Between shooting Suits and vacationing with Prince Harry and going quiet on social media, Meghan Markle is mostly MIA these days. She hasn’t done many interviews or writing for magazines since her relationship with Harry became public, but now she’s taken to Glamour to write about her Top 10 list of her most inspirational women.
The piece is done in list form, where Meghan writes why she chose each woman. I’ve edited Glamour’s formatting slightly here, but the words are direct quotes.
“1. Dian Fossey (Primatologist) – Two years ago, when I was in Rwanda, I made it my mission to see the mountain gorillas [protected by the Fossey Fund]. If it weren’t for her, these animals could be extinct.
“2. Bonnie Hammer (Chairman, NBCUniversal; Cable Entertainment Group) – My character on Suits wasn’t written as a biracial freckled girl, but Bonnie has always been committed to color-blind casting. It’s one thing to have respect for your boss, but it’s another to have the kind of respect that comes with feeling comfortable.
“3. Rosie the Riveter (World War II icon) – Growing up, I had a poster in my room of Rosie flexing her biceps. When I was in grade school, I saw this sexist commercial for dish soap. With Rosie’s ‘We can do it!’ mantra in mind, I wrote a letter to Procter & Gamble, Hillary Clinton, and Nick News anchor Linda Ellerbee, who sent a camera crew to meet me. Guess what? They changed the commercial.
“4. Madeleine Albright (Former U.S. Secretary of State) – I double majored with inter- national relations as one of my concentrations at Northwestern, so I’ve always been drawn to that world. Albright was the first female secretary of state for the U.S., the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., an author, and a mom—and she seemingly juggled it all with finesse.
“5. Joni Mitchell (Musician) – I travel so much for work, press, and life that anytime I land back at LAX, Joni Mitchell’s ‘California’ plays in my head. It’s become this anthem of happiness for me whenever I’m feeling homesick.
“6. Alice Waters (Chef and food activist) – When Alice Waters opened [her Berkeley, California, restaurant] Chez Panisse, locally grown, seasonal food was not the norm. So much of the way that I approach eating and cooking is because of her.
“7. Julia Roberts (Actress) – She was the first person I saw onscreen and thought, That looks like so much fun; I wanna do that. When I was younger, someone once told me, ‘You kind of look like Julia Roberts in profile.’ It was the best compliment of all time.
“8. Toni Morrison (Novelist) – In college I took a class on the works of Toni Morrison. The first time I read The Bluest Eye, I thought, Wow! She creates this world for you that you get to feel a part of.
“9. Suhani Jalota (Entrepreneur) – Suhani, whom I met at Glamour’s 2016 College Women of the Year awards luncheon awards luncheon, started Myna Mahila Foundation [a network of women who make and sell sanitary products in India]. I’m incredibly moved by someone who is so eager to help change the lives of others, especially women.
“10. Doria Ragland (My mother) – My mom’s a yoga instructor, but she does social work, as well, and she works specifically with the geriatric community. For me to watch this level of life-long sensitivity to nurturing and caregiving, but at the same time my mom has always been a free spirit. She’s got dread locks and a nose ring. She just ran the LA Marathon. We can just have so much fun together, and yet, I’ll still find so much solace in her support. That duality coexists the same way it would in a best friend.”
One’s top 10 inspirational people list can be very telling about who one is, or at least who one wants other people to think one is. For example, my top 10 inspirational women list would be very different from Meghan’s, consisting mostly of JK Rowling and Agatha Christie.
From what I know about Meghan, she has all of her bases covered in this list, and is reiterating the image she’s been cultivating for years: Africa; Suits; that soap commercial story she keeps repeating; her international relations double major; that she’s from Los Angeles; sustainable, organic food; acting in general; women in India; her mom. The only topic that I wouldn’t have predicted is Toni Morrison’s work.
I’m not sure why this list was published now, but the the article did plug the 100th episode of Suits that airs on August 30th, so maybe this is just promotion for Suits.