Strong Is Her Sexy: Mindy Kaling Makes Her Mark on TV

Strong is Her Sexy highlights the achievements of inspiring women doing inspiring work
and demonstrating their inner strength and beauty.

Mindy Kaling at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards red carpet

Mindy Kaling at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards red carpet

Mindy Kaling is best known for her role as Kelly Kappor on the NBC comedy The Office.  Today, Kaling is the creator, writer, producer and star of the Fox hit, The Mindy Project, currently in its third season.

Her character, Mindy Lahiri, is a bubbly, charismatic obstetrician/gynecologist who tries to balance work, friends, and her love life while living in New York City.

Dr. Lahiri is a modern day Lucille Ball who loves pop culture, great food, and her job, and is a hopeless romantic. On the surface, Lahiri seems like the ordinary female lead in a sitcom. But what sets her apart is her confidence, her ability to embrace her flaws, her unapologetic views and her fearlessness in all aspects of her life.

Unlike many stereotypes of female characters, Lahiri isn’t a timid, gentle soul. She is loud, sassy and doesn’t fit into the preconceived notion that women need to be thin to be sexy or confident.

Kaling wouldn’t have it any other way. In her interview with Glamour, Kaling stated “I am a feminist. So if that leaks into every episode of the show, I (a) like it and (b) don’t do it on a conscious level. That’s just our standpoint.”

Like her character, Mindy is the daughter of immigrants. Her father is an architect, and her mother was an obstetrician/gynecologist like her on-screen character.

Before joining The Office at the age of 24 as a writer, co-executive producer and actress, Kaling attended Dartmouth, where she majored in Playwriting.  She also wrote for the Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern, the school’s humor magazine, and was a member of the improvisational comedy troupe The Dog Day Players.

Kaling is the first Indian-American to create and star in her own television show.  She realizes that this honor comes with its own responsibility.

“It’s my responsibility to try to encourage groups that don’t get represented,” Kaling said in her Glamour interview. “I can’t just hire willy-nilly. It’s important for me to have our eight female writers because my show is about women.”

Off-screen, Kaling supports many charities, including Pancan.org, an organization that helps people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer along their caregivers.  Kaling’s mother died from pancreatic cancer in 2012. She is also the spokesperson for Google’s Made With Code initiative, a project dedicated to getting young women interested in programming.

As a well-known comedienne, Kaling has enjoyed social media fame – nearly 3.5 million Twitter followers and 1.2 million on Instagram, where she showcases her wit, style, and slices of her life.

My rad new socks from @popphysique make it worth me trying to touch my toes. #tucktucktuck

A photo posted by Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) on Oct 10, 2014 at 1:33pm PDT

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

In an industry still dominated by men, Kaling’s success as an author, writer and producer, gives hope to young women everywhere.  Kaling continues to carve out her own path on her own terms using comedy as a platform to fight stereotypes about women, minorities and relationships.

In her acceptance speech for Glamour Woman of the Year 2014, Kaling shared her wishes for the future. “I long for the day when it is no longer groundbreaking to be an Indian-American woman with her own TV show. I long for the time when there are so many women that look like me, that I don’t have to be a model minority. I can just be a model that is also a minority.”

Jackie is an Ohio native who recently moved to Monterey, California. A former Spanish teacher, Jackie is now pursuing her dream of working in television. When she’s not blogging or writing, she loves to travel with her husband, work out, spend time with their three dogs, and soak up as much sunshine as possible. Jackie is happiest when she is being active. To follow her natural hair journey and other adventures, check out her blog. Got a question for Jackie? Write to writers@strongisoursexy.com.

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