Jan 8 2014 5:19pm

Look Like a Woman: The Mindy Project 2x12 and Plus-Size Heroines in Romance

Mindy and Danny in The Mindy Project 1x12This post contains spoilers for all aired episodes of The Mindy Project, including last night’s 2x12, “Danny Castellano is My Personal Trainer.“

Last night's episode of The Mindy Project inadvertently (or maybe not—that Mindy Kaling is smart) addressed the real-life controversy surrounding Mindy Kaling's ELLE cover for their ”Women in Television" issue. There are four different covers for four different actresses, but Kaling's is the only one that does not show her figure. People have wondered if that's because Kaling does not have the body of the usual young female television star.

To which Kaling savvily responded:

Last night's episode of her series was titled “Danny Castellano is My Personal Trainer,” and revolved around Mindy Lahiri's concern about getting naked in front of her new boyfriend, whom she's been having sex with but not yet allowed to see her in the altogether. After Morgan tries to train her (“Pull with the neck!” as she's doing sit-ups), Mindy asks Danny to help her get in shape.

Eventually, as is inevitable, Mindy asks Danny what he thinks of her body, and while she insecurely offers some potential things he might say (boob job, get rid of cellulite, etc.), his response is:

“You're a woman and that's good; look like a woman.”

Oh, swoon! That Danny, super-critical Danny, says this to Mindy is more proof of how he really feels, as if we didn't already know (you may recall Team H&H is very much in favor of an eventual Mindy/Danny HEA). Mindy is nonplussed at his response, and obviously doesn't yet understand just what he's feeling as she leaves his office (and why should she? She can be absolutely oblivious at times).

Every perfectly plus-sized romance heroine is aware she's not Hollywood skinny, and the romance heroes who love them find them desireable anyway. Like Danny does with Mindy.

What did you think of the episode? Anyone else inspired to go read a plus-size romance? If so, any recommendations?


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Megan Frampton is the Community Manager for the HeroesandHeartbreakers site. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and son.

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Lindsay Emory
1. Lindsay Emory
I'm a HUGE Mindy Project fan! I've already re-watched this ep twice and love the way they discuss body issues in this ep and others. It's a "thing" but it's not THE thing, which is what I like seeing in books, too. This is not a show about a "bigger" girl trying to find love, this is a show about a perfectly imperfect girl with a lot of confidence in some areas, less in others but who is trying to find her HEA (hopefully with Dr. C! Although Cliff needs someone nice too...)
Heather Waters
2. HeatherWaters
STILL swooning over this episode. I'm going to rewatch it again soon. Danny has become major romance novel hero material to go along with Mindy Project's rom-com theme. Love it so much.
Lindsay Emory
3. AnnfromCanada
I really enjoy the Mindy Project and all its characters. This quirky lot have their share of imperfections, which they seem not only to be aware of, but celebrate. Its cool. It shows that each character is comfortable in their own skin. Also, the personalities of the characters is what makes the show great! Their sizes have nothing to do with why we like the characters. So why discuss it? I am actually a little sick of hearing about whether Mindy is "plus" sized or not. Who cares!?! Its as pointless as talking about Danny's six pack. I mean we like Danny because of his personality and not because he has a six pack. And we like Mindy for the same why is it even of concern to call her a 'plus-sized heroine'?
I can't wait till the days when weight based prejudice is exposed for its stupidity. Move on people! Now lets talk about what really matters! Like, will Danny chicken out of telling Mindy about his true feelings?
Heather Waters
4. HeatherWaters
@AnnfromCanada -- Thanks for your comment. I take your point about Mindy being plus-size or not being rather beside the point, but at the same time in a world where size IS still an issue (and by that I mean it's still not common to see plus-size heroines on TV) I think some--myself included--do enjoy talking about how refreshed we are that Mindy looks a bit more like us than other TV heroines do.

That said, I'm totally with you on dying to know how the post-kiss scene will go down with Danny and Mindy. Don't know if you saw, but I have a post here on that episode and I'm always up for speculating further:
Lindsay Emory
5. irenebryant
Great article! As you said about this lady, she is the wonderful actress. The most beautiful thing about her is her style she always carries herself very well. In every function she goes with an awesome plus size dresses here you can see her dresses:
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