‘Archetypes’: Meghan Markle’s Newest Project

By Ava Mychel Rodriguez ’24

Meghan Markle can now add podcaster to her resumé.

The retired actress, Duchess of Sussex, and former senior member of the royal British family debuted her podcast “Archetypes” August 23.

On Spotify, “Archetypes” is described as “a refreshing and dynamic new podcast where Megan, The Duchess of Sussex dives into the labels that try to hold women back.” Some of these labels include hysteria, diva, and other derogatory terms women are called today.

According to Oxford Languages, the word archetype means “a very typical example of a person or thing.” It is of Latin and Greek Origin.

“Archetypes” is produced by Archewell audio, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s new, audio-first production company. Along with Archewell Audio, there is Archewell Foundations and Archewell Productions.

With an exclusive Spotify partnership, Archewell audio aims to highlight diverse perspectives and voices, while producing shows and podcasts to build community.

“Each of us can change communities. All of us can change the world,” said the Duke and Duchess on their Archewell website.

The first episode of “Archetypes” featured Serena Williams, world-famous tennis player. Titled ‘The Misconception of Ambition with Serena Williams,’ the episode breaks down the alleged “double-standard” the word ambitious has for women in the workplace.

Additionally, the episode includes commentary from Dr. Laura Kray, “a leading expert on gender in the workplace,” according to Spotify.

Markle begins the episode telling a story about when she was eleven years old in Los Angeles. She saw a commercial for a cleaning product which said that just women wash dishes, resulting in boys in her class telling her that women belong in the kitchen.

“When I had seen the ad for Ivory Clear dish washing liquid, and when I heard those boys and their idea for what my future might hold, I knew something was just wrong. And I knew I had to do something about it,” said Markle.

This led a young Markle to go on Nick News to discuss why this did not sit right with her. Additionally, she started writing letters to the most influential people she could think of, such as First Lady at the time, Hillary Clinton, and the President of Proctor & Gamble, owner of Ivory Clear.

Three months later, the commercial was changed from “women” to “people.”

“This experience was also something much bigger, an awakening, to the millions of ways big and small, that our society tries to box women and to hold women back, to tell them who and what they should be,” said Markle.

Markle goes on to reintroduce herself and explain more about her podcast.

“Over the course of the next a dozen episodes, we are going to live inside and rip apart the boxes women have been placed into for generations. Boxes like diva, crazy…they are harsh and are abrasive. And I want to get to the bottom of where they come from, why they have been around for so long, and importantly, how we can move past them,” said the Duchess of Sussex.

The word explained in the first episode was “ambition,” and why that has a negative connotation for women in the workplace. Markle admits that she did not even know ambitious in reference to women was a “harsh” label until she was dating her now husband: Harry, Duke of Sussex.

“What do I think of women who are ambitious? Often, women are definitely put in these boxes when we women are ambitious or when we do have goals. Or when we reach our goals, it is a negative connotation on how we reached the goals,” said Serena Williams.

Released August 30, the second episode of “Archetypes” features Mariah Carey, award-winning singer and the only artist to have topped the Billboard Hot 100 for 87 weeks.

Along with Carey, comedian Amanda Seales and Dr. Mashinka Firunts Hakopian, a scholar of feminist and media studies, are featured in the episode.

With the title, ‘The Duality of Diva with Mariah Carey,’ Carey and Markle discuss the word “diva,” a label that has surrounded Carey in the past.

“Now if anyone could help me see the diva in a new light…it would be the woman who wears this word daily—proudly, unabashedly,” Markle said, referring to Carey.

During the podcast, Carey told a “caught off guard” Markle that the Duchess gives “us diva moments sometimes,” a statement which Carey later clarified on twitter.

“Really enjoyed talking to Duchess and Diva Meghan Markle about ‘The Duality of Diva.’ Yes! I called her a diva, in the most fabulous, gorgeous, and empowering meaning of the word!!!” Carey wrote in a Twitter post.

Although there is currently no set list for the next guest on “Archetypes,” listeners can expect future episodes with celebrities such as Mindy Kaling, Issa Rae, Constance Wu, and Lisa Ling, among others.

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