Indian-American actress, producer, and writer Mindy Kaling gets called a lot of things, but "brave" shouldn't be one of them, according to her. She talks to Jimmy Kimmel about backhanded compliments on her weight and why she chooses to wear the clothes she does. Then she gives us a bit of realtalk about how amazing her job and career are so we don't need to pity "Mindy Kaling the sea monster" (if the tabloids had their way!).
Jimmy: You brought a photograph here. Now, why did you bring this photograph? This is a like a red carpet . . .
Mindy: Well, so the thing about the issue . . .
Mindy: Which was so nice, when I got a lot of tweets and nice like . . .
Mindy: . . . "You go girl!" comments and tweets to me because of this interview I did in Vogue, where I said this thing that didn't seem controversial at all to me, which is that I am a woman who am like always trying to lose a little weight, but I don't want to be skinny. And people were like, "That's so great that you said it!" And I didn't think that was so weird. That's like every woman I know feels that way.
Jimmy: Yeah, of course.
Mindy: But it’s like, I don't know. I wear these outfits and stuff.
Jimmy: Uh-huh. Like this.
Mindy: And it’s like this weird, I live in this because I'm not skinny and I'm an actor and that virtually never happens in the world of regular-sized people and actresses and people have latched on and its good, it’s nice, but I also am the recipient of like a lot of, kind of backhanded compliments . . .
Mindy: . . . about it where people are like, "It’s so nice that Mindy Kaling doesn't feel she needs to subscribe to the ideals of beauty that other people do." And I'm like, "I do, subscribe."
They're like, "It’s so refreshing that Mindy feels so comfortable to like let herself go and be a fat sea monster." And I'm like I'm…"I, by the way, I, like, run and work out." It takes a lot of effort to look like a normal/chubby woman.
Like , and…thank you, but I'm not like… the way they talk about is like, "She's a pioneer because she's, she's like glued to her sofa."
Jimmy: You're right. You're right.
Mindy: So this photo, this photo. So I did this new style, you know, showing a little midriff. And unless you have problems, for most women that like a nice little area right under your bra and people were like, "Oh." First of all, some people, mean people, people were pretty mean about it. But then some people were like, "Isn't she's just so courageous?" Aren't surgeons courageous?
Jimmy: You're like a firefighter.
Mindy: Do you face any of that stuff?
Jimmy: Yes, Yes.
Mindy: As a man? You do? That's interesting.
Jimmy: I get backhanded compliments all the time.
Jimmy: And I don't think they're really even compliments. They're backhanded remarks really is what they are. "Wow you've lost a lot of weight!"
"Yeah, well not that much."
"No. You've lost a LOT of weight."
"You were very heavy. You were very, very heavy."
"Ah, I wasn't that heavy. Ah, you know, I, You know I was kind of normal."
"No, no. You, I could see it in your face."
Mindy: Yeah. You're like, "I bought my suits at a regular store." I wasn't like, “I didn't,” yeah.
Jimmy: And it’s kind of like, in a way, you don't know how to react because it might be a compliment. It’s hard to find it in there wherever it is hidden.
Mindy: You know and it’s like I, if I'm like, you know, on my show, I like date guys. It’s a dating show. Trying to find love and if that, like, makes girls feel like, "Oh, you can be normal and get married and have sex," which largely TV tells you can't do, then great. But you also are, like, you know, you don't want to be the face of like Stay Puft marshmallows.
So, I'm just like it’s hard when you're, like, a narcissistic vain person who wants to be a role model. It’s like constantly, yeah.