Mindy Kaling says she feels "so much more happy and confident" after having kids.
The 42-year-old actress, writer and producer discussed her struggles with body image and how motherhood helped her find new confidence during Friday's episode of Good Morning America.
Kaling recalled how her weight used to be her "greatest insecurity." She said the comments she received from people, including co-workers and the public, were "painful" but ended up influencing her work.
"Realizing like, 'People are scrutinizing you, and not only are they scrutinizing you, they're verbalizing their displeasure with how I look because I don't look a certain way.' That kind of dissonance has really affected so much of what I write about, the kind of characters I play," Kaling said.
Kaling is known for playing Kelly Kapoor on The Office and Mindy Lahiri on The Mindy Project. She also co-created and executive produces the Netflix series Never Have I Ever, which is inspired by her life and follows an Indian American teenager.
"It would have been really valuable for me when I was coming up," Kaling said of the representation in Never Have I Ever. "It would have been just great to show [my parents], like, 'Okay, this show is written by a women of color, it stars a woman of color, it stars a bunch of women of color, it can be done.'"
Kaling today has two children, daughter Katherine and son Spencer, 11 months. She credited motherhood with helping her find true happiness.
"I feel now, so much more happy and confident after having children than I did before this. And each subsequent year of my life, I'm just, like, feeling happier and happier," Kaling said.
"I weigh more than I did when I was 25, sleep less than I did before, but my general level of happiness is just getting more and more," she added. "So, I really have my children to thank for that."
Never Have I Ever was renewed for Season 3 this week. Kaling will also play the Scooby-Doo character Velma in the new HBO Max series Velma, and addressed criticism of her casting on Late Night with Seth Meyers in July.
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