I’ve been slacking a little lately because work has been so crazy. I finished reading Why Not Me? By Mindy Kaling last week. Let me start by saying “I’ve never seen anything Mindy Kaling has been on”. I know she was on Th Office and I’ve heard of her show The Mindy Project, but I’ve never watched any of it.
In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.
In “How to Look Spectacular: A Starlet’s Confessions,” Kaling gives her tongue-in-cheek secrets for surefire on-camera beauty, (“Your natural hair color may be appropriate for your skin tone, but this isn’t the land of appropriate–this is Hollywood, baby. Out here, a dark-skinned woman’s traditional hair color is honey blonde.”) “Player” tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. (“I had been replaced by a younger model. And now they had matching bangs.”) In “Unlikely Leading Lady,” she muses on America’s fixation with the weight of actresses, (“Most women we see onscreen are either so thin that they’re walking clavicles or so huge that their only scenes involve them breaking furniture.”) And in “Soup Snakes,” Kaling spills some secrets on her relationship with her ex-boyfriend and close friend, B.J. Novak (“I will freely admit: my relationship with B.J. Novak is weird as hell.”)
Mindy turns the anxieties, the glamour, and the celebrations of her second coming-of-age into a laugh-out-loud funny collection of essays that anyone who’s ever been at a turning point in their life or career can relate to. And those who’ve never been at a turning point can skip to the parts where she talks about meeting Bradley Cooper.
I picked this up because I wanted to read something funny. I thought it would be a mix of memoir and fun personal essays but it felt like the opposite. Unless I was missing something since I’ve never watched anything of hers and maybe I missed her humor. Aside from a few anecdotes it wasn’t as funny as I was expecting it to be, but there were some great, memorable quotes, and lessons to be learned in this book. For that you could pick up this book. Not because of the humor, but because of Mindy Kalings relatability. This is the kind of memoir that anyone can pick up and find something that they can relate to. She’s honest about the things she’s been through and includes great anecdotes.
“Work hard, know your shit, show your shit, and then feel entitled. Listen to no one except the two smartest and kindest adults you know, and that doesn’t always mean your parents. If you do that, you will be fine.”
“People get scared when you try to do something, especially when it looks like you’re succeeding. People do not get scared when you’re failing. It calms them. But when you’re winning, it makes them feel like they’re losing or, worse yet, that maybe they should’ve tried to do something too, but now it’s too late. And since they didn’t, they want to stop you. You can’t let them.”
I really loved the quotes above because they’re honest, and real which is one of the things I liked about this book. Mindy Kaling tells her side of the story and shows that not all celebrities are superficial people. She’s a real women and she embraces it. She also motivates everyone reading this book to embrace themselves and flaunt it. If you’re looking for something different to read then pick this up and give it a try. I don’t think it’s for everyone, but you never know until you try.