'Didn't know where I fit in': Meghan Markle tells Mindy Kaling how she grew up as 'ugly duckling' on Spotify podcast
SUSSEX, ENGLAND: Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, opened up about some of her hardships growing up as a "loner." In her recent podcast episode, Meghan revealed she was an "ugly duckling" in high school, and she never had "anyone to sit with" during lunch. She spoke with Mindy Kaling for the third episode of her Spotify podcast 'Archetypes'. The 50-minute podcast was released as the couple flew to Germany for an Invictus Games event, and also saw the two women discuss how men for a long time assumed they were funnier than their female counterparts, and the stigma of being a single woman.
"I grew up always feeling ugly, overweight, othered. And so, with my daughter, I'm always telling her that she's beautiful to the point where my friend B.J. is like, 'You can tell her other compliments,'" the 'Never Have I Ever' creator says, according to the Daily Mail. "Every morning I'm like, 'You're so beautiful,' to the point where that's not healthy either. But I do think that's how we can sort of change things." Meghan empathizes with Kaling's story, saying she was an "ugly duckling" growing up.
She clarified that her looks might have been considered unconventionally beautiful, saying she had "massive frizzy, curly hair and a huge gap in my teeth. I was the smart, one forever and ever and ever and ever and then I sort of grew up." Kaling replies she expected that Markle had been "the hot girl who, like, has her head screwed on right" at school, "because her mom's probably, like, really cool."
The 41-year-old, explained that while at school at the Hollywood Schoolhouse and, later, all-girls Catholic school, Immaculate Heart, in Los Angeles she struggled to fit in with her peers. "I never had anyone to sit with at lunch. I was always a little bit of a loner and really shy and didn't know where I fit in," she explained. "And so I just became, well, I was like, okay then, I'll become the president of the multi-cultural club and the president of sophomore class and the president of this... and French club. And by doing that, I had meetings at lunchtime, so I didn't have to worry about who I would sit with or what I would do because I was always so busy." Kaling responded by saying it's "nice to know" that about Markle. "That makes me very emotional. And that's, I'm happy that people know that because I think people see you and they're like, ‘oh, my gosh,’ like the wedding, the couture fittings for that and this and that. And I think that I certainly didn't know that about you. And it's nice to know."
Kaling then tells Meghan that listening to her recount her experiences of a lonely childhood makes her more easy to relate to, saying that she was "intimidated" by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's apparently "successful" lives before the podcast was recorded. She told the duchess "You do seem so intimidating, your life is together, you're so beautiful." She gushes "And like, even in the Oprah thing is like, 'oh my God, she has chickens?' Who has their s*** together enough to raise chickens and kids? It's nice to know that you were a lonely kid who didn't like necessarily being that way."
Kaling explained her own experience of feeling unattractive while growing up. The comedian characterized herself as a "dark-skinned Indian girl, overweight, glasses, in lily-white suburbs of Boston." "So, I went through high school," she told Markle. "No boyfriends. Heard about my friends kissing, falling in love, losing their virginity. College. Same. Nothing. Always a spectator. Watching things." "By the way, I learned a lot from that," Kaling added. "I learned how to, you know, so many of my shows right now are about young women and longing and feeling horny and feeling rejected. And I've learned a lot from that."
Markle started her acting career with a small role in 'General Hospital'. She went on to appear in shows and movies such as 'Century City', 'CSI: NY' and 'Horrible Bosses'. She is most known for her seven-season stint as Rachel Zane on 'Suits'. In July 2016, she began dating Prince Harry and the two became engaged in November 2017. The couple married in 2018 and share two children together; Archie and Lilibet.