Actress Meghan Markle has been relatively quiet since it was revealed she's dating Prince Harry, but now she is making her voice heard by writing a brave essay about her biracial identity for Elle UK.
"Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating," she writes, explaining how challenging it was for her growing up. “To describe something as being black and white means it is clearly defined. Yet when your ethnicity is black and white, the dichotomy is not clear.”
In the essay, Markle shares experiences of growing up with an African-American mother and a Caucasian father, including how her mother was always mistaken for her nanny when she was an infant.
However, even when she felt torn between two ethnicities, Markle always had support from her parents. "I can tell you what it was like for me—how they crafted the world around me to make me feel like I wasn't different but special," she says. Embracing both sides of her culture was something Markle’s parents instilled in her early on—her dad even went out of his way to create a mixed race family out of dolls for her.
Perhaps the most powerful piece of wisdom from this essay is when Markle states that she doesn’t want to have a “murky” idea of who she is. “So you make a choice: continue living your life feeling muddled…or you find your identity independent of it,” she writes. “You introduce yourself as who you are, not what color your parents happen to be.”
We definitely recommend reading Markle’s essay in full. She reminds us to never let others dictate who we are and to not confine ourselves to a single label.