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Thursday, May 17, 2018

You Have to Watch This Video of 11-Year-Old Meghan Markle on 'Nick News' Fighting Sexism [Updated]

Originally published: Friday, December 01, 2017.

Update (5/17): YouTube has revealed that the YouTube video 'See Meghan Markle on ‘90s Nickelodeon Show After Protesting Sexist Commercial', featuring Meghan Markle on Nick News, is the second most viewed video on the social video platform!

Original article:

Long before she starred in Suits or got engaged to Prince Harry, Meghan Markle was just an average kid—one who just so happened to appear on Nick News as part of her fight for gender equality.


If you didn't catch Markle's appearance at the 2015 UN Women conference detailing this very experience, allow me to get you up to date. When 11-year-old Markle was watching TV advertisements in class as part of a social studies assignment, she was alarmed when a commercial for dishwashing soap proudly asserted that "women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans." She was especially horrified when two boys in her class loudly proclaimed that women "belong" in the kitchen.

Not wanting kids to grow up thinking that "just mom does everything" Markle took up a letter-writing campaign to protest the ad. She wrote to Hillary Clinton, who was First Lady at the time. She wrote to Gloria Allred, the noted civil rights attorney Gloria Allred. She wrote to Procter & Gamble, the manufacturer of the soap. And she wrote to Linda Ellerbee, the host of Nickelodeon's Nick News, the longest-running kids' news show in television history

“If you see something that you don’t like or offended by on television or any other place, write letters and send them to the right people and you can really make a difference, not just for yourself but for lots of other people," Markle said at the time. And her advocacy work paid off—P&G ultimately changed the slogan for their soap to say "people over America are fighting greasy pots and pans."

Inside Edition recently obtained footage of Markle's appearance on the Nickelodeon news show from none other than Linda Ellerbee herself—and even in the '90s, Ellerbee could tell that Markle would go on to do great things.

"It was absolutely clear that this young woman was strong in her beliefs,” she told the nightly news program. “It didn’t matter that she was 11 years old. She believed in women and she believed in her own power and wasn’t afraid to reach out and say, ‘I want my power. I want my rights.'"

Watch Meghan's Nick News appearance in the video below!





Original source: Glamour.

Also, from Inside Edition:

How Meghan Markle Shook the Advertising World as a Young Girl With Letter Challenging Gender Roles

Before she was a royal-to-be, Meghan Markle penned a letter that would have a lasting impact in the advertising world and drew national attention — when she was only in grade school.

As a young girl, Markle was watching television in a classroom with other students when a commercial for Ivory dishwasher soap proclaimed that "women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans."

She took issue with the 'sexist' phrasing, and ultimately decided to do something about it, especially after two male classmates at the time joked about how women “belong” in the kitchen.

"I remember feeling shocked and angry and also just feeling so hurt," Markle said in a 2015 speech at the UN on International Women's Day. "It just wasn't right and something needed to be done."

Her father inspired her to let her voice be heard.

"He encouraged me to write letters, so I did — to the most powerful people I could think of,” she said in the speech.

Inspired by a poster in her bedroom of Rosie the Riveter and the "We can do it!" mantra, the young Markle wrote a letter to the soap's manufacturer, Procter & Gamble; civil rights lawyer Gloria Allred; then-first lady Hillary Clinton and Nick News anchor Linda Ellerbee.

After receiving the letter, Ellerbee sent a camera crew to meet her. And later the commercial was changed to say "people" and not “women.”

“People all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans,” the ad said in its updated version.

Markle spoke about her activism on Nick News in 1993.

"I don’t think it is right for kids to grow up thinking that mom does everything,” Markle said in the episode. “If you see something that you don’t like or offended by on television or any other place, write letters and send them to the right people and you can really make a difference, not just for yourself but for lots of other people.”

Ellerbee, who provided the footage to Inside Edition, isn't surprised that Markle continues to be voice for women all over the world.

"It was absolutely clear that this young woman was strong in her beliefs,” she told Inside Edition. “It didn’t matter that she was 11 years old. She believed in women and she believed in her own power and wasn’t afraid to reach out and say, ‘I want my power. I want my rights.'"

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Also, via The Huffington Post:

Meghan Markle Fought Against Sexist Advertising When She Was 11

She didn’t like a TV commercial that implied only women should do dishes.

Long before Meghan Markle became engaged to Prince Harry, she was a strong advocate against sexist advertising.

Years ago, when the future royal bride was only 11, she drew national attention protesting a commercial for Ivory dishwasher soap that claimed “women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans,” according to Inside Edition.

Markle and other students were watching TV in 1993 when the ad came on. She thought the phrasing was odd since doing the dishes is not exclusively a woman’s chore. Then after two male classmates joked about how women “belong” in the kitchen, she felt obliged to take action, Markle recalled in a 2015 speech to the United Nations.

Markle said her dad advised her to write letters, which she did ― to Procter & Gamble, the maker of Ivory; lawyer Gloria Allred; then-first lady Hillary Clinton; and journalist Linda Ellerbee, who was hosting “Nick News” on Nickelodeon.

A few weeks later, Markle learned that one voice can make an impact. She received letters of encouragement from both Clinton and Allred, according to The Associated Press. And Ellerbee sent a camera crew to her house to interview the tween activist.

“I don’t think it is right for kids to grow up thinking that mom does everything,” Markle told “Nick News,” according to Inside Edition. “If you see something that you don’t like or are offended by on television or any other place, write letters and send them to the right people and you can really make a difference, not just for yourself but for lots of other people.”

Which Markle might have done. Within a month of her letter, Procter & Gamble changed the wording of its ad campaign from “women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans” to “people all over America ...’,” Markle said in that U.N. speech:

It was at that moment that I realized the magnitude of my actions. At the age of 11, I had created my small level of impact by standing up for equality.

The 2015 speech was delivered as part of Markle’s duties as an “advocate for political participation and leadership” for the U.N. women’s agency. Ellerbee isn’t surprised that 11-year-old girl grew up to be an advocate for women’s rights.

“It was absolutely clear that this young woman was strong in her beliefs,” Ellerbee told Inside Edition. “It didn’t matter that she was 11 years old. She believed in women and she believed in her own power and wasn’t afraid to reach out and say, ‘I want my power. I want my rights.’”

Update (21/4): Nick News anchor Linda Ellerbee featured in Meghan Markle: American Princess, a CBS News special exploring the life of Markle, the future wife of Prince Harry, which was broadcast on Friday, April 20, 2018 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

“I knew after that story that this little girl wasn’t going to change,” Ellerbee says. “That she was going to change her world.”

HuffPost reached out to Procter & Gamble to see if Markle’s letter had indeed led it to change the ad’s wording, but the cleaning products giant did not immediately respond.

Meghan Markle will marry Prince Harry on Saturday 19th May 2018 in a marriage ceremony held at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

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