“I have the most vivid memories of being seven years old and my mom picking me up from my grandmother’s house,” Markle recalls. “There were the three of us, a family tree in an ombré of mocha next to the caramel complexion of my mom and light-skinned, freckled me. I remember the sense of belonging, having nothing to do with the color of my skin."
The Suits star says it wasn't until she went off to college that she was able to face the feelings she had towards her own ethnicity. "I took an African-American studies class at Northwestern where we explored colorism; it was the first time I could put a name to feeling too light in the black community, too mixed in the white community," she says. "For castings, I was labeled ‘ethnically ambiguous.’ Was I Latina? Sephardic? ‘Exotic Caucasian’?”
Markle says that she still takes issue when her freckles are removed in images. "Add the freckles to the mix and it created quite the conundrum," she adds. “To this day, my pet peeve is when my skin tone is changed and my freckles are airbrushed out of a photo shoot."
She then declares, "For all my freckle-faced friends out there, I will share with you something my dad told me when I was younger: ‘A face without freckles is a night without stars.’”