8 Extremely Relatable Moments From Mindy Kaling’s New Book
1. Wanting to be liked
In Mindy’s introduction she explains that she was the needy clingy kid that wanted so desperately to be liked and would bring in a family sized bag of Skittles into school in order for all the other kids to like her. I related to this A LOT because I was that kid too. Maybe I still am. There’s always lots of chat surrounding the age-old debate of whether it’s bad or good that “women want to be liked”, but I think it’s human nature. Then comes the part of deciphering which people you should care about liking you or not, and not letting other people’s opinions get in the way of you living your best life.
Quote from book: “I’ve always put a lot of energy and effort into people liking me. That’s why I’ve never understood the compliment “effortless”. People love to say: “She just walked into a part, charming people with her effortless beauty. What’s wrong with effort, anyway? What about the girl who walked into the party, her determination to please apparent on her eager face? Let’s give her a shot!
2. Having no idea where to put your arms in photos
OK this part of the book really made me laugh. Mindy explains that she learned from Kim Kardashian never to dangle your arms flat next to your body. Fair point. As someone who does lots of photoshoots and big awards night appearances there is probably much more pressure on Mindy than most people. But I think most people struggle with the “what the fuck is my pose” thing in photos. Unless you’re a model, it’s always awkward. So Mindy had figured out her “hand on hip post” and then a mean blogger wrote a blog post about it….and it cracked me up.
Quote from book: “A blogger had been semi-regularly writing mean stuff about me, and this snarky post was called “Mindy Kaling Sure Likes To Pose With Her Hand on Her Hip”. The post contained a bunch of photos of me from a separate red-carpet events with my hand on my hip. When I first saw it, I felt so bad and embarrassed..[..] then I realised it mean absolutely nothing at all. [..] Then I thought, this poor sad guy. I pictured all the time he must have spent scouring through photos of me to find the ones where my hand was on my hip. And when he spotted one, Eureka!, he thought, dragging the image to his desktop while his wife was probably in the other room, watching TV by herself, wondering when he was going to come out of his den.”
3. Getting freak out about being a bridesmaid
Mindy sums up the whole hating “hen dos” thing very well and how weird in general weddings are. I’m not a fan of very fake prissy hen-dos, but then I’ve never been to one, because my mates don’t like that stuff either. You know the type of hen-do I’m talking about. But each to their own.
Quote from book: “Asking a friend to be a bridesmaid is one of the modern paradoxes: no one actually wants to do it, but everyone would be offended if you didn’t ask. [..] Because what people don’t realise is that, when you are bridesmaid, you are required to be a literal maid for the duration of the wedding. [..] This is particularly outrageous because the groomsmen do absolutely nothing.”
4. Breaking up with friends who you don’t like anymore
There’s a part in the book where Mindy decides that her “sorority friends” aren’t really her friends at all. And they’re a bit dull, and they don’t get her sense of humour, and they’re not really her “type”. I relate to this, because I think throughout life you pick up lots and lots of different friends and join different friendship groups but sometimes you realise it’s not right, and you have to phase them out, or tell them you don’t want to be in their “gang” anymore.
Quote from book: “She leaned in and took my hand. ‘We’re just worried that you’re withdrawing from the other sisters. And that maybe you’re depressed?’ So much of college is girls labelling other girls terrible things when thye don’t like their behaviour, but using concerned language so they have a plausible deniability if they get accused of being bitches. […] I was slowly discovering that I had nothing in common with any of these girls except that were all excited to see the Nagano Olympics on TV.”
5. That new friend who makes you feel like a million dollars then disappears
Mindy describes a relationship she had with a friend called Greta who she met a party, a cool care-free creative type who just loved life and loved everyone. She made Mindy new BFF and then disappeared. Mindy soon realised she’d been replaced and Greta had found a new best friend and I know that feeling…it HURTS.
Quote from book: “The sting of being replaced was very painful. Thank God this was pre-Twitter, because I knew I would’ve tweeted a lot angry quotes about betrayal and later deleted them in a worried state. [..] It hurt way more than most breakups I’d had, and we were only friends for a few months. But as any woman reading this will attest to, there are not many relationships more powerful than that of two women who fall fast and deep into a friendship.”
6. Having your work painfully rejected
When Mindy first subtitled the “Untitled Mindy Kaling Project” (obviously which would later end up being The Mindy Kaling Project) she sent it to NBC and it got rejected. We’re ALL be there. Getting rejected, not getting what you want straight away, thinking you’re shit at what you do and then……things slowly working out.
Quote from book: “NBC had passed on my pilot. They didn’t even like it – or me – enough to shoot it with no intention of every picking it up! Where was my pity pilot? I told them I totally understood their decision (I didn’t) and wasn’t surprised (I was surprised), and hung up. Then I sat in my trailer and wept.”
7. Sometimes we give rubbish advice by accident
At a panel event a young girl in the audience asked a question to Mindy “Where do you get your confidence?” Before continuing, Mindy also points out the context of this question (i.e. it wasn’t a white man asking it to be potentially a bit patronising, but a vulnerable young woman who wanted some Mindy advice). Mindy admits to have given a bit of a half-arsed answer, because sometimes she does have to answer the same thing over and over, and sometimes it all loses a bit of meaning. So she dedicates the chapter to that girl in the audience, and I think that is VERY cool.
Quote from book: “My tiredness betrayed me, and i think I said something like ‘Wow, I don’t know. I think it’s from my parents telling me I could do anything.’ [..] She wanted me to give practical advice and I answered in a way that was technically true but did not offer a lot of insight. And everyone had been fine with it. And that really sucks. Because why am I even speaking on panels in the first place? So this essay is for that girl who went out her way to be vulnerable in front of so many people, to whom I gave such a shitty, unhelpful response.”
8. Realising self-confidence comes from doing the work
Mindy mentions the Twitter bio of Kevin Hart which includes the line “everyone wants to be famous but no-one wants to do the work!” She then discusses what confidence means to her, and I love her honest answer that it is about hard work. Believing in yourself, because you’ve worked really fricking hard.
Quote from book: “People talk about confidence without talking about hard work and that’s a mistake [..] I don’t understand how you could have self-confidence if you don’t do the work. I work a lot. Like a lot, a lot. [..] The result of which is that I’m usually hyper-prepared for whatever I set my mind to do, which makes me feel deserving of attention and professional success, when that’s what I’m seeking.”
You can buy Mindy’s book “Why Not Me” now from all good bookstores.
I totally recommend curling up with this book, it will make you snort. While you’re at it, if you haven’t read it already, buy Is “Everyone Hanging Out Without Me” – they are both brilliant.
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