Mindy Kaling smiling

Mindy Kaling.

You may know her as Kelly Kapoor from The Office or Mindy Lahiri from The Mindy Project? Or maybe you caught her latest film ‘Late Night’ starring the legendary Emma Thompson.

Her candid nature and sense of humor has made her one of the most influential women of our time

However you may know her, it’s time you got to know her a little more because her story is truly inspiring.

Back Story

mindy kaling at an event

A second generation American Indian, Mindy Kaling grew up in Massachusetts and was raised by her mother Dr. Swati Chokalingam who was an OB/GYN (just like Mindy’s character on the Mindy Project) and her dad Avu Chokalingam an Architect. She has an older brother Vijay Chokalingam who works as an Education Consultant.

According to her book “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” Mindy was always chubby. Her mother was from India and had lived in Africa. She had been privy to many cases of malnutrition and prided herself in not having a skinny daughter.

From a young age Mindy, much like her character on her show was obsessed with celebrities and most importantly comedy. Her weekends were spent watching old comedy films and SNL skits etc with her friends who shared the same interests.

Her first claim to fame came in 2002 when ‘Matt and Ben’, a play she co-wrote with her friend Brenda Withers, about how best friends Matt Damon and Ben Affleck came up with the idea of the popular film “Good Will Hunting”. As crazy as the concept seems it was equally hilarious and was even named Time Magazine’s, “Top 10 Theatrical Events of The Year”.

mindy kaling at an event

In 2004, Mindy Kaling was hired as a writer for the hit U.S. T.V. show ‘The Office’. All my Office Fans leave a comment below.

She then debuted as the Customer Care Specialist, Kelly Kapoor from the second episode “Diversity Day”. She has directed several episodes of The Office. Mindy was nominated for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series with her co-writer Daniels for the episode, “Niagara”, which is one of my favourite episodes on any series ever (if you know you know, no spoilers). She also signed on as an executive producer in the last few seasons of the show.

the mindy project

She then conceptualized her own T.V. show ‘The Mindy Project’ where she played the starring role of Mindy Kaling an OB/GYN in New York City exploring love and the city.

Other than her hilarious and entertaining characters on television she has also graced the big screen in many great films including The 40 Year Old Virgin, Wreck-It Ralph, A Wrinkle In Time, No Strings Attached, The Five Year Engagement, Oceans 8 and Late Night.

Kaling was also named as one of Time’s Most Influential People in 2012, and one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year in 2014.

mindy in late night

You might be thinking after reading all this that she really is an amazing person, truly inspiring, but her hilarious wit and acting isn’t what makes me love her and name her one of my favorite Success Stories.

It’s her self confidence and how outspoken she is about body positivity.

She doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk as well.

What is self-confidence?

mindy kaling in an interview

Merriam-Webster defines self-confidence as ‘one’s confidence in oneself and one’s own powers and abilities.’ Being self-confident allows you to take up space when people try to bring you down. It makes you self-reliant and self-assured.

Being self-confident is important to every single one of us. It allows us to ask for the things we deserve, get the jobs we want and make opportunities for ourselves.

Self-confidence is allowing ourselves to be who we want to be and be sure of who that is. Not changing our personalities according to the people we hang out with.

Check out this video by Women in the World on “Confidence according to Mindy Lahiri in The Mindy Project.”

What is body positivity?

Body positivity is accepting your body and others as they are. Not hating on your body or others, not being demeaning, not trying to change it any way shape or form. #AllBodiesAreBeautiful

Check out this video  by Health Magazine of 9 times Mindy Kaling was a Body Positive Icon

Mindy Kaling, Self Confidence and Body Positivity

For many of us, self-confidence is a life long journey. One that would take years of searching within, getting rid of fears and not worrying about what others think.

Mindy Kaling told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb at the Glamour Summit, “It’s that I don’t hate myself. In my career, a lot of people have a problem with being around women who don’t hate themselves. Never hate yourself.”

According to Mindy, and I am paraphrasing here, self-confidence comes from putting in the work and being proud of it. People expect you to be down on yourself and not to talk about all the great things you have done but have you ever thought why?

mindy kaling at an event

It’s unnecessarily negative. Your brain keeps getting conditioned to put yourself down so you are never able to lift yourself up to be self-confident.

I consider body positivity to be a sister or at least a first cousin of self-confidence and I honestly believe that if people were self-confident in how they looked and their work, they wouldn’t feel the need to body shame others or hate on themselves.

Realizing that what you have to offer is just as important as anyone else is a key factor in self-confidence. Anything you set your mind to you can make it happen, but not if you don’t put in the work.

Don’t shy away from celebrating your wins and being proud of your accomplishments. So what if you come across as a little into yourself (as Mindy has a few times in her life) at least you know you don’t hate yourself.

Going full Mean Girls and picking out your flaws in front of a mirror isn’t helping anyone. Be you, do you and do both of that well.

Mindy Kaling has a lot to say about self-confidence. The short version is I got it from my mama, but the long version is to believe that you deserve everything you want and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.


I would like to leave you with this video of Mindy Kaling’s speech to graduates. She gets candid about checklists we all make in our 20s and how to be realistic about them. I hope you know this icon living a little bit better now, and understand how important it is to be confident in your abilities and love yourself to the fullest.

Follow us @thepurpleglitchblog for inspiring content like this. See you next week!

I do not own any of the pictures or videos in the blog post.