We’re pretty obsessed with Mindy Kaling over here at The Gloss. I, for one, have cried throughout multiple episodes of The Mindy Project, and I’m surely not the only one who relates to her never ending frustrations with dating. Naturally, I was stoked to see her on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night, but it made me somewhat sad.
Last week, Mindy appeared in Vogue‘s April “shape” issue looking elegant and gorgeous, but it was the interview that bugged us at the time because as per usual, the whole thing was about her weight. Vogue came off as making Mindy its token “curvy girl,” and that’s an irritating (albeit not unprecedented) disservice to such a successful star. On Jimmy Kimmel, Mindy addressed the feedback she received after stating that she doesn’t “want to be skinny.”
“People were like, ‘That’s so great that you said it,’ and I didn’t think that was so weird. Every woman I know feels that way.”
And remember that lovely Topshop crop top and skirt combo that we totally loved? Apparently, people couldn’t handle that one, either.
“I wear these outfits and stuff. I’m not skinny, but I’m an actor, which…that never happens in the world of regular-sized people and actresses.
I also am the recipient of a lot of backhanded compliments about it, where people are like, ‘It’s so nice that Mindy Kaling doesn’t feel she needs to subscribe to the ideals of beauty that other people do.’ And I’m like, ‘I do subscribe!’ They’re like, ‘It’s so refreshing that Mindy feels comfortable to let herself go and be a fat sea monster.’ By the way, I like run and work out. It takes a lot of effort to look like a normal/chubby woman. The way they talk about it, [it's] like, ‘She’s a pioneer because she’s glued to her sofa.’”
You know, because everybody who’s not very thin must be sitting around eating literal pounds of Cheetos, awaiting its transition into thigh fat.
“Unless you have problems, for most women that’s a nice little area right under your bra. Some people were pretty mean about it, but then some people were like, ‘She’s just so courageous!’ Aren’t surgeons courageous?”
I’m unsure of what she means by “problems” (perhaps a ribcage shaped like spikes?), but I do think it’s absurd to call somebody “courageous” who’s simply putting on a freaking outfit–an expensive, attractive outfit at a fancy event, for that matter. It’s like when everybody calls stars who have recently had kids “brave” for wearing a bikini in public; sorry guys, it may be rad that they are contradicting the tabloids who insist women’s bodies are rarely adequate enough for public exposure, but it’s not “brave.” Brave is running into a house on fire to save your mom’s cats. Brave is being the whistleblower at a powerful organization. Brave is drinking milk and orange juice during breakfast and then going for a jog. Brave is not putting on a freaking crop top. It’s a kind compliment coming from a well-meaning place, but it’s not a productive one.
Mindy asked Kimmel if he ever experienced similar frustrations, to which he replied:
“I get backhanded compliments all the time. Like, ‘Wow, you’ve lost a lot of weight. No, you’ve lost a lot of weight. You were very heavy.
You don’t know how to react because it might be a compliment. You don’t know how to find it wherever it is hidden.”
While people’s hearts are probably in the right place, it isn’t doing much good to continuously note people’s weight as though by simply existing in their bodies, they’re making some bold statement.
Look, I think we can all agree that Mindy Kaling is an awesome, hilarious, witty human being and yes, she is Indian and a woman who isn’t a size 2. She would be awesome, hilarious, and witty if she weren’t Indian, female and over a size 2. We all know these aspects of her life at this point, and considering we also know she has a plethora of intelligent things to say about the world of entertainment, wouldn’t it be nice to just not have every interview and profile be about her appearance?
Anyway, here’s the video. It’s awesome. Give it a watch.