Meghan Markle is subverting the labels that hold women back on her podcast Archetypes. One of the terms that Markle often discusses on the show is mother. In a recent episode, the Duchess of Sussex discussed how she wants to be a mom who raises independent kids.
The duchess recently discussed motherhood on the episode “To ‘B’ or Not to ‘B’?” In the podcast, Markle unpacked the word bitch with guest Mellody Hobson, co-CEO of Ariel Investments and chairwoman of Starbucks. As the women discuss how the label holds women back, motherhood becomes center stage.
Braces Helped Teach Hobson Self-Sufficiency
As Markle welcomes Hobson to the show, we’re quickly introduced to the executive’s childhood story. The chairwoman is the youngest of six children, raised by a single mother in Chicago. However, the executive’s mother was very unique.
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“She gave me the hard truths of life with so much love and support,” recalled Hobson. “But she never wanted me to go through life not being prepared for all that would come. So she taught me what to expect as a Black woman and a Black person, and I really do appreciate that aspect of her—I call it ‘brutal pragmatism,’ but with so much love.”
In fact, the chairwoman became self-sufficient thanks to her mother. Even at a young age, she went after what she wanted. In sixth grade, what was the one thing that Hobson desired? Straighter teeth.
“I asked all of my friends who their orthodontist was and called and made an appointment because I had a fang, you know, one of those teeth that sticks up top,” reflected the executive. “It was so awful. I knew I couldn’t go through life like that.”
When the orthodontist told Hobson that braces would cost $2,500, she told the orthodontist that she didn’t have that much money. “He gave me a payment plan,” Hobson recalled. “He gave me a little booklet. And then I went home and told my mom and explained the whole thing to her. And I went back and got braces.”
‘I’ve Really Got To Up My Game With Our Kids’
Meghan Markle responded to the story with a laugh. Impressed with how savvy Hobson was as a sixth grader, the duchess realized she needs to step up her parenting game with her two children—Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1. “I have to rethink my parenting style!” Markle admitted. “Because if that’s what yields you, then I’ve really got to up my game with our kids being self-sufficient.”
“What’s so great about the orthodontist story, specifically, is that if you look at that training that you’re getting by default at 12 or 11 years old, to know that you’re asking for what you need and figuring out a way to get it. And it’s working!” Meghan remarked. “But as you get older, when you’re not this 11 or 12 year old, and you’re growing into a woman—that that same understanding of knowing what you want, asking for what you need—that can sometimes be thrown back in your face, like, as though you’re being ‘difficult’ or something. Pushy.”