I never had an idol – until I met The Duchess of Sussex
Growing up, I never had an idol. There was no one I wanted to be, no one to pin to my wall and worship or dress up as at Halloween.
I absorbed information from everyone and everything, not stopping to idolise an individual human being for too long before moving on. Until I met Meghan Markle.
When I say ‘meet,’ I mean… in my dreams.
Prince Harry’s new wife and soon-to-be mother of his child, is a humanitarian, an advocate for gender equality, and an ethical fashion activist. Long before Meghan turned from celebrity to Princess, she was changing the world in more ways than one.
A large proportion of the world first met Meghan Markle on the popular show, Suits, where she played a leading role as Rachel Zane. Now, picture Rachel Zane, surrounded by smiling children and the vibrant green landscape of Rwanda.
Hugely contrasting to her acting career, in 2016 Meghan Markle visited Rwanda as a Global Ambassador for World Vision. There, she shared and celebrated the work done by World Vision to bring clean water to 1000 people. Meghan emphasised the need for clean water not only for survival but to swap the time spent walking to the well, for education in the classroom.
A true humanitarian, she also visited India in 2017, continuing her advocacy for education, and highlighting her continued drive for gender equality.
Meghan began fighting for gender equality at the age of 11. Another reason why she’d be pinned to my wall if I was a 12-year-old. Meghan disagreed with the use of the term ‘women’ used in a television commercial for a product ‘fighting greasy pots and pans’, and advocated to change it with a letter writing campaign. She won. It was changed to ‘people’.
Meghan’s approach to feminism is one I can get behind. She campaigns for gender equality, rather than a full pendulum swing that places men in bad light.
My mum always taught me: two wrongs do not make a right.
Meghan agrees with my Mum too.
Since 2014, Meghan has been part of the United Nations (UN), acting as the Advocate for Political Participation and Leadership for the UN’s women’s agency. Meghan has been vital in expanding the spotlight on the need for equality between men and women. And then, there’s the ‘Markle Effect’.
The ‘Markle Effect’ has been spreading across the globe like wildfire
Every single garment Meghan touches, is sold out within seconds, regardless of the price point or brand reputation. She’s magic. While some are calling it The Megan Economy, and others are rolling their eyes at the powerful influence of the royal family, I’ve settled on the conclusion that it’s positively world changing. As a species, we love to hero and admire. We’re quick to create celebrities, and adore having role models to look up to. If we’re going to do it anyway, please let it be Meghan Markle.
During Meghan and Harry’s (we’re on first-name basis FYI) adventures to Australia in October 2018, Meghan wore Outland Denim jeans on several occasions. The result: 15 more women were rescued from the sex trade industry in India, and given well paid and fair employment by Outland Denim. Outland Denim use their business as a tool for good and work with women to help them leave the sex trade and find sustainable work within their factory. A few images snapped, and no formal partnership with the brand, turned into a life-changing experience for 15 more people.
The Markle Effect is a real phenomenon.
You’ll see Meghan Markle attempting the Maori language in a suffrage speech in New Zealand, or sporting an ethically made handbag when watching the tennis. She’ll be the first to point out when gender equality is not demonstrated, and the last to stay quiet when those in need are not cared for.
I never thought I’d have an idol, but when I grow up, I want to be Meghan Markle.