Meghan Markle has opened up about her short time as a briefcase model on NBC’s Deal or No Deal, and said she was “objectified.”
In the latest episode of her new Spotify podcast Archetypes, the Duchess of Sussex spoke about her stint on the show from 2006 to 2007, after she was reminded of the experience after flipping through channels and stumbling across it.
“Like I said, I was thankful for the job, but not for how it made me feel, which was not smart,” she said, perToday. “And by the way, I was surrounded by smart women on that stage with me, but that wasn’t the focus of why we were there. And I would end up leaving with this pit in my stomach knowing that I was so much more than what was being objectified on the stage...I didn’t like feeling forced to be all looks and little substance, and that’s how it felt for me at the time—being reduced to this specific archetype.”
The game show featured Markle and 25 other women walking up and down a lit staircase, and waiting for contestants to call out their numbers as Howie Mandel helped guide them along.
The subject of her latest Oct. 18 podcast episode was “Breaking down ‘The Bimbo’ with Paris Hilton,” in which Markle discussed the labels of “bimbo” and “dumb blonde” with Hilton. The Duchess of Sussex said her Deal or No Deal experience was what made her feel like a bimbo.
“Because there was a very cookie-cutter idea of precisely what we should look like,” she said. “It was solely about beauty and not necessarily about brains.”
She went on to say that during her time on the show, she reflected back on her previous work as an intern at the U.S. embassy in Buenos Aires, where she was respected for her intelligence.
“When I look back at that time, I will never forget this one detail,” she said. “Moments before we’d get onstage, there was a woman who ran the show, and she would be there backstage. And I can still hear her, she couldn’t properly pronounce my last name at the time, and I knew who she was talking to because she would go, ‘Mark-el, suck it in! Mark-el, suck it in!’”
She added, “I ended up quitting the show. I was so much more than what was being objectified on the stage.”
Listen to the full episode below.