News & Runway

Mindy Kaling On What It’s Like to Be a Size 8 Girl in a Size 0 World


This spring, we're rereading creator Mindy Kaling's breezy, fabulous book of essays, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). Ever since her career-making role as Kelly Kapoor on The Office (Kaling was also a writer and director for the show), it's been an open secret: Mindy is hands-down one of the funniest people in show business today. 

And I don't know who you are and how you're feeling this morning, but to us, Kaling is a true female role model, a rarity in Hollywood. There are not many other smart, accomplished high-profile women of color working in entertainment today, and yet Mindy built her wildly successful career not despite her complex, uncategorizable identity but because of it. Both literally and figuratively, Kaling doesn't fit into the sample sizes. 

That last sentence happens to be a partial summary of "When You're Not Skinny, This is What People Want You to Wear," one of the chapters in Kaling's book. At the photoshoot for People magazine's Most Beautiful feature in 2011, Mindy (who was obviously thrilled to be included) realized that apart from a depressing navy sack dress, the stylist had only pulled size 0 gowns. That's about eight sizes down from what Mindy's clothing typically needs to be, for breathing purposes. In the end, Mindy demanded that the beautiful pink dress she wanted to wear be altered on the spot: "The seamstress literally cut open the back of one of the gowns and quickly added about a foot of canvas material to the back, pinned it together, and put it on me. The stylist was near tears at the destruction of the gown, but it fit like a glove—er, a glove that is kind of ugly and makeshift on the back."

You can buy Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) pretty much everywhere (read an excerpt here).

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