Meghan Markle Challenged Gender Roles in an Ad at 11 Years Old -- and Made a Big Change

Meghan Markle in 2012
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Giving up her acting career to focus on royal duties and charitable efforts wasn't a big deal for Meghan Markle. The 36-year-old actress has been using her voice to speak out for others since she was a kid. 

At just 11 years old, Markle was responsible for shaking up the advertising industry, after challenging the "sexist" language in an Ivory dish soap commercial, which proclaimed that "women are fighting greasy pots and pans." 

The actress spoke out about the event during a 2015 speech at the UN on International Women's Day, recalling getting upset after two male classmates joked about how women "belong" in the kitchen.

"I remember feeling shocked and angry and also just feeling so hurt. It just wasn't right and something needed to be done," she said, revealing that her father encouraged her to write letters, which she did to "the most powerful people I could think of." 

Markle wrote letters to civil rights lawyer Gloria Allred, then-first lady Hillary Clinton, Nick News anchor Linda Ellerbee and the soap's manufacturer, Procter & Gamble -- which eventually changed the ad to "people are fighting greasy pots and pans." Eleven-year-old Markle also made it on Nick News in 1993, speaking out about the issue. 

"I don’t think it is right for kids to grow up thinking that Mom does everything,” she said in the episode. “If you see something that you don’t like or offended by on television or any other place, write letters and send them to the right people and you can really make a difference, not just for yourself, but for lots of other people.” 

Markle, who announced her engagement to Prince Harry on Monday, attended her first royal engagement with her fiance on Friday. Watch below. 


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