In an interview with NPR, The Office‘s Mindy Kaling, who writes and produces the TV comedy as well as starring as “perpetual teenager” Kelly Kapoor, displayed her unique and subtle understanding of the absurd logic of American pop culture. Among other brash statements, she hails the art of the diet: “We always think of a diet with a big groan. But I think diets are fun. I think it is an American pastime for a lot of women.”
Her honest humor is evident in her book title: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Her essays explore various facets of Hollywood, especially its take on women, which she reduced brilliantly in her New Yorker essay “Flick Chicks: A Guide to Women in the Movies.”
She writes about her struggles and the rarity of being average in Hollywood. She calls herself “the nebulous ‘normal American woman size’ that legions of fashion stylists detest.” She supposes they hate it “because it shows she lacks the discipline to be an ascetic or the confident, sassy abandon to be a total fatty hedonist. They’re like ‘pick a lane.'”
She embraces her nebulous place, writing about her awkward childhood and high school years:
“I can’t believe how little effort my parents put into making me seem like an appealing little girl. I mean I feel like you hear celebrities, they’ll show photos of themselves, and they’re like ‘I can’t believe how unattractive I was.’ And when you really were not an attractive little kid, you do want to be like ‘Oh no no no, I was the real deal. See this photo.’
The full interview with Renee Montagne on NPR’s Morning Edition is here.