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Lilly Singh Wants More Shows With South Asian Characters: ‘Why Is There Only One?’

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Lilly Singh Wants More Shows With South Asian Characters: ‘Why Is There Only One?’

Lilly Singh has learned a lot in her 33 years of life, but perhaps her most important lesson was one she learned in the past year: how to be happy. “I really do feel right now is the most me I’ve ever been, and that’s because I’ve done the work,” Singh said for StyleCaster’s “What She’s Having” video series. “For most of my life, I never put the thought into the type of person I want to be. I never dissected some of the trauma I went through. I never addressed any of the heartache I went through, and I think that’s because as a kid, you’re so busy getting good grades and you’re trying to find a career and all the things everybody wants you to do that you don’t think, ‘Am I happy? Do I like what I’m doing? Do I actually want this job? What about what I need?'”

She continued, “As an adult, I finally thought, ‘No. I’m going to do the work and I’m going to build a foundation for my life and who I want to be and what I value. I have such a clear idea of what I want my life to be right now.”

In StyleCaster’s April 2022 cover story, Singh explained how this realization led her to write her new book, Be a Triangle: How I Went From Being Lost to Getting My Life Into Shape, where she opens up about how her whirlwind success earlier in her career left her feeling unhappy. “Being in this industry, age, especially for women, is always at the forefront of the conversation,” she said in StyleCaster’s April 2022 cover story. “I started to get into this mindset of, ‘Oh my God. Am I ever going to penetrate this industry the way I want to? Is that window closed for me?’ My friends would be like, ‘What is it that you want to do?! You’ve done so many things!’” 

Singh went on to explain how a lightbulb moment a few years ago led her to realize that she doesn’t know what she wants in life. “I realized, ‘Oh, You actually don’t know what you want.’” she said. “You keep making vision boards of all these accolades, but you don’t know what that feeling is you’re chasing. You think these things will make you happy, but then you accomplish them and you’re just like, ‘OK. Onto the next one.’”

As for what she learned from Be a Triangle, Singh told StyleCaster that she learned to stop placing her value on “external things.” “I realized I place my value and purpose on a lot of external things: my career, what my parents think of me, what people on the internet think of me,” she said. “I never put that energy into myself and what makes me happy. I didn’t know that was an option. I didn’t know you could work on yourself that way. We weren’t taught that in school. We didn’t have tests on that.”

During her “What She’s Having” interview, Singh—who became the first openly bisexual woman of color to host a late-night talk show in 2019—also discussed how there’s need for more TV shows and movies centering South Asians in Hollywood. “Although [Never Have I Ever] was number one in 30 countries, I’m still going to say it’s underrated in the sense that, ‘Why is there only one?'” she said. “And still, there will probably be only one for a long time and I’m sure if anyone ever pitches a show about a South Asian teenager, they’re going to be like, ‘But there’s Never Have I Ever. No, we need so many more shows like that with that type of cast.”

Watch the video above for Lilly Singh’s “What She’s Having” interview with StyleCaster. Check out StyleCaster’s April 2022 cover story with Lilly Singh here. 

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