Issa Rae

by Mindy Kaling
Luisa Dörr for TIME

On a Friday a few years ago, I was asked to blurb a new book, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. The title made me laugh, so I read it on Saturday, loved it and wanted to know more about the girl at the center, Issa Rae. I then spent Sunday watching all of her groundbreaking YouTube series of the same name. It was heartbreaking, well observed, effortlessly diverse and, most important, so funny. So I met, got to know and fell in love with Issa Rae all in one weekend.

And that’s probably what you did too. You heard about her or saw her being funny on a talk show, watched something she created and then were infected with this desire to devour everything she makes as quickly as she can put it out. I watched the entire first season of Insecure in two days. I loved her world, her friends, her clothes, her handsome love interests and her anxieties. Maybe especially her anxieties, because those are what make her so lovable.

Only Issa Rae could make the adjectives awkward and insecure chic. That’s an impossible thing to do. But here we have her, Issa Rae: writer, actor, force of nature—and chic as hell.

Mindy Kaling wrote and starred in The Mindy Project and appears in the upcoming film Oceans 8

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