• Sat, Jan 11 - 10:20 am ET

Mindy Kaling Doesn’t Need You To Defend Her Elle Cover, Okay?

Mindy Kaling David Letterman 1-10-14

Attention all defensive, reading-way-into-things people out there: Mindy Kaling doesn’t need you to defend her Elle  cover, okay? During her appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman last night, she wanted everyone to know that she thought she looked really beautiful on her first fashion magazine cover, and when all of you lit your torches and shook your fist in protest of her close-up, black and white photo, you actually made her feel fat and ugly.  Good job, guys! And it’s not the first time Mindy has had to defend herself.  Ugh.

Like Melissa McCarthy before her, Mindy doesn’t understand what the outrage is all about.  While some might say it’s not right that out of the four female comedians featured as covergirls for Elle‘s February issue, Mindy is the only woman whose entire body isn’t shown.  She is also the only women of color who isn’t actually featured in color, but in black-and-white.  So not only are Elle‘s editors shameful fat-shamers, but now they’re racist bigots, too!  Except Mindy doesn’t think so at all.  And if Mindy doesn’t think so, maybe everyone should calm down, take a deep breath, and stop looking for reasons to be outraged when there aren’t any.

“I didn’t expect this reaction. The shot is of me is like this, showing my face. There was a weird reaction, which was, ‘Does Elle magazine think Mindy’s not skinny enough to show her whole body, standing up from head to toe?’”Oh, I thought [the cover] was nice, but the implication was, ‘What, Elle, you can’t put her big, fat body on the magazine? Why? ‘Cause she’s just fat and gruesome? Why can’t we look at her beautiful fat body?’”

She has a point, you guys. She was probably on a real self-esteem/Photoshop high and then everyone had to go and ruin it by making her over-analyze herself. While I am all about feminism and bringing feminist issues to light, I’m not sure this is one.  I think people have a tendency to find moral outrage in just about anything, when some battles are better left not chosen.  Since Mindy and Lena Dunham are pals, maybe the former can teach the latter to keep her defensive attitude in check. I get the reasoning behind the defensiveness, but sometimes you just need to give your fist a rest.

You can reach this post's author, Cassandra Hough, on twitter.
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  • Elizabeth Alexander

    God Mindy gives such good responses
    And I never understood why everyone got so mad when she treated differently. Couldn’t her differential treatment actually be Better? Because like she said that shot is perfection, and way better than the other covers (imo). Different isn’t always a negative.

  • aCongaLine

    I just love Mindy Kaling. LOVE her.

  • Katy Hearne

    I still just really want to know why Allison Williams got a cover.

    • Cassandra Hough

      AGREED.

    • Katy Hearne

      I mean, all these other women have their own shows & are kind of titans of women in TV. While Allison Williams is fine, she just plays the most boring girl on Girls. (She looked super hot though, so maybe that answers my question)

  • lori

    Honestly, my problem with Mindy’s cover is that it looks like it was wash’t shot to be black and white but rather the decision was made later. The result is that there were too many shades of gray that were too similar. mo

    • lori

      The “mo” was courtesy of the cat who batted a toy onto the keyboard.

  • Cee

    I’m glad she said this. I understand there may be suspicious reasons to why Elle chose to go in that direction only with her photo, but I hate when people, particularly white feminist writers, tell a PoC when to be offended and continue to school them in order to get as offended as they are even though the PoC is not offended. In reality, this “let me tell you AGAIN why you need to be offended!” is much more offensive than the act itself.

    White people, stop white knighting things at times. You can get all the brownie points you want amongst your white friends as to who is offended the most, but at times you are really not helping as much as you think you are, at times you are being the problem.

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