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Mindy Kaling

Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

For Mindy Kaling, being called "real" is not a compliment.

In her second book, Why Not Me?, the Mindy Project star writes (as excerpted by the U.K.'s Guardian), "I don't want to be real! When I think of things that are 'real', I think of income taxes and Putin['s invasion of Ukraine. Real is bad! I want fantasy!"

In reality, though, Mindy "absolutely [does] try to conform to normal standards of beauty," she writes, joking, "I am just not remotely successful at it."

In Why Not Me, Mindy clarifies that she "never want(s) to be part of the problem," adding, "I want to always be as body-positive as girls hope that I am."

The 36-year-old comedienne and show runner tries to be body-positive for herself, too. As she tells The Guardian, "Insults about the way I look can't be the thing that harms me and my heart the most. It has to harm me the least."

"If I have a daughter, I'm going to tell her that," she continues. "Far too many women are much more hurt by being called fat or ugly than they are by being called not smart, or not a leader. If someone told me that I was stupid or that I wasn't a leader, or that I wasn't witty or quick or perceptive, I'd be devastated. If someone told me that I had a gross body, I'd say, 'Well, it's bringing me a lot of happiness.' Like, I'm having a fine time of it. Having my priorities aligned like that has helped me have a happier life, I think."

Something else that's made Mindy's life happier is her longtime friendship with B.J. Novak. The former Office co-stars dated in the past, and there are entire fandoms hoping the twosome will eventually end up together.  

"When people say that, it makes me feel so cool," Mindy tells The Guardian. "Like, oh, people are thinking about me like I'm a character."

Don't start shipping Mindy and B.J. too hard just yet, though—they're "different" and "fight a lot," she says. "But," she clarifies, "the gift he [B.J.] has always given me is the utter and total belief that I am one of the greats. And it is an intoxicating feeling."

Sounds a little like l-o-v-e!