Mindy Kaling: “Why Not Me?”


In Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me?, the comedian riffs on society and on herself in a series of lighthearted essays that resemble a cross between an advice column and a memoir. With titles like “A Perfect Courtship in My Alternate Life” and “4 a.m. Worries”, Kaling draws in readers with relatable anecdotes of her life both pre- and post-celebrity. “This book will take you two days to read. Did you even see the cover? It’s mostly pink. If you’re reading this book every night for months, something is not right.” Despite her self-deprecation and frothy headings, Kaling turns her personal triumphs and pitfalls into universally recognizable narratives of human nature.mindy-why-not-me

Why Not Me? employs the same conversational tone and dry witticism as in her first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns), making readers feel as though they’re sitting down for a long-awaited, satiating conversation with a best friend. Kaling’s myriad essays are speckled with with coy allusions to celebrity friends and scandals, but also offer insightful reflections on her “second coming of age” in Hollywood.

Despite seemingly shallow topics, Kaling uses her refined humor to smartly shed light on cultural trends and phenomena. Kaling shares her disdain for the glamorization of women who are no more than “walking clavicles” while also noting her noble “[attempt] to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever”. Kaling goes on to talk about the heinousness of “small-plate restaurants”, the challenge of making friends as an adult, and her forays into modern day romance.

After entertaining readers with her unfocused musings, she concludes the novel by zeroing in on her motto: Why Not Me? In a nutshell, Kaling remarks on her atypical rise to comedic glory, through which she gleaned the message: if other people pursuing their dreams, why not her? Kaling’s frenetic musings somehow come together to form a poignant, stream-of-consciousness style introspection on Kaling’s past 36 years. Below, a few of Kaling’s more relevant comments, curated with teenagers in mind — except for the last one (hopefully you aren’t feeling particularly vengeful).


Mindy’s Words of Wisdom…


  • “There is no sunrise so beautiful that it is worth waking me up to see it.”


  • “Later, when you’re grown up, you realize you never really get to hang out with your family. You pretty much have only eighteen years to spend with them full time, and that’s it.”


  • “You should know I disagree with a lot of traditional advice. For instance, they say the best revenge is living well. I say it’s acid in the face—who will love them now?”


Follow Kaling’s advice for a fruitful life – sleep in past sunrise (sunsets exist for a reason), enjoy your family, and, well, scratch the revenge advice — just go about life with a “why not me?” outlook.


Grace O’Halloran, Staff Writer

Posted by on October 22, 2015. Filed under Arts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry