Each week, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Cut fashion-issue cover star, is dropping new episodes of her new-ish podcast, Archetypes, sitting down with women to discuss a word that has been used to denigrate women and their accomplishments.
This week, Meghan invited Mariah Carey to unpack the word “diva.” The most revealing parts of the conversation centered around their experiences as “light-skinned” biracial women, and how things shifted when they hit a certain level of fame. Looking back to when she first identified with Carey as a biracial woman, Meghan said, “I had read this article about Halle Berry, and they were asking her how she felt being treated as a mixed-race woman in the world. And her response was her saying, ‘Well, your experience through the world is how people view you.’ So, she said because she was darker in color, she was being treated as a Black woman, not as a mixed woman.”
The podcast host added that for years, she felt she existed in an “in-between” zone. “You’re not treated as a Black woman. You’re not treated as a white woman,” she explained, adding that she felt the perception of her ethnicity shift when she started dating her husband, Prince Harry. “Then I started to understand what it was like to be treated like a Black woman. Because up until then, I had been treated as a mixed woman. And things really shifted,” she said.
“That’s an interesting thing — a mixed woman,” Carey responded. “Because I always thought it should be okay to say, ‘I’m mixed.’ It should be okay to say that, but people want you to choose.”
The two did eventually go back to discussing the diva label, which ended up putting Meghan in an awkward position. “You give us diva moments sometimes, Meghan,” Carey said. Meghan seemed a bit confused: “What kind of diva moments do I give you?” Later in her outro, Meghan admitted she “started to sweat a little bit” until she realized Carey meant it as a compliment. “When she said ‘diva,’ she was talking about the way that I dress, the posture, the clothing, the quote-unquote fabulousness as she sees it. She meant diva as a compliment. But I heard it as a dig.”
Being called a diva by the Mariah Carey? Sounds like heaven to me.