Mindy Kaling is the star, producer and creator of The Mindy Project and after reading her interview in a recent edition of Parade Magazine, it’s not hard to see why audiences love her. We love that there are TV shows which feature A) a woman lead character, and B) a woman of color. It’s all about diversity in our books, as the more women push the boundaries using their intelligence, talent and determination, the better it will be for the young female audiences who look up to them as role models.
Parade Magazine labeled her as ‘thoroughly modern’ and we couldn’t think of a better way to describe the funny, gorgeous, talented chick who also takes her role model status seriously.
She talks about why it is important for her to stand out in an industry where white males are still dominant, both in front and behind the camera.
“There are little Indian girls out there who look up to me, and I never want to belittle the honor of being an inspiration to them. But while I’m talking about why I’m so different, white male show runners get to talk about their art.”
With Kerry Washington being counted as the sole reason for Scandal’s success, Lena Dunham making Girls a cult hit, we are thrilled there is a posse of women that exist in Hollywood who are changing the landscape of what we see. Now, most girls can turn on their TV and see themselves reflected in the characters, and that is a major step forward for the industry. Instead of just existing as an escapist medium where we fantasize about being someone else and looking different, we can now be entertained and be confident about who we are without pressure to conform.
So how does someone like Mindy find her confidence in a competitive industry like Film and Television? First of all, don’t ever ask her about it, because it’s not something she sees as a big issue. She is who she is and doesn’t feel it should be a point of discussion!
“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 we can’t wait for the day where women’s physical appearance and self-esteem isn’t the most prominent thing about them in the media, it’s still great to point out positive role models who aren’t afraid to be different and lead a generation of women to stand up for themselves, rather than just fall for the latest fads.