Prince Harry’s girlfriend describes being labeled ‘ethnically ambiguous’

Prince Harry’s girlfriend, actress Meghan Markle, said she takes issue with how she is sometimes portrayed in front of the camera.

“To this day, my pet peeve is when my skin tone is changed and my freckles are airbrushed out of a photo shoot,” Markle wrote in Allure magazine. “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.’”

Markle, 35, described her freckles as creating “quite the conundrum” for Hollywood casting directors when combined with her biracial skin tone.

The “Suits” star was born to a white father and an African-American mother.

“For castings, I was labeled ‘ethnically ambiguous.’ Was I Latina? Sephardic? Exotic Caucasian’?” she wrote as one of 41 women of color selected by Allure to write about their experiences in the magazine’s April issue. “Add the freckles to the mix and it created quite the conundrum.”

The Northwestern University alumni said it was not until college that she could identify her feelings about her race.

“It was the first time I could put a name to feeling too light in the black community, too mixed in the white community,” Markle wrote of taking an African-American studies class.

Markle, who has been dating Harry, 32, since the summer, has been outspoken about her biracial identity.

She penned an essay for Elle U.K. last year on what it is like to be biracial, writing that she gets asked ,“What are you?” nearly every day of her life.

“To describe something as being black and white means it is clearly defined. Yet when your ethnicity is black and white, the dichotomy is not that clear,” she wrote for Elle U.K. “In fact, it creates a gray area. Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating.”

Markle’s parents, who are divorced, met in the late-1970s on the set of a soap opera and raised Markle in the Los Angeles area.

Markle said she forged ahead by finding her identity “independent” of how other people tried to label her.

“You introduce yourself as who you are, not what color your parents happen to be. You cultivate your life with people who don’t lead with ethnic descriptions such as, ‘That black guy Tom,’ but rather friends who say: ‘You know? Tom, who works at [blah blah] and dates [fill in the blank] girl,'” she wrote for Elle U.K. “You create the identity you want for yourself, just as my ancestors did when they were given their freedom.”

ABC News: Entertainment

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