mindy kaling and chris messina

If you follow the media buzz that surrounds Mindy Kaling and her popular sitcom, you’ve probably noticed that she can’t catch a freaking break. Mindy’s talented, she’s successful, she’s respected– and yet every conversation about her work eventually leads back to the fact that she’s not a size two. She’s made it clear that she’s sick of hearing backhanded compliments and other unsolicited comments about her shape, but she can’t escape it. Now her costars are getting dragged into responding for her.

Sometimes it feels like Huff Post Live exists solely for the purpose of making people feel uncomfortable, and this interview with Mindy Project heartthrob Chris Messina certainly accomplishes that goal. Host Ricky Camilleri puts Messina in the unfortunate position of having to answer this question:

Mindy was given this show, she was able to do what she wanted to do, and she cast people around her. She cast handsome faces, because it’s television. And there was a lot of criticism that came to her about casting too handsome of men around her, that it wasn’t realistic. Did you guys ever talk about that? Like, let me just state that I don’t necessarily feel the same way, but that was something that was blogged about.

So basically Messina was asked “Do you think you’re way too hot to be kissing that chubby girl?” Luckily, he chose not to engage. Chris responded,

No, we never discussed that. I think Mindy Kaling’s beautiful, and why not have some handsome guys with her?

Uh, yep. First of all? In the real world, handsome men are sometimes attracted to women who don’t fit the media’s rigid ideal, because handsome men are humans who don’t all have identical taste. Second of all, Mindy is conventionally beautiful. When we make her out to be the token “other” chick, we’re just reinforcing what a teeny tiny percentage of the population can live up to the beauty ideal. Even though Camilleri went on to clarify that he also finds this criticism “absurd,” it was an odd choice to bring it up to begin with.

Luckily, the other hosts quickly directed the conversation to discussing the way no one would ever accuse a man of being too ugly to be with hot women on TV. It’s a really great point– especially considering how often you see the fat-dad-thin-mom trope in basically every family sitcom. I’ll start to entertain this criticism of Mindy Kaling when TV’s portly, balding husbands lose their busty blonde wives.

Via Huff Post / Photo: FOX’s The Mindy Project