The Apache Pow Wow

Spotlight on Mindy Kaling

Jasmine Oang, Staff Writer


Mindy Kaling started out on The Office as none other than the girly, reality TV obsessed Kelly Kapoor. Since then, she’s become good friends with Oprah, produced a (super amazing fantabulous) show starring herself, and has written multiple books. Not only is Kaling well-accomplished, but she has also repeatedly spoken out about inequality against women of color, women not pertaining to societal standards, and various other political topics. Keep an eye out, because at 38 years old, Mindy Kaling is just getting started.


Talk about a quadruple threat, during her time on The Office, Kaling not only acted and produced, but occasionally wrote and directed episodes as well. Afterwards, she starred in her own show The Mindy Project, the first television sitcom to star an Indian American, which was shown on Fox and then Hulu. In her show, there is a memorable scene in which a white character confronts her and asks if Mindy is sleeping with her boyfriend. However, there are construction workers eavesdropping nearby who step in and ask the white woman if Mindy is bothering her. Shocked, Mindy snaps at the construction worker and tackles the idea of white privilege in the world, because she was the one who should’ve been asked. In another episode, Mindy meets a doctor who asks if she’s a patient or a nurse. Offended, she defends her position as one of the head ob-gyns in the practice after the guy tries to write it off and say he meant it as a compliment. These episodes are but a few examples of the many topics and stereotypes Kaling has tackled, proving that people of color and women are not limited to these stereotypes, but are wrongly confined to these ideals. Aside from television, Kaling has authored various books, one of which is titled Why Not Me?, where she shares her relatable childhood stories and (soon to be relatable) college experiences. She covers topics such as peer approval and why society today feels entitled to achieving such approval. Kaling’s continuous achievements have made her one of the most accomplished and respected women of color.


Her influence has grown so wide, she has spoken at Harvard and is starring the upcoming movies, A Wrinkle In Time and Ocean’s 8. During her Harvard speech, she addressed issues on celebrity influence and how followings in the millions try to imitate and mirror their lifestyles. She notes how celebrities are not certified and some are not even highly educated, warning that Hollywood isn’t the best source of advice. In a way, she’s a rising Oprah. Actually, she’s already friends with Oprah; she and her A Wrinkle In Time costar, Oprah Winfrey, have grown so close that Oprah revealed Kaling’s pregnancy to the world. Oh, did I mention Kaling was a single mom? Kaling is the total inspiration as she’s chosen to leave the father’s name off her daughter’s birth certificate and is proving she owns independence. Let’s face it, Mindy Kaling is basically perfect. She doesn’t like being considered a hero, but she’s definitely a role model.

Photo Courtesy of PARADE.COM

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Spotlight on Mindy Kaling