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Nail Polish, Feminism, and a Good Weekend Read

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is everyone hanging out without me kaling

A few weeks ago (Was it weeks? My time management is really poor lately), I read a really offensive article on Jezebel attacking the “women child” — a Katy Perry-type woman who still likes girly things like sparkly nail polish, pictures of pandas, and The Hunger Games. Basically, this blog is just plain old chauvinism dressed up as feminism, because it says that what a woman does (like starting a business, honing a talent or practicing a craft) is less important than the way she looks while she’s doing it. The article also says that it’s more age-appropriate for a woman like me to be having babies than to help my friends start businesses. As a single business owner who wears bangs and colorful nail polish, and who bears more than a passing resemblance to Zooey Deschannel (who the writer uses as a punching bag), I took it pretty personally.

All this to say, the beige-loving, proper-nail-polish-wearing woman who’s superior to me because she’s pregnant who wrote the article would hate Mindy Kaling’s book, Is Everyone Hanging out without Me. But I loved it.

Mindy’s super fun. She loves romantic comedies and pretty, sparkly things. She’s also hilarious, self-deprecating, smart, and successful. The book’s compared a lot to Tina Fey’s biography, Bossypants, and it should be, because they’re both really funny books by women who write successful television (before starring in her new show, The Mindy Project, Kaling was a writer at The Office, where she also played Kelly Kapoor). I liked both books, but I related more to Mindy’s — partly because Tina Fey’s adolescence, while geeky, was still cooler than mine, and partly because Mindy and I share an aversion to all things sport (the passage on Frisbee perfectly encapsulates my feelings on the subject).

As silly as Mindy can be at times, it’s important to remember that she’s still a serious woman, dedicated to her profession and willing to put in the work (and it’s a lot of work) to make her career succeed. She manages to do all that while being really funny, and without stepping on other people or demeaning other women because their choices are different than hers. Maybe Jezebel could take a lesson.

Carrie Rollwagen is co-owner and book buyer at Church Street Coffee & Books.

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