This is one of the greatest anecdotes ever.
Now that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged, the former Suits actress and UN women’s advocate will have a huge platform to make change.
‘Once you have access or a voice that people are willing to listen to, with that comes a lot of responsibility – which I take seriously’, the 36-year-old explained in her engagement video with Prince harry. ‘The causes that have been important to me, I can focus even more energy on.’
However, it looks like Meghan doesn’t need royal status to make a global difference, with the actress explaining how she was fighting gender stereotypes before she became a teenager.
‘When I was just 11-years-old I unknowingly and somehow accidentally became a female advocate,’ she explained, before recalling an anecdote to the room.
‘I had been in school watching a TV show in elementary school and this commercial came on with the tagline for this dishwashing liquid and the tagline said “Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans”. Two boys from my class said “Yeah, that’s where women belong – in the kitchen”’ she recalled.
‘I remember feeling shocked and angry and also just feeling so hurt,’ Meghan explained. ‘It just wasn’t right and something needed to be done so I went home and I told my dad what had happened and he encouraged me to write letters – so I did – to the most powerful people I could think of. Now my 11 year old self worked out that if I really wanted someone to hear me, then I should write a letter to the First Lady. So off I went scribbling away to our First Lady at the time – Hillary Clinton.’
She continued: ‘I also put pen to paper and I wrote a letter to my news source at the time, Linda Ellerbee, who hosted a kids news programme, and then to powerhouse attorney, Gloria Allred, because even at 11 I wanted to cover all my bases. Finally I wrote to the soap manufacturer – and a few weeks went by and to my surprise I received letters of encouragement from Hillary Clinton, from Linda Ellerbee and from Gloria Allred – it was amazing.’
With cheers and applause from the audience, Meghan continued: ‘The kids news show sent a camera crew to my home to cover the story – and it was roughly a month later when the soap manufacturer – Procter & Gamble – changed the commercial for their ivory clear dishwashing liquid. They changed it from “Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans” to “People all over America”. It was at that moment that I realised the magnitude of my actions – at the age of eleven I had created my small level of impact by standing up for equality.’
Concluding her speech Meghan stated the importance of reminding ‘girls that their small voices are in fact not small at all and that they can affect change. In doing this we remind women that their involvement matters, that they need to become active in their communities, in their local governments, as well as at the highest parliamentary positions. It is just imperative. Women need a seat at the table, they need an invitation to be seated there and in some cases where this isn’t available – you know what, they need to make their own table.’
‘It is said that girls with dreams become women with vision. May we empower each other to carry out such vision because it isn’t enough to simply talk about equality – one must believe in it.’
We didn’t think it was possible to like Meghan Markle more.