Mindy Kaling Talks “Backhanded Compliments,” Being Compared to a “Sea Monster”

Mindy Kaling and Jimmy Kimmel
Mindy Kaling talked to Jimmy Kimmel about the "backhanded compliments" she receives regarding her stance on weight and body image. Randy Holmes/ABC

Fans of Mindy Kaling can always expect her to tell it like it is, but in a March 31 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the Mindy Project star, 34, revealed that sometimes her fans don’t always have the best reactions to her “inspirational” comments. 

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“I am the recipient of a lot of backhanded compliments,” Kaling told Kimmel. “They’ll say, ‘It’s so nice that Mindy Kaling doesn’t feel she needs to subscribe to the ideals of beauty.’ And I’m like, ‘I do subscribe!’ They’re like, ‘It’s so refreshing that Mindy feels comfortable to let herself go and be a fat sea monster.'”

After her interview in Vogue, in which she said, “I never need to be skinny. I don’t want to be skinny. I’m constantly in a state of self-improvement, but I don’t beat myself up over it,” Kaling is frustrated that she gives off the illusion of being a coach potato. 

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“The way they talk about it, it’s like she’s a pioneer because she’s glued to her sofa,” the former Office star continued, speaking about herself in the third person. “By the way, I run and work out, it takes a lot of effort to be a normal slash chubby woman.”

Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling attends “The Mindy Project” event at the 2014 PaleyFest at Dolby Theatre on March 25, 2014 in Hollywood, California. Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

The self-proclaimed “fluctuating size 10” said she struggles with encouraging women to embrace their bodies versus encouraging women to be unhealthy. 

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“You don’t want to be the face of stay-puffed marshmallows,” she quipped. “It’s hard when you’re a narcissistic, vain person, but you also want to be a role model.” 

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