I marathoned season one of The Mindy Project during the summer television drought. I developed a girl crush on the lead character, Mindy Lahiri, almost immediately. She’s me. She’s my friends! Mindy’s an educated, single, professional woman in her early 30s, living in Boston. She’s a relatable blend of endearingly awkward, at times second-hand-cringe-inducingly awkward, feisty, ready to go head-to head with the funniest of dudes in a battle of quips, unabashed lover of pop culture, with a fabulous style exhibited by her flyass enviable wardrobe. And she’s brown! She’s a brown girl on TV, Indian-American to be more specific, and her brownness is not the focus of her character’s life. She gets to be “normal.”
A male co-worker and I got into one of our usual tiffs when I declared, “I want a dooooooog!” He scoffed and gave me a pointed look, “You already have two cats. No guy is going to want to date a woman with two cats and a dog!”
I and my female co-worker (and close friend) gasped in disagreement. This was a common occurrence. This male co-worker would nonchalantly drop a statement which we’d find incendiary and a heated debate would ensue, often in the lunchroom, hilariously, with others joining in and sides forming along gender lines.