The Insider: Molly McAleer

You probably know Molly McAleer—or, er, Molls—through one of the bajillion boss things she does: Writing for CBS’s 2 Broke Girls, co-running the girl-power-fueled HelloGiggles, which she founded with Sophia Rossi and Zooey Deschanel in 2011, and posting over at her insanely popular blog, Molls She Wrote. Here, we asked her some Qs, and felt cooler just by doing so. —jiayi

Q: Did you always want to go into TV?
A: Some days I’ll tell you no. Some days I’ll tell you that I did, but I didn’t know it. I don’t think I believed I was even eligible for this type of job. But now that I have it, it’s clicked.

Q: Growing up, were there any shows near and dear to your heart?
A: Off the top of my head: Roseanne, Beverly Hills: 90210, and Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.

Q: What are some of your essential reads?
A: Online? I never miss anything by Caragh Poh, who also writes at HelloGiggles. I’m a big Maggie Mason fan, too—her Life List project is really inspiring. Oh, and I’m obsessed with Cat Marnell because duh. Offline, I read People magazine every week and whatever I get my hands on that looks interesting. I’m mostly drawn to true crime and celebrity memoirs.

Q: Do you have a style icon?
A: Gwen Stefani always and forever, but I don’t have the guts to push boundaries in my day-to-day life. On my best day these days, I want to look somewhere in between Jackie O. and Dolly Parton—like, Fran Drescher on The Nanny.

Q: What was your most exciting purchase ever?
A: New Year’s Eve 1999, going into 2000, I chose to babysit instead of going out with my friends knowing that I’d get a huge bonus for spending the first hours of the new Millennium watching MTV on a leather couch. I got the red Polo Ralph Lauren purse that I’d been eyeing for months with that money. I felt like the coolest girl in the sophomore class.

Q: What you hate about fashion, in three words.
A: Other people’s thoughts.

Q: If your life had a soundtrack, what songs would be on it?
A: Paul Simon’s album Graceland. It’s my favorite of all time. Let’s put Jay-Z’s “Allure” on the end of that mix, too.

More Insiders right this way… 

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Things of the Week: Wasn’t it Friday Yesterday? Edition

Erica: Men’s fashion never gets as much love as women’s, and, after working at a magazine for guys long enough, this got to me. Thus, I tend to embrace anything that pays tribute to killer man style, but I suspect that I would love these Dress the Part posters from Moxy Creative House even if I wasn’t predisposed to. They highlight iconic leading-man looks—serving as a good source of Halloween inspiration if you’re still costume scrounging—and offer no value judgment. (Here’s looking at you, Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne.)

Claire: I’ve been putting off writing about Molls in this space because she means so much to me, and so it’s a lot of pressure. At the end of the day, it comes down to this: Molls (a.k.a. Molly McAleer) is my buddha. In her writing, she achieves comedy by embodying the traits of awareness and self-love. Her industrious dedication to the practice of honesty without shame—about her thoughts, emotions, habits, and mistakes—allows her (and us) to see the humor in all situations. Molls reminds us that sometimes the only way to deal with something tragic (a boyfriend of several of years ending it via flip phone, or a bedbug takeover of body and bedroom) is to just keep repeating it—many times and very loudly—until all of its meaning is gone and the only thing that remains is the absurdity.

Mutual: We promise not to turn this into a beauty column (though we can’t say we aren’t tempted), but right about now seems like the ideal time for a chapped lips/skin PSA. You guys, if you aren’t already an Aquaphor convert, we don’t know what you’re waiting for. Claire carries around the little balm-size tube that can be applied straight to the mouth (avoiding any subway-hands contamination), and Erica totes a travel-size bottle to take care of both her lips and the cuticles on her thumbs that she picks at in a truly disgusting way.

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