Mindy Kaling has shown time and time again that she’s really good at calling out Hollywood stereotypes and double standards in a hilarious and down-to-earth way, and she showed it once more last night when she stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live. One of the things they talked about was Mindy’s recent Vogue spread. In the accompanying interview, she was asked questions about her weight, as is bound to happen when famous women of pretty much any size — but especially those who aren’t thin — get interviewed for anything.
Mindy gave a great answer, basically saying she has things she would change about herself and she’d like to lose weight, but she doesn’t feel the need to be skinny and she also doesn’t obsess over getting to a certain size. But as Mindy tells Jimmy, that choice to not be “skinny” can lead to some weird and pretty rude reactions from people in the form of backhanded compliments. Because, in case you’d somehow forgotten, humans really suck sometimes. Mindy shared a photo of herself on a red carpet in a midriff-baring outfit and says that in addition to getting outright hate about her size, people have also reacted by telling her how incredibly brave she is for looking the way she does.
I see this kind of thing all the time in fashion magazines and on fashion critique shows. Women who aren’t Hollywood thin are spoken about in this condescending “She’s so brave and refreshing” way that basically implies, “She looks so great… for a chubby girl.” Or as Mindy says in her witty way, she “feels comfortable to let herself go and be a fat sea monster.” Far too many articles about average or plus-sized women talk about how they’re “flaunting” or “showing off” or “being proud of” their curves, as if wearing anything other than a shapeless potato sack is as brave as going to war.
And I also think it’s great that Jimmy chimes in to show that it’s not just women who receive these kinds of fake compliments. He heard similar things after he lost weight, with people basically implying that he looked terrible before. Let’s go ahead and get the slow clap started for these two.