When I first started seeing Mindy Kaling everywhere I was annoyed, to be honest. One more Hollywood starlet who thinks she can write, act, direct, be a comedian, feminist, and fashionista. I was very, very wrong. Mindy Kaling is, in many ways, the embodiment of things I would like to be. I’m not usually a big fan of comedies, but since I began watching “The Mindy Project” I have certainly converted. She started as a writer/performer on “The Office.” By the time she left, she’d written 24 episodes, directed two episodes, gotten an Emmy nomination, and been promoted from staff writer to executive producer of the hit. There must be a reason my phone autocorrects “Mindy” to “money.”
Mindy Kaling is bright.
She uses her intelligence to be witty, honest, and crazy. Read anything she has written or even watch “The Mindy Project” and you will see her humor and wit shine. It would be easy to dismiss Kaling as another “do it all” woman in Hollywood; another woman writing parts for herself that no one else seems willing to write. Kaling’s characters run the gamut. Some are functionally dysfunctional, some are one-dimensional but all of them have a ring of truth.While I am not always Morgan, with his 45 dogs and borderline stalker personality, sometimes I am unabashedly Morgan. She writes people working in NYC barely scraping by, women unable to find that dream man we’ve been taught is waiting for us at the end of every romantic comedy ever, and men who don’t know what they’ve got till it’s gone. Kaling and her staff of writers make a funny, smart, and complicated show every week that is full of crazy people, has heart and contains people who look like people.
Mindy Kaling is honest.
She is honest about her characters and what has driven her both in her career and personally. She doesn’t sugar coat that life is often hard and loneliness creeps in when you least expect it. Kaling feels real, more like a wacky best friend who tries (and fails) to keep your secrets.
Mindy Kaling is gorgeous.
There is no denying that she does not fit the description of a typical Hollywood starlet. She isn’t a white, blonde, blue-eyed, size-zero ingenue, but anyone who says that she is not beautiful is sadly misled. Mindy (both on the show and off) spouts a confidence with her body and her beauty that is refreshing. Like all of us there are moments of insecurity, like when (character) Mindy Lahiri says she has never let a guy see her naked. It doesn’t come from a place of feeling “less,” it comes from a fear of vulnerability. The truth is, Kaling’s beauty is rarely mentioned in articles about her work and success. Occasionally they touch on how she is an ‘unlikely star,’ but more often than not they let her body of work speak for itself.
Mindy Kaling is fashionable.
She dresses for her size. She uses all the colors of the rainbow, and is not afraid of patterns. I am terrified of patterns. I am scared they will make me look bigger than I am, but Kaling looks gorgeous all the time. She is adventurous not just with clothes, but accessories like shoes and hats, and her good taste extends to her interior design skills. Kaling might not have dreamed up Mindy [Lahiri]’s apartment herself, but she definitely approved it. I would like to take this opportunity to inquire how I might win that magnificent-bright pink NYC loft.
Mindy Kaling is funny.
This might seem obvious, but I was confused by her humor at first until I recognized myself in it while making fun of moments, people, ideas, and celebrities. Kaling is not above making fun of herself or others if it gets her point across. Her humor is intelligent, but not so highbrow that I am lost. She is not afraid to point out problems concerning race and gender in her industry or the world in general and does so with grace (and sex jokes). If you haven’t seen it yet, watch her speech to the graduates of Harvard’s School of Law for a sampling of her humor or pick up her memoir Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns). In fact, Kaling wrote an editorial for “The New Yorker” on romantic comedies in which she lists the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to women in rom-coms.
I’m a Kaling convert, and I hope you are too. These are just some of the reasons that everyone should be hoping to run into her on and become best friends. You know she’s got the best closet, and she’ll keep you laughing—the kind that makes your nonexistent abs hurt—every time you see her. Chances are we won’t be running into her on the street so do the next best thing and read her memoir and watch “The Mindy Project.” You won’t regret it.
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