The Suits actress, 35, whose mother is African American and father is Caucasian, said that as a child, her family’s varying skin tones didn’t affect her. “I have the most vivid memories of being 7 years old and my mom picking me up from my grandmother’s house,” she told the magazine. “There were the three of us, a family tree in an ombré of mocha next to the caramel complexion of my mom and light-skinned, freckled me. I remember the sense of belonging, having nothing to do with the color of my skin.”
Once she started acting, though, she faced challenges because people couldn’t pinpoint her heritage. “I took an African-American studies class at Northwestern where we explored colorism; it was the first time I could put a name to feeling too light in the black community, too mixed in the white community,” she said. “For castings, I was labeled ‘ethnically ambiguous.’ Was I Latina? Sephardic? ‘Exotic Caucasian’?”
Markle — who is currently dating Prince Harry — explained that she embraces her look and hates when her freckles are covered up in photos. “Add the freckles to the mix and it created quite the conundrum,” she told Allure. “To this day, my pet peeve is when my skin tone is changed and my freckles are airbrushed out of a photo shoot. For all my freckle-faced friends out there, I will share with you something my dad told me when I was younger: ‘A face without freckles is a night without stars.’”
As an insider previously told Us Weekly, Markle is “ready to move away from acting” to focus on her charity work (she’s a global ambassador for World Vision and an advocate for U.N. Women) and her life with Prince Harry. “She’s started thinking of the bigger picture,” the source said.
Another insider added that she’s ready to move across the pond, too. “Meghan feels a move to London is inevitable. It’s not like Harry can uproot!” the source told Us.
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