress has been an outspoken women’s rights activist for years, with a particular focus on the ways women and girls are abused, mistreated, and relegated to the ranks of second-class citizens in many third world and developing nations.
Yesterday, Meghan celebrated International Women’s Day in a number of poignant ways.
She began by sharing the following poem cautioning of the dangers of prioritizing female appearances over female accomplishments:
It’s a powerful sentiment, but remarkably, Meghan outdid herself with an essay published in Time magazine about the ways in which menstruation is stigmatized in the western world:
"Imagine a world where the female leaders we revere never achieved their full potential because they dropped out of school at the age of thirteen," Markle writes.
"Based on societal ignominy in the developing world, shame surrounding menstruation and its direct barrier to girls education remains a hushed conversation."
"All of these factors perpetuate the cycle of poverty and stunt a young girl’s dream for a more prolific future."
Obviously, Meghan’s primary goal in writing such an essay is to bring attention to a vitally important cause, but there’s an added personal benefit, and this being a gossip site and all, we’d be remiss to ignore it:
Meghan’s reputation grows tremendously each time she demonstrates that far from being a royal coattail-rider, she’s a true citizen of the world, who seems to be profoundly affected by the plight of those less fortunate.
These days, the feeling toward Meghan is that here is a celebrity who walks the walk in terms of her contribution to the global community.
We’re all familiar with the famous figures who show up for photo-ops and make speeches at the UN, and their contributions shouldn’t be discounted, as at least they’re doing something to use their platform for good.
But while the Bonos and Angelinas of the world are often accused of calculated philanthropy that often does more good for their reputation than for the lives of the people they serve, there’s a different class of public figures who remain committed to their causes even when there are no cameras around, no benefit to be gained.
More and more, the consensus among Brits is that Kate Middleton belongs to the former group, and Meghan to the latter.
While the Markle vs. Middleton competition may be entirely imagined by the public, the fact remains that the people only have so much love to give, and these days, Meghan seems to be benefitting at the expense of Kate.
Fortunately, the people who are aided by Markle’s philanthropy remain the true beneficiaries.