For whatever reason, I’m not always the hugest fan of Mindy Kaling, but I have to briefly adjust that opinion in order to give her props for the excellent response that she just gave to the ongoing conversation about the fact that she’s one of the first women of color to run her own show.
In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, Mindy is A. female and B. not white, but somehow C. still has her own show on the television screen! And plus she’s D. not the traditional size and shape that people have become comfortable with on the tee-vee. And yet somehow even with all these obstacles to her intelligence and qualifications, she’s still allowed to both write for and star in The Mindy Project! What strange world is this, that has such wonders in it?
I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to rehash each of these details pretty much every time she gives an interview about anything she’s ever done or is planning to do, but that’s the cold hard reality for Mindy, sadly. Anytime anyone has questions about her work, they’re couched in between unnecessary questions about her ethnicity and gender that end up making who she is more important than what she’s made. It must be super annoying. In a new interview with Parade, Mindy talks about her reaction to the (probably well-meaning but ultimately distracting) ongoing conversation about her differences:
“There are little Indian girls out there who look up to me, and I never want to belittle the honor of being an inspiration to them. But while I’m talking about why I’m so different, white male show runners get to talk about their art. I always get asked, ‘Where do you get your confidence?’ I think people are well meaning, but it’s pretty insulting. Because what it means to me is, ‘You, Mindy Kaling, have all the trappings of a very marginalized person. You’re not skinny, you’re not white, you’re a woman. Why on earth would you feel like you’re worth anything?’”
Yes. This forever. Well thought-out, perfectly stated. I love it. Not the fact that it happens, obviously, but the fact that Mindy is able to respond to it so eloquently.
(Image: Apega / WENN.com)