When someone first recommended this book to me, I said, “No, thanks.” I had seen Kelly Cutrone on Bravo’s reality show and I thought, “The last thing I need is some barking, crazy reality star telling me how to get ahead. I don’t care how successful she is.” Yes, I was stubborn, but after the second, third, and fourth friend said I just had to read it, I decided to at least skim over few first pages.
To put it lightly, I quickly adjusted my perspective. Not only does Cutrone embrace all that is feminism, but she combines serious and valuable advice to the modern-day working girl with a deep-rooted spirituality that I never expected from her.
Cutrone first dispels the rumors of her being a “bitch, witch, and cunt,” as she admits she is most commonly called. As you read on, you learn from her experience that her ruthless commitment to her career (and, of course, her daughter) often is misunderstood.
[B]e prepared: there are people with Uzies waiting on the other side of the glass ceiling who want to kill you. Over the years the playground taunts leveled at me have only intensified…The more successful you become, the more people will project their fears and hatred onto you. This is true for anyone, but it is particularly true of women who dare to speak their minds or assume leadership. Our culture seems to think that women in power are still something new and shocking and we need to be put in our place. But let’s face it: women have not exactly been wallflowers throughout history. Powerful women are not an invention of feminism or the twentieth century.
I realized that as I read that even I, a self-proclaimed third-wave feminist, had fallen bitterly in judgment of an amazingly powerful woman who has all the characteristics that I claimed to cherish. Cutrone declares that you must put yourself first, not the ideals that society or our mothers or friends put on us.
She shared her most personal (and sometimes really embarrassing) experiences, starting from when she was just a teenager through marriage, divorce and childbirth, and her career failures as well as successes, all to the benefit of the reader. She also did so with humor and humility, in a way that keeps you craving more of her wisdom. She reminds us that while in the cut-throat world of fashion PR it can be “kill or be killed,” it doesn’t mean you have to cut down other women to get to where you want to be.
For me, this book took my fear of and resistance to having responsibility for myself and my dreams and transformed it into an unstoppable drive, and a renewed sense of dedication to my career that I haven’t felt since those first few post-college days — before I realized just how hard it would be to get my dream job. Kelly Cutrone certainly doesn’t sugarcoat anything, but it is her blatant honesty that is the most refreshing. Her love for future generations of women who aspire to be like her drips off of the page. I think this quote, found at the end of the book, speaks truthfully about who Kelly Cutrone really is.
If I could wish anything for you, it would be that you could accomplish in one year what it’s taken me forty-four to figure out. The world needs you. It needs you to find and fearlessly manifest your true and powerful and authentic self.
I hope that other women can read this book, standing corrected not only about PR maven Kelly Cutrone but about themselves and their potential.