Mindy Kaling is the role model you need


You might know her as ditzy, boy-crazy Kelly Kapoor from The Office, or maybe you occasionally favorite one of her hilarious tweets. But, chances are, you are seriously missing out on all of the Mindy Kaling that you could have in your life. Mindy is an underrated celebrity gem that you should start appreciating. Lucky for you, I have some reasons why you should start loving her and some ways to get your daily dose.

Through her TV show, The Mindy Project, which she created, produces, and stars in, her best-selling book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), and her pop culture presence, Mindy Kaling has quickly become my role model. On all of her amazing platforms, Mindy is relatable, witty, and lovable and displays a wealth of knowledge.

Mindy is a serious inspiration when it comes to self-confidence. She has a way of being confident in perfect combination with some tasteful, self-deprecating humor. On her show, in her book, and in the media Mindy has openly discussed her body image perfectly. She jokingly admits to fluctuating “between chubby and curvy” but doesn’t have an issue with it. It is unbelievably refreshing that she talks about her size so lightly and doesn’t really see why people make such a big deal about it. She doesn’t deny her occasional jealousy over ‘skinny foodies’ but she doesn’t want to be anything other than herself.

Mindy refuses to be seen as an underdog. Part of her appeal is not only her frankness with talking about body image and size, but also how she won’t spend an entire conversation on it because she knows it doesn’t define her in any way. You might remember this time last year when Mindy was one of four women to be featured on the cover of Elle Magazine’s Women in TV issue. People were offended as Mindy’s cover was the only close-up and black and white shot out of the four.

But part of Mindy’s inability to see herself as an underdog involves her ability to take care of herself. She did not need anyone to defend her and didn’t really see a reason that she needed to. When everyone was complaining for her, she handled the situation brilliantly, tweeting “I love my @ELLEmagazine cover. It made me feel glamorous & cool. And if anyone wants to see more of my body, go on thirteen dates with me.”

She has made a point to present herself on and off camera as any other girl. In a poignant interview with Teen Vogue – an audience which seriously could use an idol like Mindy – she advises young girls to love themselves as they are, saying “I have been able to have a fun career and be an on-camera talent and be someone who has boyfriends and love interests and wears nice clothes and those kinds of things without having to be an emaciated stick.” Mindy is confident and cool, not because she sees herself as a unique role model, but because she loves herself as she is.

It was through her book ‘Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)’ that I truly fell in love with Mindy. It is absolutely one of the best books I have ever read. As weird as it might sound, this book spent a few months as one of my best friends. The memoir/observational-essay piece gave me laughs, insight, and some of the greatest advice I have ever received.

First-off, the plethora of behind-the-scenes tidbits from what is arguably the best show of all time, The Office, is reason enough to read it. She shares a lot of stories about the production of the show which started her career with the interesting perspective of a star, writer, director, and producer.

UntitledMindy also provides some pretty hilarious commentary on some otherwise dull topics. Like exercise. She spends an entire chapter of the book describing how the only thing that can get her through a workout is by living out a revenge fantasy. And then she spends the rest of the chapter explaining various revenge fantasies. I listened to this book as an audiobook in the car and I actually caught the attention of the car next to me at a red light by laughing so hard at this chapter.

As much as I loved all of the times that Mindy made me laugh in her book, I also really liked the subtle life advice that she gave. She has amazing input on breakups, being single, and being happy. My favorite advice? “Write your own part. It is the only way I’ve gotten anywhere. It is much harder work, but sometimes you have to take destiny into your own hands. It forces you to think about what your strengths really are, and once you find them, you can showcase them, and no one can stop you.” Seriously? That is like word magic. The girl knows what she is talking about!

If those aren’t enough options to love Mindy, I suggest you watch her show The Mindy Project. The concept of binge-watching a show never really made sense to me until this winter break when I watched all two and a half seasons of ‘The Mindy Project’ in a little over a day. I didn’t even mean to but once I started watching I couldn’t stop! Mindy Kaling plays Dr. Mindy Lahiri, a gynecologist in New York City. If the character’s name wasn’t a big enough clue, Dr. Mindy Lahiri is based off of Mindy herself. The gynecologist career is also a nod to her late mother who had the same profession.

It might not be a surprise that Mindy’s character is hilarious on her self-titled show. Dr. Mindy Lahiri might be one of the most quotable characters on television. She spends every episode dropping relatable truth bombs that resonate with your mutual love of food, pop culture references, and being a bit melodramatic. Mindy does not carry the show alone either; the entire cast is hilarious. My favorite is Morgan, a lovable nurse who captures that creepy and intense humor that you might actually miss from Dwight Schrute.

Mindy Kaling is the role model that every college student needs. She can easily give you advice on body-image, love, and life, and she will make you laugh uncontrollably in the process. Read her book, watch her show, or even just follow her on Twitter. I hope that she will inspire you and help you to smile as much as she has for me!