Pop Culture: Mindy Kaling on Women in Romantic Comedies
Quotable from Mindy Kaling in The New Yorker:
When a beautiful actress is cast in a movie, executives rack their brains to find some kind of flaw in the character she plays that will still allow her to be palatable. She can’t be overweight or not perfect-looking, because who would pay to see that? A female who is not one hundred per cent perfect-looking in every way? You might as well film a dead squid decaying on a beach somewhere for two hours. So they make her a Klutz.
The hundred-per-cent-perfect-looking female is perfect in every way except that she constantly bonks her head on things. She trips and falls and spills soup on her affable date (Josh Lucas. Is that his name? I know it’s two first names. Josh George? Brad Mike? Fred Tom? Yes, it’s Fred Tom).
The Klutz clangs into stop signs while riding her bike and knocks over giant displays of fine china in department stores. Despite being five feet nine and weighing a hundred and ten pounds, she is basically like a drunk buffalo who has never been a part of human society. But Fred Tom loves her anyway.
True isn't it? The leading man in movies in pretty much 99% perfect with his one flaw being his womanizing ways or overbearing charm with a hint of misogyny.
But a perfect lady on the big screen? Never! Then men will be intimidated and women will hate her! The solution? Make her endearingly klutzy or awkward. I'm looking at you Zooey Deschanel.
In case you don't love Mindy enough, I leave you with this quote on the career obsessed woman stereotype:
I regularly work sixteen hours a day. Yet, like most people I know who are similarly busy, I’m a pleasant, pretty normal person. But that’s not how working women are depicted in movies. I’m not always barking orders into my hands-free phone device and yelling, “I have no time for this!”
Often, a script calls for this uptight career woman to “relearn” how to seduce a man, and she has to do all sorts of crazy degrading crap, like eat a hot dog in a sexy way or something. And since when does holding a job necessitate that a woman pull her hair back in a severe, tight bun? Do screenwriters think that loose hair makes it hard to concentrate?
Mindy this is for you: