Both as a mixed-race woman and as someone with freckles, Markle has encountered significant pressure to change her appearance. In a 2017 interview with Allure, she explained that although her family always ensured that she felt confident about her looks, "It was only outside the comforts of home that the world began to challenge those ideals."
After taking an African-American studies class during college, she learned that colorism was why she felt "too light in the black community, too mixed in the white community." Her freckles made the matter even harder to navigate, and they, too, have been subject to much discussion.
As she explained to Allure, "To this day, my pet peeve is when my skin tone is changed and my freckles are airbrushed out of a photo shoot." She embraces her freckles and encourages others to as well. "For all my freckle-faced friends out there," she said, "I will share with you something my dad told me when I was younger: 'A face without freckles is a night without stars.'"
In order to let her natural beauty — including her freckles — shine, she told Birchbox that she only uses foundation in the spots where she really needs it. "I never want to cover my freckles, so we just do a 'wash' of foundation in certain sections instead of over the entire face," she explained.