Even though Meghan Markle is dating the world’s most famous royal bachelor, she’s far from Cinderella waiting for a handsome prince to sweep her off her feet.
In fact, the “Suits” star (and girlfriend of Prince Harry), has just written an essay about gender equality for Elle UK, in which she discusses how she developed her commitment to philanthropy.
“My mum raised me to be a global citizen, with eyes open to sometimes harsh realities,” she writes. “My parents came from little so they made a choice to give a lot: buying turkeys for homeless shelters at Thanksgiving, delivering meals to people in hospices, giving spare change to those asking for it.”
She continues: “It’s what I grew up seeing, so it’s what I grew up being: a young adult with a social consciousness to do what I could and speak up when I knew something was wrong.”
In fact, she recalls an incident that occurred when she was just 11 that launched her in her current direction. As she describes it, she and other youngsters were in a classroom when “a dish-washing liquid commercial came on a TV with the tagline, ‘Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans.’ The boys yelled out, ‘Yeah, that’s where women belong. In the kitchen.’ My little, freckled face became red with anger. I went home and wrote letters to feminist civil rights lawyer Gloria Allred, plus a kids’ news program host, and Hillary Clinton [our first lady at the time]. They all pledged support. A few months later, the commercial was changed to ‘People all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans.'”
That’s why she says she’s adamant about using her celebrity to spark change. “With fame comes opportunity, but it also includes responsibility,” she writes, “to advocate and share, to focus less on glass slippers and more on pushing through glass ceilings. And, if I’m lucky enough, to inspire.”