In February, Mindy Kaling was one of the hottest celebrities in the media, albeit for perhaps all the wrong reasons. The February edition of Elle magazine featured “Women in Television” and was released with four different covers promoting four different women: Amy Poehler from Parks and Recreation, Zooey Deschanel from New Girl, Allison Williams from Girls, and Mindy Kaling from The Mindy Project.
Despite the fact that Kaling earned 6 Emmy nominations for her work as a writer and producer on The Office and is the first Indian-American woman to have her own show, media pundits weighed-in on the fact that, unlike her fellow television stars, Kaling’s Elle cover was produced in black and white and was a close-up portrait shot instead of a full-body picture.
Kaling quickly took to Twitter to squash the criticisms of the magazine’s choice of covers, stating:
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.
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) January 7, 2014
And if that wasn’t enough to quell those wanting to make a big fuss about Kaling’s plus-sized Hollywood figure, her recent interview with Vogue will most certainly do so.
In the April edition of Vogue magazine, Kaling defends her wardrobe choices when faced with the inherent criticism of being an unconventionally-sized woman for Hollywood standards: “It’s really tempting not to take chances. But I don’t want to be fearful. I don’t want my tombstone to say, she hid her imperfections well on the red carpet.”
So what is Kaling’s advice for women who find themselves facing the same criticisms? “When you’re dealing with volume, you really need to go shopping with friends.”
In September of 2013, Kaling addressed the issues of body image and self-confidence in an interview with Parade magazine:
“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’?”
While Kaling definitely does not lack in the confidence department (going as far as stating that “I feel the same way about clothes as I do about food – I want everything.”), there are still certain aspects of her image that Kaling would like to improve upon: “There’s a whole list of things I would probably change about myself. For example, I’m always trying to lose fifteen pounds…”
The key for Kaling, though, is to not let those small imperfections take control: “But I never need to be skinny. I don’t want to be skinny. I’m constantly in a state of self-improvement, but I don’t beat myself up over it.”
And if all else fails, humor can still win the day, with Kaling stating, “When I’m at my thinnest, I tend to wear things that don’t show off my body. But when I’m bigger, I’ll go body-con, which comes from a place of ‘This is my perimeter, in case you were wondering if I was actually much bigger.’ ”
Season two of Kaling’s show, The Mindy Project, returns to television April 1 on FOX.
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