It will never fail to amuse me to watch the reactions to the Duchess of Sussex speaking about her lived experiences. Invariably, the reaction tends to be “how dare she speak about something that happened to her!” So it is this week, with Meghan’s Archetypes podcast, “Breaking Down the Bimbo with Paris Hilton.” At the beginning of the episode, Meghan spoke about her time as a Briefcase Girl on Deal or No Deal. Meghan doesn’t slam the experience at all, and she acknowledges that the job got her into the SAG union, it paid her bills and got her union health insurance. But she did feel like she was just supposed to be a glossy bimbo with a briefcase:
The former Suits actress said that before tapings of the show, the models would line up for different stations: lashes, extensions, bra padding. The women were also given spray tan vouchers every week.
“There was a very cookie-cutter idea of precisely what we should look like. It was solely about beauty — and not necessarily about brains,” Meghan said.
“When I look back at that time, I’ll never forget this one detail — because moments before we’d get on stage, there was a woman who ran the show and she’d be there backstage, and I can still hear her. She couldn’t properly pronounce my last name at the time and I knew who she was talking to because she’d go, ‘Markle, suck it in! Markle, suck it in!’”
The Duchess of Sussex said she eventually quit the show: “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. I would end up leaving with this pit in my stomach knowing that I was so much more than what was being objectified on the stage. I didn’t like being 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.”
This part gave me a flashback to Gloria Steinem’s groundbreaking undercover journalism as a Playboy bunny, infamously called “A Bunny’s Tale.” It’s Meghan talking about what it was like to be an educated, intelligent woman who was being told by society that she was just a pretty face. Anyway, one of Meghan’s former Deal or No Deal coworkers decided to chime in. Claudia Jordan (who was also on RHOA) posted this on her IG Stories:
Claudia Jordan, former star of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, is opening up about her own experience on the Deal or No Deal set after Meghan Markle claimed they treated her like a bimbo.
“Flor clarity — yes getting a modeling gig on a game show isn’t necessarily about your intellect but every show the executive producers picked five models with the most outgoing and fun personalities to place mics on who they knew would engage with the contestants,” Jordan shared on her Instagram Stories. In a second post she continued, “And Deal or No Deal never treated us like bimbos. We got so many opportunities because of that show.”
“That’s the kind of opportunity that is what you make it. If you just show up and don’t engage then you’ll just get your check and not get much out of it but if you show up and seize your moments then there’s no limits to what you can do with the opportunity,” she added.
Jordan she enjoyed her “experience working on Deal or No Deal” as it was a good opportunity in her career and helped her pay “all her bills.”
She also clarified that her response was not an “attack on Meghan cause Lord knows I’ve been defending this woman in the media for years and I still will but I just didn’t want any misunderstanding about the climate and environment on the Deal or No Deal set.” Jordan said she was “especially protective of Howie Mandel who was nothing but kind and respectful to all 26 of us.”
Yeah… and that’s similar to what Meghan said too? Meghan was grateful for the paycheck and it wasn’t really a “diss” of the people who worked on the show. Did Jordan actually listen to the pod? It’s weird. Anyway, Jordan thinks that the show was great and it gave her a lot of opportunities. Good for her, truly! Meghan disagreed. Good for her.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.