Have you every read a book where, once you’ve finished it, you feel like you’ve just left a conversation with a good friend?
This is exactly how I felt upon completing The Mindy Project star Mindy Kaling’s first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). A compilation of essays about her childhood years, her friendships past and present and her rise to stardom (among other things), it felt like when I sat down to read the book, I was also sitting down for a long chat with Kaling.
Reading this funny, honest and relatable text felt as if I had asked Kaling only three questions — ‘What was your childhood like?’ ‘How did you get to your current career status? and ‘Tell me your thoughts on anything you’d like.’ — and what poured forth was the transcript from our conversation. I tried my best to read it as slowly as possible, attempting to savor every word, but her stories kept me wanting more, leaving me no choice but to plow through the text in a few short days. My only solace is that her next book, Why Not Me?, will be released in September.
But after I finally finished the book, it got me thinking. Since it felt like I had just sat down to talk with Kaling for a few days, I started to think of all the people I would love to sit down and talk with — I guess when you’re studying to be a journalist, your idea of a good time is making list of all the people you’d want to interview in your career!
So I decided to sit down and craft a list of all the successful women I look up to that I’d want to interview in my lifetime, which turned out to be a much longer list than I anticipated! It had everyone from chefs like Anne Burrell and Alex Guarnaschelli to journalists like Tamron Hall and Katie Couric. Of course, I can’t forget about the successful guys of the world who have influenced me, so they occupied a separate list, which was topped by people like Tim Gunn, Clinton Kelly and Steve Harvey.
But instead of just reprinting my long lists here for you to read, I thought it would be fun to create a top five list (*spoiler alert: there are really six on the list, since there’s a tie!*) of the people I’d most want to interview. Although compiling this list was difficult since there are so many people I’d love to get the chance to talk with, I narrowed it down to these specific people based on how much I relate to them and their stories, as well as how much I look up to them and admire their work. So, without further ado, the list of people I’d most want to interview:
5. Barbara Walters – To me, Barbara Walters is the definition of a world-class journalist. She was never afraid to ask difficult questions, and she did so with the utmost poise and respect. What’s more is that Walters has pretty much interviewed every politician, musician and general newsmaker known to man. She is, essentially, the human embodiment of the type of career every aspiring journalist dreams about; she is proof that it is possible to be both a bold and beloved journalist.
4. Wendy Williams – As the host of her own daily talk show, Wendy Williams has the gift of delivering daily pop culture headlines to her audience with a humor and honesty that is unmatched. Her easy, conversational tone with her audience (a.k.a her “co-hosts”) makes every show seem like you’re sitting down for your morning coffee with your best girlfriend, earning her the status of one of TV’s most beloved talk show hosts.
3. Oprah – Oprah Winfrey is the epitome of an inspirational woman. She not only has had a long career as talk show host, she also ventured off to spearhead her own television network. She has overcome many hardships to get to her current position in life, and to me, she is living proof that anything is possible not only if you believe in yourself, but also if you are willing to work harder than you’ve ever worked in your life.
2. Arianna Huffington – Arianna Huffington is the reason why I started my own website; seeing her success inspired me to take a chance on doing what I love. Seeing the growth of The Huffington Post, along with the growth of Huffington’s own career, fuels me each and every day to become the best journalist I possibly can be.
Now, here’s where things get interesting — there is absolutely no way I can decide who is the number one person I would give anything to interview, so I have to declare a tie. So, in no particular order, here are the number one people I would love to interview:
Mindy Kaling – Kaling is not only the star of her own show, but she also created the show and serves as a writer and producer for the show. And what astounds me is that she reached her current status by creating her own opportunities — she wrote a play with her best friend (Matt & Ben) that drew attention to her talents, and the rest, as they say, is history. To me, Kaling is a master of harnessing own destiny in order to create the life she desires — and there’s nothing more inspirational than that.
Stacy London – I have admired Stacy London since I was a poorly dressed, fashion-illiterate 12 year old, and she inspired me to take ownership of my style and create an accurate outward projection of my inner self (to read more about my style journey, check out my post on Medium). Since then, London has continued to be a significant influence in my life, showing me that it is possible to make a career out of doing what you love. She has carved out a space in the fashion world as the stylist with a big heart, teaching women (and men) to love themselves for who they are.
So there you have it — the top *six* people I would love to interview most. Although I have yet to officially begin a career in journalism, I can only hope that my career will be graced by interviews with these lovely ladies, as well as all the others on my long lists.
That’s all for now!