Mariah Carey is a guest on the latest episode of Archetypes, Meghan Markle’s podcast. The two women bond over being biracial, but also discuss a word that’s been used to describe both of them over the years: diva. Mariah says she doesn’t mind being called that, but she also doesn’t like its negative connotations.
The word originally meant a very talented women, usually in the arts, like an opera singer. Mariah tells Meghan, “People take it as a compliment now, some people, and then some people take it as, ‘Oh, she’s such a diva.'” When Meghan asks her if it’s a compliment or a criticism, Mariah says, “I think it’s both. For me, it’s both.”
Mariah says growing up, she used to hear her mom, who was an opera singer, describe friends as “very much the diva,” so she wasn’t entirely sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing. Of course, she now knows the origin of “diva,” but notes that it’s become an insult in the past 20 years or so.
“It became, like … they mean you’re a successful woman, usually,” she tells Meghan. “But also … a b***h. Like, it’s not O.K. for you to be a boss. It’s not O.K. for you to be a strong woman.” Mariah admits that most of the time, her super-extra diva behavior is “for laughs,” and her fans know it.
When asked by Meghan to describe herself in three words, Mariah doesn’t choose diva. Instead, she says, “Exhausted, angry…yet hopeful … But if I have to describe the whole thing, it’s faith, honestly.”
You can listen to the entire discussion now wherever you get your podcasts.
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