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Meghan Markle’s latest episode of the Archetypes podcast is hot! During episode 6, the Duchess of Sussex has a candid conversation with Paris Hilton, where they break down the term “bimbo” and the dumb blonde trope that stuck with the Paris in Love star for most of her career.
At the start of the episode, Meghan reflects on her time on Deal or No Deal in 2006, where she was a briefcase girl. The 41-year-old says that the experience was "fascinating," but she ultimately quit because she wasn’t valued in the way she wanted to be.
"And there were times when I was on set at Deal or No Deal and thinking back to my time when I was working as an intern at the US Embassy in Argentina and Bueno Aires and being in the motorcade with the Secretary of Treasury at the time and being valued specifically for my brain," she says. "Here I was being valued for something quite the opposite. It was solely about beauty and not necessarily about brains."
Meghan admits that while the job provided her benefits and money while she worked as an auditioning actress, she had to leave it.
"I ended up quitting the show," she shares. "Like I said, I was thankful for the job, but not for how it made me feel. Which was, not smart. 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 I was so much more than what was being objectified on the stage."
She continues, "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."
During their conversation, Paris speaks to Meghan about how the words "bimbo" and "dumb blonde" were attached to her from the time she was a teen, to her time on the Simple Life and for the majority of her career.
Paris gets candid about how during her time at boarding school, which she calls "horrific," she created the Barbie persona, because she wanted to live a perfect life outside of the walls of the “abuse” she allegedly suffered at the institution.
"The only thing that kept me going in there was thinking about who I wanted to be and who I wanted to become when I got out of there," Paris shares with Meghan. "Promising myself and saying that I’m going to work so hard and become so successful so that no one will be able to control me again."
She adds, "In there I started building this fantasy life and this kinda Barbie doll character I guess to not think about pain and just to think about unicorns and butterflies and Barbie dolls and pink and sparkles. I don’t know, that was the only thing that kept me going. It was miserable."
Paris adds that she took the character with her during her time on The Simple Life, and throughout her career, because it helped hide all the pain.
However, today at 41, she has overcome that persona and has a new mission and purpose as she speaks out for teens who were sent away and experience trauma at these schools like she says she did.
"It’s been so empowering to really turn my pain into a purpose," she says. "I almost think that God made me go through this and gave me this special gift so that one day I could be the hero that I needed when I was a little girl and help save these children from having to go through the torture that myself and so many others went through."
Paris admits that the work she is doing is to make her future daughter proud.
"It wasn’t a good feeling for people to think of me in a way that I wasn’t. And I’m thinking about having my daughter one day and what I want her to be like," she says. "And I don’t want her to think it’s cool to pretend to be a dumb blonde or dumb herself down for society or anything like that. I want her to feel free to be whoever she wants to be and feel strong and brave and not let the world take that away from her."
Today, Paris is no longer pretending to be the "dumb blonde" and living as herself -- and is happy to focus on her life with her husband, Carter Reum.
“I’ve never been happier in my life,” Paris notes. “I feel so fulfilled. I can’t wait for the next phase. Like starting a family, that’s always been my dream. I just never found the right person that I could trust to do that with. But now that I have, I can’t wait.”