Mindy Kaling Would Like the Back-Handed Compliments To Stop, Please & Thank You
We put The Mindy Project creator and star Mindy Kaling in a very weird place as a creative person. A place we don't put a lot of other people in her position — other than, say, Lena Dunham. We expect her to operate on a different plane in terms of diversifying her show because she herself is a brown lady, and we expect her to rep all not-skinny people like that's her full-time job instead of managing her show and the staff of 100+ people who work for her.
This makes things generally very complicated, because as a culture of course representation is important and a responsibility that everybody (not just the people of color and/or not-skinniness) should have — but it also means a lot of people are holding Mindy Kaling up as a hero for simply managing to exist and be visible in a place where she is not the physical norm. And Kaling seems a little baffled by it all.
"Some people were like 'she's just so courageous,'" she told Kimmel. "Like, aren't surgeons courageous?"
She expanded on this earlier in the interview:
Her honesty is refreshing ("It's hard when you're a narcissistic, vain person who wants to be a role model"), and a good reminder: Sometimes, as she says, "it takes a lot of effort to look like a normal/chubby woman." And in no way does that make a person a fat sea monster who we all need to bow down to for her willingness to be seen. Especially when we could just bow down to what she's saying, instead.