Why Meghan Markle ‘Started to Sweat’ During Her Diva Discussion with Mariah Carey
On Tuesday, Meghan Markle released the second episode of her Spotify podcast “Archetypes” with guest Mariah Carey.
While their conversation had many references to the term “diva,” at one point, the word had Meghan squirming in her chair.
Carey has been labeled a “diva” throughout her career, and in some ways the word has become a part of her persona.
Meghan noted, “I think that’s really important for people to remember that there might be this persona. And yes, the diva thing we can play into. I mean, it’s not something I connect to. But, it, for you it’s been a huge part of your…"
Mariah quipped, “You give us diva moments sometimes, Meghan.”
Meghan asked, “I do? What kind of diva moments do I give you?”
Mariah replied, “Don’t even act like [you don’t].” She clarified, “A lot of it is the visuals.”
She explained, “Let's pretend that you didn’t — weren’t so beautiful and didn’t have the whole thing and didn’t often have gorgeous ensembles. You wouldn’t get, maybe get as much diva stuff. I don’t care. I’m like, ‘When I can, I’m going to give you diva.’"
Of the negative and positive connotations for the word "diva," Mariah said, "As things evolved [in] the past, whatever, 20 years, it became, like, a diva means you’re a successful woman, usually, but also... a b-i-t-c-h. It’s not OK for you to be a boss. It’s not OK for you to be a strong woman.”
At the end of the podcast, Meghan shared her initial reactions to Mariah’s comments, saying, “So, though my fangirling was tempered today, I um, I kind of think she could tell… But that aside, it was all going swimmingly, I mean really well, until that moment happened, which I don't know about you, but it stopped me in my tracks… when she called me a diva!”
“You couldn't see me, obviously, but I, I started to sweat a little bit," Markle went on. "I started squirming in my chair in this quiet revolt, like, ‘Wait, wait, no, what? How? But? How could you? That's not true, that's not… Why would you say that?’ My mind genuinely was just spinning with what nonsense she must have read or clicked on to make her say that. I just kept thinking, in that moment, ‘Was my girl crush coming to a quick demise? Does she actually not see me?’"
Carey then put Markle at ease when she clarified what she meant. Meghan said, “She must have felt my nervous laughter, and you all would’ve heard it, too. And she jumped right in to make sure I was crystal clear. When she said ‘diva,’ she was talking about the way that I dress, the posture, the clothing, the ‘fabulousness,’ as she sees it. She meant diva as a compliment. But I heard it as a dig. I heard it as the word ‘diva,’ as I think of it."
Meghan elaborated, “But, in that moment, as she explained to me, she meant it as chic, as aspirational. And how one very charged word can mean something different for each of us, it’s mind-blowing to me. And it actually made me realize that in these episodes, as I've opened the door for conversation surrounding the archetypes that try to hold us back, what I hadn't considered was that for some, reclaiming the words is what they feel will propel us forward."
Meghan and Mariah also connected over their biracial upbringings. Carey revealed, “I didn’t fit in. I didn’t fit in. You know, it would be more of the Black area of town or then you could be where my mom chose to live, were the more, the white neighborhoods. And I didn’t fit in anywhere at all.”
Meghan commented, “You were so formative for me. Representation matters so much. But when you are a woman and you don’t see a woman who looks like you somewhere, in a position of power or influence, or even just on the screen… You came onto the scene and [I said], ‘Oh, my gosh, someone kind of looks like me!'”
Meghan also opened up about how “things really shifted” after she started dating Prince Harry. She “started to understand what it was like to be treated like a Black woman,” because before that, she was “treated like a mixed woman.”
Mariah noted, “As a mixed woman, because I always thought it should be okay to say I’m mixed. Like, it should be okay to say that. But people want you to choose. My father’s family is black, so everybody was like, ‘Her father’ is Venezuelan and Black,’ because they didn’t know how to put me in that box. They want to put you in a box and categorize you,” Carey said, adding that her mother is Irish “all the way back to the Blarney Stone.”