I was introduced to the show “The Mindy Project”, which is a show about 30 something (She hasn’t really revealed her exact age at least in the episodes I have watched thus far) second generation American with an Indian origin, who is an OBGYN with private practice in Manhattan. She’s a size 8 or 10 (US) and a woman of colour as she claims. She’s a very successful doctor who is witty, funny, friendly and talks a lot. She might be more dramatic than an average girl of her age but heck, what do I know about American women. If I were to go by American TV shows, she might just be as dramatic as any average american girl. There might be an element of her own personality in the character she portrays. So far, most real people can relate to her in someway or the other, but the part which is a tad bit unrealistic is her incredible ability to go on a date with a different guy in every episode giving the 30 something single women in the real a huge complex about their own single lives.
When I was a little girl with 7 Barbies (ok, 1 was a Skipper and the other was a Tiny Tot, but still same family!), I was never fascinated by them or never wanted to grow up to be like them. All I wanted to do was comb their smooth hair, give them cool hair cuts and hope that my mum never notices that I’ve destroyed the dolls. Sometimes I would also like to undress them and toss them into a bucket and make them pretend like they were swimming. Ok, I’m getting carried away now. The point is, I outgrew these dolls and learnt that there was a huge debate in the world about what kind of a psychological impact these dolls had on young growing girls. Girls are inspired by the “hour glass” figure, flawless skin, gloss lips and smooth and silky hair of Barbies and spend their adolescent and adulthood torturing themselves to somehow comply with this ideal woman image of Barbies. At this point, I think Mattel (the company that invented “Barbie”) decided to deal with the criticism constructively and started using Barbie for educational purposes by creating “Doctor Barbie” and “Engineer Barbie” (Entreprenuer Barbie being the latest) and what not to inspire young women to look up up to Barbie for the right reasons.
Not having ever looked up to Barbie for the right or wrong reasons, I guess I didn’t understand this debate until last night when I was watching the first season of the Mindy Project. Mindy manages to find a new guy to date (sometimes even bed) in every single episode just like hailing a cab in NYC. This portrayal is just so disturbing because it attempts to destroy all stereotypes of how men (especially white) are not into women of size and colour. I was ok seeing Carie Bradshaw do this in the sex and the city because I know for a fact that men are into women who are blonde, size zero and dress suggestively. Making it appear like it is super easy for women of size and colour to find single men is not fair since it is innacurate. This abberation can be scarring for 30 something single women struggling to find a partner. I’ve single friends who are beautiful, smart, successful, witty, funny and the most wonderful human beings who have to scavenge the market of single men for years before they find anyone remotely good and this, my friends is the hard truth. So, single women out there, if you’re obsessed or in awe of “The Mindy Project”, I agree it’s a great sitcom but don’t kill yourselves over it for it’s not a tiny bit real (just like the Barbie doll).