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Stephanie is a contributing writer to “The Hudsucker.” By day, she is a teaching assistant at Kumon, attempting to convince young children that 36 is indeed less than 37, but by night, she turns into an intrepid Instagram food photographer.

Why Everyone’s Crushing on Mindy Kaling (And You Should Too)

Image credit: Ari Michelson

Image credit: Ari Michelson

If you’ve paid even the tiniest bit of attention to pop culture in the past decade, then you probably know who Mindy Kaling is. You might know her as chatty, self-centered customer service rep Kelly Kapoor from The Office (although you may not know that she also worked behind-the-scenes as a writer and later executive producer on the show as well). Or maybe you recognize her from The Mindy Project, an uber-charming sitcom/romcom that Mindy herself created and stars in. Or maybe you only know her from Instagram photos where people have strategically placed Mindy’s book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, next to Amy and Tina’s books on their bookshelf to prove that they have really good taste in comedians.

With The Mindy Project in its third season and her Twitter and Instagram accounts gaining followers by the second, there’s no denying that Mindy Kaling is currently blowing up in the zeitgeist right now. “But why?” I hear you asking, with your innocent wide eyes, having somehow remained immune to Mindy’s charm for so long. Well, let me tell you…

She’s pretty much the best role model ever

Image credit: Thos Robinson/Getty Images

One thing that becomes immediately evident when you read Mindy’s book is that she’s very much a believer in working hard and playing hard (but only if you’ve finished all your homework first.) Throughout her life, her studious and go-getter attitude has led to her attending Dartmouth (and in her own words, she “kind of killed it”), co-writing a play that Time would name one of the “Top Ten Theatrical Events of the Year,” and—of course—eventually landing her a job on The Office at age 24 as the only woman on the writing staff.

And even now that she’s on top of the comedy world, brushing elbows with the likes of Amy Poehler and Stephen Colbert, Mindy still takes time to remind her young fans that they should be doing their homework (even if it means that they can’t watch The Mindy Project live). While this kind of sounds like a killjoy move, Mindy does it because she knows how important hard work is, and that you should constantly be aiming to carve out your own path in this world. She’s a self-proclaimed feminist who realizes that even if you’re in a field that fancies you a supporting character, you just need to pick up a pen and write yourself a leading role. Which, naturally, brings us to The Mindy Project.

“The Mindy Project is the best show on television,” says everyone

Image credit: Fox Flash

(Both the quote and the source are very real, because I said so.)

First off, The Mindy Project is just a really good sitcom. It has a strong ensemble cast, from the incredibly versatile Chris Messina as the romantic lead to the goofy charm of Ike Barinholtz as the omnipresent male nurse—to say nothing of how effervescent and irreplaceable Mindy Kaling is in the lead role as Dr. Mindy Lahiri. The show may not have the highest ratings on television, but the small fan following that it has is dedicated and endlessly passionate.

For good reason too, since The Mindy Project is at the top of its game right now. Aside from the hilarious one-liners that the show produces every single episode (“Are you kidding me, a winky face? That’s like, emoji porn!”), it’s rejuvenating the romantic comedy genre with one of the best relationship arcs on television right now.

Mindy’s Show is Really Awesome, Pt. 2

Image credit: Fox Flash

Yes, The Mindy Project really is deserving of not just one, but TWO sections on its awesomeness. Not only is the FOX show an all-around fantastic sitcom, but it’s also bringing some seriously fantastic stuff to television right now—fantastic stuff that television desperately needs more of.

Mindy Project was a groundbreaking show from the moment of its conception; it’s the first American show created by and starring an Asian-American woman, and its realistic depiction of main character Mindy Lahiri is wildly refreshing in a television landscape still filled with white male protagonists. After all, she’s a leading woman who dates as many men as she wants—and in the more-than-capable hands of Mindy Kaling, the writing gives Lahiri sexual agency without shaming her for it. In addition, much has been made about the fact that Lahiri represents a somewhat rare species on television—that of the “female antihero;” a character that exhibits realistic, significant flaws which make her relatably human, yet often results in certain critics painting her as “unlikable” or “obnoxious,” simply due to the fact that she dares to be simultaneously flawed and female.

In interviews, Mindy intentionally avoids speaking about the fact that she’s the first woman of colour to create, write and star in her own show, choosing instead to let her work speak for itself—a luxury that, Mindy has argued, her white male contemporaries will always take for granted. “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,” she said in a 2013 interview with Parade. “But while I’m talking about why I’m so different, white male show runners get to talk about their art.”

Mindy loves and cares about her fans a LOT

Image credit: Mindy Kaling

Aside from the fact that she constantly interacts with her fans on Twitter, answering their questions and faving their Mindy-inspired Halloween costumes, Mindy has shown how much she loves her budding fanbase on multiple occasions. On one such occasion in March, Mindy held a book signing at an NYC Club Monaco on a particularly cold night—and despite her best efforts to stay longer and sign as many books as she could—still left a long line of fans who had waited in the freezing cold for hours without ever getting to meet her.

While any other celebrity might have shrugged it off and figured that they’d done the most that they could, Mindy immediately took to Twitter to express her heartbreak over the situation and messaged dozens of her scorned fans, promising to personally mail each and every one of them a signed copy of her book. (Some say the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day.)

She’s mad charitable, you guys

Image credit: Mike Windle/Getty Images

Mindy Lahiri once claimed that she was “mad charitable” for donating 2 cans of soup to get into a Katy Perry Q&A. While her efforts were definitely commendable, her real-life counterpart is a bit more generous than that.

In 2013, DoSomething.org named Mindy Kaling as one of the top 20 most charitable celebrities for her work with charities such as Girls Inc., a female empowerment nonprofit organization, and LA Food Bank. In the same year, Mindy cemented her charitable status when she celebrated her birthday by asking fans on Twitter to suggest their favourite charities for her to donate to.

Mindy also used her recent exposure to promote a worthy initiative when she spoke alongside Chelsea Clinton at the launch of Google’s Made for Code, a movement aimed at getting more girls involved in computer science—a field heavily dominated by men.

Mindy’s killing the social media game

Image credit: Mindy Kaling

Even if you don’t follow Mindy on Twitter or Instagram, you’ve probably still seen her hilarious thoughts retweeted on your feed or her breathtaking selfies on your Explore page. For as long as Mindy’s been in the public eye, she’s had a reputation for being every girl’s dream best friend—and a quick look at her social media accounts will tell you why.

Whether she’s tweeting about which emojis are the best or joking about Gone Girling herself (Gone Girl is a verb now, did you know that?), Mindy’s twitter reads like the thoughts of that super cool, yet still super approachable girl in your friend group who always knows the funniest thing to say.

Meanwhile, Mindy’s Instagram is a non-stop party filled with high fashion, celebrities, selfies, and McDonald’s. (Sounds like my kind of party, am I right?) With plenty of gorgeous selfies and amusingly self-deprecating captions, Mindy has racked up more than a million adoring followers on the photo-sharing app. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that she often posts tantalizing spoilers of what’s to come on The Mindy Project and aww-worthy pics of romantic dates platonic hang-outs with her long-time BFF, B.J. Novak.

—–

What’s that tingling sensation you feel all over? A sudden, overwhelming appreciation for Mindy Kaling and an uncontrollable urge to follow her on Twitter and Instagram? An insatiable need to watch The Mindy Project every Tuesday night at 9:30pm ET/PT? Join the club, friend. We’ve been waiting for you.

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2 Comments on “Why Everyone’s Crushing on Mindy Kaling (And You Should Too)”

  1. MixIC November 19, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

    Reblogged this on Mixic.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Truth Is Out There: Chatting with Aliza Vellani of “The X-Files” | The Hudsucker - January 22, 2016

    […] If I ever had the chance, I would absolutely love to work with Mindy Kaling. I feel like she would be so much fun to work with and that I would be able to learn so much from […]

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