Mindy Kaling wants all her followers to know that they can wear a bikini if they want — and she’s serving herself up as the example.
The actress and comedian took to Instagram on Friday to share a pair of shots of herself wearing bikinis, and in the caption shared a body-positive message with her followers.
“IDK who needs to hear this but… WEAR A BIKINI IF YOU WANT TO WEAR A BIKINI,” she wrote. “You don’t have to be a size 0.”
Mindy went on to explain in a video that she was inspired by the easygoing atmosphere in Hawaii, where people don’t seem to judge and are free to wear whatever makes them most comfortable. She wanted to give that example to her more than 4.2 million Instagram followers.
“What I was struck about Hawaii is that everyone wears bikinis,” she shared. “It does not matter what your body type is. You rock a bikini because you’re in Hawaii. There’s so much body positivity there, that I, who is always really shy about my body, would wear bikinis.”
The picture — and the uplifting message that went along with it — was a huge hit with her followers. The picture garnered more than 440,000 likes in just a few hours and attracted scores of supportive messages. Many of Mindy’s celebrity friends joined in as well, heaping some praise on the actress for serving up such positivity.
Mindy’s post also garnered some attention from celebrity news sites, including E! News, which praised the actress for her message and noted how she’s long been a champion for positive body images. As the report noted, Mindy discussed the idea in her 2015 book, Why Not Me?, which discussed the importance of building women up rather than tearing them down.
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IDK who needs to hear this but… ???? WEAR A BIKINI IF YOU WANT TO WEAR A BIKINI. You don’t have to be a size 0. Swipe for my storytime and have a great summer ❤️ (edited to say: this accidentally sounds like an ad but it’s not- but I mean, if you want to buy ANY high waisted bikini and wear it, tag a pic so I can comment)!
In one passage, Mindy wrote about how women are often more hurt by insults about their bodies than their intelligence or abilities.
“If someone told me that I was stupid or that I wasn’t a leader, or that I wasn’t witty or quick or perceptive, I’d be devastated. If someone told me that I had a gross body, I’d say, ‘Well, it’s bringing me a lot of happiness.’ Like, I’m having a fine time of it. Having my priorities aligned like that has helped me have a happier life, I think.”
Mindy Kaling’s fans certainly seem to be happy with her positivity as well, and her Instagram post remains a viral hit.