Mindy Kaling: ‘I’m always trying to lose 15 pounds but I don’t want to be skinny’

mindy vogue

Mindy Kaling has her first-ever Vogue feature, unfortunately in the April issue (with Kimye on the cover). It’s almost like Anna Wintour just closed her eyes and muttered, “Just put all the fat people I hate in this issue.” Kimye, Kate Upton, and now Mindy. Perhaps she included a photo of Victoria Beckham pregnant too. But, I’m proud of Mindy. She’s deserves to be in Vogue! You can read the Vogue article here, and here are some highlights:

Mindy on her appetite: “I feel the same way about clothes as I do about food. I want everything.”

Trying on clothes in front of Vogue: Kaling emerges from the dressing room in a voluminous printed dress and studies herself in the mirror. “It takes supreme confidence to put this on and not belt it,” she says. “When you’re dealing with volume, you really need to go shopping with friends.” Petite and a fluctuating size 10, Kaling spins a lot of her own body-image issues into The Mindy Project, and much of the humor on the show stems from her awareness that she isn’t a size 2 blonde. Her character seesaws between insecurity and an almost delusional self-confidence, and says things like “I don’t want coffee cake—I’m still full from that chia seed I had last night.”

Self-image: “There’s a whole list of things I would probably change about myself. For example, I’m always trying to lose fifteen pounds. But I never need to be skinny. I don’t want to be skinny. I’m constantly in a state of self-improvement”—she does barre exercise and occasional spin classes—“but I don’t beat myself up over it.”

Dressing rules: “When I’m at my thinnest, I tend to wear things that don’t show off my body. But when I’m bigger, I’ll go body-con, which comes from a place of ‘This is my perimeter, in case you were wondering if I was actually much bigger.’ ”

Not playing it safe: “It’s really tempting not to take chances. But I don’t want to be fearful. I don’t want my tombstone to say, she hid her imperfections well on the red carpet.”

[From Vogue]

The Vogue write-up is actually rather charming, although I don’t think they should have put her size in there. But they compare her to Lucille Ball and Carol Channing, which is pretty awesome for Mindy. I also understand this: “I’m always trying to lose fifteen pounds. But I never need to be skinny. I don’t want to be skinny.” I got to an age where I feel similarly. Would I like to lose some weight? Sure, and I work out and try to eat better. But I no longer think, “Ah, if only I was skinny.” Even when I was at my thinnest… I still wasn’t “skinny.” It’s a pipe dream for me, so I’ve accepted my body for what it is.

CB also sent me this Today interview – Mindy is very cute here.

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Here are some photos of Mindy at Paleyfest earlier this week. Some of you said that Mindy looks like she got lip injections? Maybe? Her lips looked weird in the Today interview too. But her makeup is much too dark here and that outfit is a catastrophe!



Photos courtesy of VOGUE/Norman Jean Roy and PR Photos.

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68 Responses to “Mindy Kaling: ‘I’m always trying to lose 15 pounds but I don’t want to be skinny’”

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  1. lucy2 says:

    I liked that dress if it was a one piece, but no one looks good in crop tops.

    It’d be nice if every interview about Mindy wasn’t about her size or skin color. She’s a very, very talented, funny, and accomplished woman, yet it’s always reduced down to her appearance. She’s a pretty woman and it’s fine to discuss it some, but when that’s all it’s about, it’s a shame because she has a lot to offer.

    • Greata says:


    • Suze says:

      I know – such tedious questions for a smart and talented woman.

      It is Vogue so I expect superficial, though.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      That’s a good point, lucy2. There’s so much I’d like to know about her, but all the interviews focus on her appearance. I know it’s a fashion magazine, but they could go a little deeper.

      • gloaming says:

        I caught the last part of her interview on Opie & Anthony yesterday. She gave a great interview and they responded really well to her.

    • alexc says:

      No matter what women accomplish their looks/age are always commented on. It’s truly ridiculous. They’re always objectified to some degree unless they’re really old, at which point they cease to matter anyway.

    • kimber says:

      Some crop tops/midriff tops are just bad, while others are cute. I think ppl should be really picky when they buy then. I love the late 90s comeback! Enough of the mid 90s boots and bobbed.

  2. Valerie says:

    If you watched the Office you could see how her weight fluctuates constantly. I think she looks good but honey, a size 10? A designer size 10? Well the camera adds 10 lbs so maybe it’s true..

    • Happyhat says:

      Is this like a UK size 10 or a US Size 10? I’m assuming a US size 10, making that around a UK size 14. So yeah, I’d believe it. She holds her weight well.

      I’m the opposite – the smaller I get the tighter my clothes. “Look, look at my ever-slowly shrinking perimeter!!”

      • kri says:

        Her face in those last pics does look different, but that first shot from the Vogue feature…I love it. The angles are great and she looks amazing with all those colors.

    • stellalovejoydiver says:

      If she is really short, then yes size 10 could be accurate.

    • Mandy says:

      I am about the same height as she is, and it looks as though our clothes fit us similarly….and I am a US 12 (maybe even a 14 if it’s something fitted). And I feel like I look pretty good at the moment, curvy and feminine. Judging from pictures she has been fluctuating above a size 10 for some time now…and there is nothing wrong with that, she looks great! I just wish she would be more honest about it, if you are going to say you are a fluctuating 10, why not just say 12? Then we might actually start making some progress in this image obsessed culture!

  3. sally says:

    Finally! A curvy girl in a crop top….rocking it confidently. So while I don’t necessarily love the outfit, I admire that she wore it.

    • Marnie says:

      I’ve never considered wearing a crop top, and I have a similar body type to Mindy’s. However, she makes me want to go on a shopping spree and start having the confidence to wear them. She looks so pretty!

      • Tatjana says:

        She looks horrible in that crop top. Crop tops are horrbile in general, but the only women who could possibly pull them off are 180 cm and 50 kg models.
        Mindy is beautiful, but crop tops ain’t for her.

    • NayeinVA says:

      Finally?….Come to DC in the summer

  4. yogapants says:

    She is talented, funny, and adorable, and I wish Vogue had put her on the cover instead of the-annoying-couple-who-shall-not-be-named. I would have bought the issue–which would have been my first purchase of Vogue ever.

  5. Kiddo says:

    I love the first photo, the colors, saturation and the added contrast in photoshop for effect.

    That’s it, the inevitable skinny vs fat shaming dialogue will ensue shortly. Outta here.

  6. zala says:

    Love the green 2-piece outfit on her!

  7. Charlotte says:

    I have a crush on Mindy. It used to be Kaley Cuoco, but, yeah…. Mindy is my girl crush now. And Sigourney Weaver, obviously.

  8. TG says:

    Wow that Vogue photo is amazing. Mindy is a very pretty woman. I wish she was on the cover as well. That one photo of Mindy is 10 times more interesting to look at than those photos of the gross K Klan.

  9. Cari says:

    I am usually more of a fan of thin bodies, but I think Mindy really carries her shape well. She looks great IMO.

  10. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I think she’s so pretty and talented. That’s it.

    Oh, except I think maybe short, curvy women think crop tops flatter their figures because of the proportions. Not saying they’re wrong, but I just hate to see the return of the crop top.

  11. cro-girl says:

    She’s beautiful. She doesnt look like a size 10 though, I would have put her a bit higher than that. Is that what is meant by “fluctuating ten?” That’s kind of like saying sometimes I am a ten but not right now.

    • megs283 says:

      I took that to mean that sometimes she’s an 8, but sometimes she’s a 12. I consider myself a 14…even though I am squeeeeeeeeeeeezing into my jeans at the moment.

      Last I heard, TMP is returning Tuesday….I CANNOT WAIT!

    • Jay says:

      fluctuating ten means her size is always changing. She’s usually a size ten, but sometimes she goes a bit higher and sometimes a bit lower

      • Andrea says:

        I’m a US size 10, 5’2″ and 170 lbs, since she is maybe taller I would say that is probably about right.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I think size and fit are so inconsistent.. My sister is the same height as Andrea, but weighs less and yet she wears a bigger clothing size. I think WHERE you carry your weight (body shape) makes a difference in the clothing size you end up wearing, and the brand you are buying also makes a difference.

  12. pretty says:

    I don’t think you will be skinny or be perceived as a skinny person even if you lose 15 pounds.

    • cheesecake says:

      I don’t know… it depends!! If you’re 125 pounds, and lose 15, you will look ‘skinny’. But in Mindy’s case, she wouldn’t look terribly skinny!!! I have the same dilemma as her, I must confess!! I want to get rid of my stomach fat and my arm wings, and some thunder thigh action, but I never, ever want to be skinny…. I’m always contradicting myself in that respect. My aim is for Penelope Cruz or Salma Hayek… petite, but curvy!!
      Maybe we perceive ‘skinny’ in different ways??
      Does skinny mean looking like Natalie Portman or Keira Knightly???

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      She said she wants to lose 15 pounds, but she doesn’t need to be skinny. I took that to mean that she would like to be thinner, but knows she would still not be skinny.

  13. Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

    It is boring when people have ‘weight’ issues – after you see Cancer patients – who can barely eat – it gives a different perspective and makes the ‘weight’ issue seem utterly ridiculous.

    • Delta Juliet says:

      You’re not wrong, but the same can be true about many things. This is an interview in a fashion magazine so…..

  14. cerebralmind says:

    She had that beautiful black and white Elle (I think) cover. The only problem I have with Hollywood actresses is when they lie about their size. When she said she was a size 8, I was like B please. You are more like a 12-14. I just wish they wouldn’t lie about it. They should show size diversity in Hollywood. She should show that everyone in Hollywood isn’t a size 2 (and trust me they aren’t that is just a myth). They all aren’t naturally blonde either. If you love food and don’t want to do the things you would need to do to lose those 15 pounds then to me you don’t have the right to complain and hate on your own body or on other women.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      To be realistic though, sizes arent’ all the same. Cheaper lines tend to fit smaller, higher end pieces tend to have a larger fit for the same size.

      Also…I think it is really kind of impossible to determine a person’s dress size by looking at photos of them.

  15. cheesecake says:

    I hear Mindy!! It’s a constant dance between looking like a petite woman, versus a woman with a teenage body!!! I don’t understand those bodies because I’m all about food, and have a tendency to think like a man when I see women around me. I tend to see skinny women and go, “you look frail. You look picky,” and when I see a curvy woman, rocking a dress, I’m on some… Look at that woman!! I guess I got this mentality from my guy cousins growing up!! They all went nuts for curvy girls!!
    But my point being, weight loss is usually a slippery slope to looking skinny and knowing when to stop…

    • cerebralmind says:

      @Cheesecake (I LOVE cheesecake btw) – I get what you’re saying. Everyone has different body types. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to beauty or what men find appealing. Men like variety. Women do also (only when it comes to the opposite sex), but when it comes to our own gender we act like there can ONLY be two types of beauty/body types. The Gwyneth body type or the J-Lo/Beyonce body type and there is more of a variety out there. Some women can’t help if they are shaped like a teenaged boy (especially if they are under 25 years old). This doesn’t make them any less attractive. You just have to do what you feel is best for you. For example…A size 4 is the smallest I would go, and a size 8 would be the largest (unless I got pregnant because that’s different). That is the size range that looks good for me, but everyone is different. This is the beauty of diversity. Women tend to be their own worst critics/enemies.

      • cheesecake says:

        @ cerebralmind… I don’t have a cerebral mind anymore. But I miss it dearly!! MARRY ME!! I hear you!! I definitely hear you!! I don’t know about you, but you nailed it on the head. I personally think that the media has perpetuated this difference between Keira Knightly and Salma Hayek (if you know what I mean). The standard of only two body types plagues most women.
        My question too you, is that would this “two body types” stereotype work with women when it comes to men?? Do we look at skinny men and say, “No way dude, you have the hips of a 14 year old girl” and look at a more stocky man, like Hugh Jackman and say, “Mmmm!! This man is the way”… more so than women?? I’m currently a fat size 2 and a half… Fat being, that last week, i got some internet info which said I’m basically Natalie Portman’s height, and petiteness, but not her size, and because I got flabby arms, a saggy tummy and thunder thighs, I’m obese for my size. I… *kinda* quote ” should go from 125.7 pounds to 110 pounds to be optimal weight.” more or less 15 pounds… But I seriously don’t want to look like I’m 15 (which is how I see Natalie’s body type)
        Do you have a ‘male’ type?? Do women in general have a specific body type??

  16. Ag says:

    i love mindy. that’s all.

  17. Nancy says:

    She’s so great and confident she’s definitely a role model.

  18. raindrop says:

    WTF is going on with all of these high-waisted skirts and crop tops? Assault of the midriff.

  19. HoustonGrl says:

    She’s gorgeous!

  20. Bridget says:

    I find it amazing how many comments on this thread are focusing on whether or not she’s actually a size 10. One of the few women running her own show, and still the best conversation we can come up with is whether or not she’s faking her dress size. I am sad.

    • Mrs. Darcy says:

      To be fair she discusses it herself, here and also in her book, where she says she is normally a size 8. I don’t care what size she is so I wish she wouldn’t (possibly) fib about it. She is unafraid to make herself look unflattering in her show (ex: the ep where her boyfirend puts on her jeans and they are too big, after she has put on his shirt to be cute, is hilarious), while at the same time not using it as THE joke, like Melissa McCarthy has been reduced to. I think she’s great, and she always looks great on her show, but her red carpet is hit or miss. Which she addresses in her book, she has to source/have stuff made, because Hollywood just cannot deal with anyone bigger than a size 2.

  21. Debutante says:

    I think she is so funny and talented. HOWEVER, 90% of the clothes she wears do not flatter her. Girl needs a stylist. If she has one, she needs a different one.

  22. sam says:

    I love Mindy and think she is beautiful and talented. I really hope she didn’t get lip injections! That would make me sad. She doesn’t need anything done.

  23. Reece says:

    Me neither! *takes another bite of cinnamon roll*
    I want those polka dot shoes.

  24. Annie says:

    ZZZZ. It’s like EVERY last celeb these days says “I don’t want to be skinny, I hate skinny.” If a celeb really is teeny tiny then they have to say “I hate being skinny, I’m trying to gain” (even if that’s obviously a lie). Why can’t some celeb say “I wouldn’t hate being skinny” or “I’m thin, I love being thin, I’m not gaining a single pound to please anyone”. Now THAT would actually be something new to hear.

    • cheesecake says:

      Or something controversial…
      I hear you!! And to add too that, my real question is… What is defined as skinny?? Is Penelope Cruz skinny?? Is Natalie Portman skinny?? Is Keira Knightly skinny?? Is Nicole Kidman skinny? Is Halle Berry skinny?? and who so is curvy?? Is Sofia Vergara curvy? Is JLo curvy? Is Rachel Weis curvy, is Kate Winslet curvy, Is Salma Hayek curvy? and so on, and so on… What a grey line we trend between ‘skinny’ and ‘curvy’…
      My question is honestly trying to know, and two pointed.
      Question 1; “What is the standard for ‘skinniness’?”
      Question 2; “Do we as women, have the same criteria for men when it comes too weight-ism?”
      I am asking to know, and not to insult or hurt. This is truly interesting too me!!
      Please reply

      • cerebralmind says:

        @Cheesecake – You are silly. Skinniness varies when it comes to height, age, and body frame (small, medium, and large). If you are 5’3″ and under 30, you can easily be under 125 lbs if you are naturally a small framed woman. As you age you develop and your body fills out (curves), it’s harder to maintain that weight (110-125lbs) as you get older without severely restrictive dieting. You don’t want to do that because it’s no fun AND you can end up doing serious damage to your body and metabolism. Those women who are so strict with their diet by eating too low in calories always end up looking harsher in the face (this makes them look older-something they are trying to avoid with their restrictive dieting). Those same women will run to the dermatologists office or a cosmetic surgeon and get fillers when all they have to do is allow themselves to gain 10-15 lbs (this will also save them a great deal of $). A fuller face makes you look more “youthful”. Also severely restrictive dieting can also make your hair get thinner and in some cases some women have lost their hair.

        If I were you, I would just go by the BMI chart to find out what a healthy weight is for you. At 5’3″ a healthy weight range would be 112lbs (smaller framed side) – 140lbs (larger framed side). Just stay within that range and you’ll be just fine (125.7 lbs means you are within that ‘healthy range’). Don’t hate on your body like that. If you don’t like your flabby arms then you know what you need to do to change that (you don’t need me or anyone else telling you what you have to do).

        I can’t speak for other women. I can only speak for myself. I don’t have the same criteria for men. I’m attracted to different men for different reasons. Sometimes it can be just based on looks alone. Other times it’s personality based. Then there are times it’s both, but I’m not looking at a guy saying “No, his hips are too small” or “No, he’s too skinny”.

      • Annie says:

        @ Cerebralmind – personally I wouldn’t go by bmi charts other than as a *very* crude estimate. BMI pays no attention to frame size, body proportions (eg, longer legged people will always have a lower bmi) or body fat%. I saw a site somewhere that featured real people next to their bmi and it was quite amazing how different people of the exact same bmi, even the same bmi at the same height looked. Some “overweight” individuals were clearly very solid and muscular, yet slim not fat and some “underweight” individuals had a high bodyfat% and looked almost chubby. It wouldn’t surprise me if say, Kate Upton and Keira Knightley had the same bmi. Yet one is known for being skinny and athletic and one for her curves.

        @cheesecake I think males can also suffer from “weightism”. Look at any Justin Bieber thread and you will see a slew of negative comments about his body. (although his recent bratty behaviour and covering said body in awful tattoos invites such negativity of course)

  25. itsetsyou says:

    I’m 5’9″. Sometimes I’m size 4 if I really try. But most of the time I am a 6.

    Whenever I get bigger I can feel it and it’s very uncomfortable – heavy, the clothes don’t fit, I feel yucky.

    Therefore I always wonder how can anyone shorted than me be comfortable in a size 10? I’ve never been a 10 and it sounds like it would be incredibly uncomfortable.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Don’t make me hurt you. Lol it takes all kinds to make the world.

      • Tatjana says:


      • itsetsyou says:

        It takes honesty and discipline to stay a certain size unless you have health problems. I know people who gain weight faster than others so they just watch it more. NOONE is immune to getting fat (unless they have health issues) if they overeat or eat mostly carbs and sugar. I get fat if I do that. So I try to watch it.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        That’s very true – it does take honesty and discipline, unless you’re very young or very lucky. I was just teasing you, I hope you know that.

    • Mean Hannah says:

      Why don’t you try asking the next woman you see who is shorter than you and looks to be about size ten? I’m sure she will enlighten you.

    • lucy2 says:

      You obviously have a smaller frame – it’s what you’re used to. A woman who is shorter and a size 10 is used to that. Everyone is different.

      • itsetsyou says:

        That could be a good explanation. I look more athletic than skinny though, not really thin unless I starve myself

    • Immy says:

      Same here, only 5’2”, size 4-6. When you’re short and start gaining weight, you notice fast, and it feels terrible.

    • kat says:

      I’m 5’9″ and easily a size 10-12-14 depending on the store. It only feels uncomfortable when you know other people are judging you for not being a size 6 because they’re a size 6 so OBVIOUSLY everyone can just magically be a size 6 as well.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        You sound like a very good weight for your height. I bet you’re lovely. There are much more important things in life than being a size 6, and as been demonstrated pretty clearly, being a size 6 doesn’t make you smart, nice, sensitive or fun to be around. If you catch my drift.

  26. idk says:

    Mindy is a pretty open and honest person, I don’t know why anyone here would think she’s lying about her dress size.

    • itsetsyou says:

      she might not even know her exact size, because in the US you can be size 2 in one store and a 6 in another.

  27. T.C. says:

    It’s wonderful to have Mindy in Vogue. She brings a diverse look to a magazine that always goes for the same look and size in women. Go Mindy.

  28. LAK says:

    That lip color isn’t her colour.

    I never like her clothing which I feel is too dark. She’s not a jewel tone person.

  29. JessSaysNo says:

    I am 5’5 and when I was 150 pounds I was a size 10. Mindy is 5’4 so I would think she is 150-155 and looks a lot like I did at that time. When I lost weight before I had a kid and weighed 130, I was a size 6-8 and looked A LOT smaller than Mindy. Face, hips, etc. So there is no way that she is a size 8… I definitely believe she is a size 10 who fluctuates. And a size 10, by the way, I what I think the largest size you can get away with before looking chubby (and I’ve been above and below a 10) AND yes, its lame to talk about her body when she is so accomplished but she loves to talk about it. She loves to mention her size and talk about clothes, fashion, bodies. She makes constant jokes about not being size 2 in her show and in interviews. I think she directs the topics to her body size so of course we are going to follow suit.