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Kelly Cutrone, the abrasive reality-TV star and founder of fashion public relations agency People’s Revolution, talked to a group of well-dressed, mostly insecure young women today in Bryant Park. A few guys, assumed gay, were also in the audience of about 150 people.
In reality, Cutrone was almost exactly as she is on reality TV in The City and Kell on Earth. She began fussing with her shaky microphone the second she started speaking: “Can you, like, make it stay so I’m not acting weird the whole time?” she asked. “I hate this microphone. I’m just going to say this 700 times.”
Someone from the event quickly rectified the situation. And Cutrone, a beacon of grace and class, said, “I got what I wanted, and I feel better about it.”
Once that was out of the way, she got down to business. “I’m not anti-American. I’m also not anti-men, and I’m not a lesbian — just to answer those questions right off the bat.” Oook, thanks for that, Kelly.
Her book, If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You, is part memoir and part career guide, and is geared toward young women breaking into the workforce. “My success came when I realized that I didn’t want to play by the rules, and the rules just weren’t for me,” she said. By “rules,” she means the idea that women often abide by a society-imposed “formula” of going to college to meet a man and performing stereotypical womanly duties instead of focusing on themselves and their careers. This is groundbreaking stuff, people.
Cutrone later said that she never had feminist role models. “The feminists, to me, were really angry, and they wore really bad clothes. It just wasn’t me.” As for juggling motherhood and a successful career: “Look, my nails and my toes match. That’s a success for me.”
Besides rattling off lines that sounded like quotes from a fashion-fueled chick flick (not that there’s anything wrong with those) and using the word “like” several times, Cutrone did have a few nuggets of wisdom.
When someone asked a question about her battle with addiction, she took the question rather seriously. “I don’t do drugs at all, like, nothing,” she said, adding that she has never seen people actually improve themselves on drugs. Then, a few moments later, she ruined a perfectly genuine response: “By the way, I just want to say, I think drugs are really, really bad.” Thank you, Miss America.
On to another terrible platitude. Cutrone hates when people say, “I have a passion for fashion” in an interview. In fact, she seems to hate just about everything that could possibly come out of an intern’s mouth. So if you’re an intern and you come across her, you should probably err on the side of “Shut the fuck up.”
The one truly useful piece of advice she offered, which came at the very end, was this: Entry-level employees should go to work “as if you owned the company. If you can do that job with pride and grace, than you can do anything.” Cutrone’s definition of grace may be dubious, but she must be doing something right.