She’s smart, hilarious, stylish, successful, and the star/writer/producer of one of the funniest shows on TV. And today is her 35th birthday!
Here are ten of our favorite bits of wisdom from the oh-so-quotable Mindy Kaling, our wise-cracking, truth-telling, fashion-advice-giving fantasy BFF.
(Oh, and she also happens to rock amazing hair, makeup, and nails on the regular. Just another reason we can’t get enough Mindy.)
1. On high school:
“Teenage girls, please don’t worry about being super popular in high school, or being the best actress in high school, or the best athlete. Not only do people not care about any of that the second you graduate, but when you get older, if you reference your successes in high school too much, it actually makes you look kind of pitiful, like some babbling old Tennessee Williams character with nothing else going on in her current life. What I’ve noticed is that almost no one who was a big star in high school is also a big star later in life. For us overlooked kids, it’s so wonderfully fair.”
2. On enthusiasm:
“Sometimes you just have to put on lip gloss and pretend to be psyched.”
3. On confidence:
“…write your own part. It is the only way I’ve gotten anywhere. It is much harder work, but sometimes you have to take destiny into your own hands. It forces you to think about what your strengths really are, and once you find them, you can showcase them, and no one can stop you.”
4. On friendship:
“One friend with whom you have a lot in common is better than three with whom you struggle to find things to talk about.”
5. On love:
“True love is singing karaoke ‘Under Pressure’ and letting the other person sing the Freddie Mercury part.”
6. On beauty ideals:
“I’m also the recipient of a lot of backhanded compliments about it, where people are like, ‘It’s so nice that Mindy Kaling doesn’t feel she needs to subscribe to the ideals of beauty that other people do.’ 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!’ By the way, I run and work out. It takes a lot of effort to look like a normal/chubby woman.”
7. On waking up early:
“There is no sunrise so beautiful that it is worth waking me up to see it.”
8. On being a role model:
“There are little Indian girls out there who look up to me, and I never want to belittle the honor of being an inspiration to them. But while I’m talking about why I’m so different, white male show runners get to talk about their art. I always get asked, ‘Where do you get your confidence?’ I think people are well meaning, but it’s pretty insulting. Because what it means to me is, ‘You, Mindy Kaling, have all the trappings of a very marginalized person. You’re not skinny, you’re not white, you’re a woman. Why on earth would you feel like you’re worth anything?’”
9. On parties:
“If I’m at a party where I’m not enjoying myself, I will put some cookies in my jacket pocket and leave without saying good-bye.”
10. On flirting:
“When you think a girl looks pretty, say it. But don’t reference the thing that might reveal you are aware of the backstage process: e.g., say, “You look gorgeous tonight,” not “I like how you did your makeup tonight.” Also, a compliment means less if you compliment the thing and not the way the girl is carrying it off. So say, “You look so sexy in those boots,” rather than “Those boots are really cool.” I didn’t make the boots! I don’t care if you like the boots’ design! We are magic to you: you have no idea how we got to look as good as we do.”
Have a favorite Mindy quote that we missed? Share your picks in the comments!