There’s very little representation of Indian people in American pop culture. Actors of Indian descent are still usually cast as nerds, cab drivers or terrorists, and the few Indian characters on our favorite shows and movies are highly stereotypical. And that’s just the roles offered to Indian men.
As an Indian-American woman whose parents are from Trinidad, I never felt like women who looked like me were represented in popular culture. That’s why it was so refreshing for me to see shows like The Mindy Project, which was created by Indian-American actor and writer Mindy Kaling.
The Mindy Project offers audiences a very different view on Indian-American women than the one typically offered by our society: Kaling’s character, Mindy Lahiri, is a single mom in her 30s, which would have been unheard of in India a few years ago. And now that Kaling is reportedly pregnant with her first child at the age of 38, her character’s storyline has even more resonance, particularly for Indian-American women like myself.
In American popular culture, we’ve typically only seen Indian women depicted as either unwilling partners in arranged marriages, or women who are pressured to choose partners who will meet their parents’ approval. In movies like Bend It Like Beckham, Meet the Patels, and, to some degree, Master of None, we’ve…