I should have called my post “If you want to cry, read.” The book is about a tough life of a publicist/warrioress in New York, thriving in the field of fashion public relations.
While reading the book, I had to suppress the urge to erase it entirely from my Kobo. Not because it made me angry or frustrated (rather a bit itchy and scratchy), it just seemed so irrelevant and outlandish, it might have been written by an alien from a faraway galaxy. My curiosity, however, always gets the upper hand. So, I kept plugging along motivated by the thought that sometimes it behooves us to get a different perspective on things, even if it seems totally foreign.
A different perspective wasn’t the only thing I struggled with. The writing style and tone of the book are rough and uneven. It’s partly a memoir, partly ramblings about spirituality and a woman’s role in the society, partly a manual on how to get and keep a job in fashion PR industry, and, finally, partly specific requirements that you need to meet if you want to work for Kelly Cutrone. The tone of the book ranges from encouraging and supportive to patronizing and condescending. Therefore, I am dubious as to author’s genuine respect and appreciation for her audience. Obviously, I am not a part of the target segment, which I would define as “aspiring female publicists or fashion PR wannabes, young and ambitious.” Conversely, I am a 40-something woman, who moved to Canada from Russia 14 years back, on my own, husbandless at the time, with my nine-year old son in tow. Unlike Cutrone, I never used drugs and can’t boast to have had any addictions that I’ve successfully overcome, which would pave my path to spirituality. Speaking of which, I do not belong to any organized religion, but am a strong believer in the law of attraction and, though inconsistent, tend to gravitate to Buddhism. (This is just to give you my perspective on things, for objectivity’s sake.)
But this is not about me, after all. Based on the book (as a single source of info about the author in my neck of the woods) I do get that she is an exceptionally talented entrepreneur, a publicist extraordinaire, who has a lot of respect for herself and takes pride in her own accomplishments. I totally understand and sympathize, because I can’t even imagine how big my head would grow, if I had to go through all that personal drama and end up a top female alpha wolf in that cutthroat fashion jungle. It makes for a good story though, and I appreciate that. But no matter how extraordinary the author, it can’t make up for the book’s obvious flaws. And by the way, if you can’t stand seeing the “F word” in print repeatedly, consider yourself warned.
It’s my rule not to write about the books I didn’t like. This book, however, is an exception, although I can’t say I hated it or something. In spite of its flaws, the book can not be denied some redeemable qualities, like authenticity and candor. I also share Cutrone’s idea of empowering women, and no matter how much I disagree with some of her other views, I totally support that following one’s heart with 100 per cent commitment eventually leads to success. I only hope that young women don’t make a conclusion, based on the book, that the only way to accomplish anything in this world is by being a “bitch” clad in black every day of the year. 🙂 Also, it’s only fair to add that I admire Cutrone’s courage, vision and focus and her seemingly infinite capacity to remain true to herself and speak her mind without fear of consequences.
If you’ve read the book and have an opinion, don’t be shy to share it. Did you love the book or did you hate it? I suspect there are a lot of people who love it, as well as those who totally hate it. That’s publicity at its finest.