Long before she married Prince Harry and became the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle was just another young actress trying to make it in Hollywood.
She was more successful than most, of course, landing a role on the popular legal drama Suits.
But before she addressed the jury as Rachel Zoe, Meghan took some jobs she wasn’t terribly proud of.
And she opened up about her long, difficult climb to the top during a recent episode of her “Archetypes” podcast.
Back in 2007, Meghan appeared as one of the “brief case girls” on the popular Howie Mandel-hosted game show Deal or No Deal.
On her podcast this week, Meghan revealed that she left the show due to feelings that she was being “objectified.”
“I ended up quitting the show. I was so much more than what was being objectified on the stage,” Meghan said while in conversation with guest Paris Hilton.
“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: the word ‘bimbo,’” Meghan added.
“I was grateful for the job, but not about how it made me feel, which was not smart,” she continued.
“By the way, I was surrounded by smart women … but that wasn’t the focus.”
Meghan recalled becoming depressed by her time on Deal, as she believed that her value as a person had been reduced to her appearance.
“I had studied international relations in college, and there were times I was on set at Deal or No Deal and thinking back to my time working as an intern at the U.S. Embassy in Argentina in Buenos Aires and being in the motorcade with the security of treasury at the time and being valued specifically for my brain,” she explained.
“Here, I was being valued for something quite the opposite.”
She went on to share a story about an authoritarian stage coordinator who often criticized the models’ postures and physiques.
“Moments before we’d get on stage, there was a woman who ran the show and she’d be there backstage, and I can still hear her,” Meghan recollected.
“She couldn’t properly pronounce my last name at the time and I knew who she was talking to because she’d go, ‘Markle, suck it in! Markle, suck it in!’”
Meghan and the other models weren’t even permitted to speak on the show, so yes, they were being objectified in the most literal sense of the term.
But because every word that comes out of the Duchess’ mouth is dissected and harshly criticized, Meghan is now receiving major blowback for her comments.
Many pointed to risqué work that Meghan took on in later years as evidence of hypocrisy.
In particular, they fixated on a scene from the pilot episode of the 2008 90210 reboot (below).
“YEARS after you left deal or no deal for ‘being treated like a bimbo’, you took on roles giving men BJ’s in cars in 90210, taking your top off to grill burgers in Mens Health, had a ton of sex scenes in ‘Suits,'” one person tweeted, according to Page Six.
“You’ve objectified YOURSELF.”
“Sorry, #MeghanMarkle, you chose that gig plus – hot girl, FedEx girl, 90210, other assorted roles, the burger ad, etc. No one forced you. No one reduced you. You willingly took those jobs,” another added.
“She’s a lying hypocrite!” a third chimed in.
Several actors came to Meghan’s defense, pointing out that struggling artists of every variety often have to perform work they’re not terribly proud of.
Whatever the case, those days are far behind Meghan.
And these days, she’s focusing on building a better world for her daughter and the next generation of young women.
“I want our daughter to aspire to be slightly higher,” Meghan said on “Archetypes” this week.
“Yeah, I want my Lili to want to be educated and want to be smart and to pride herself on those things.”
Now, that’s a goal that hopefully even her haters can get behind.