Kelly Cutrone: Televising Her Revolution

Having just signed on to be Dr. Phil's newest correspondent, Kelly Cutrone will continue to urge young people to abandon emotional neediness and pursue their career goals with diligence and hard work.

Dr. Phil


If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You

Publisher: HarperCollins
Author: Kelly Cutrone
Publication date: 2010-02

Last week, Dr. Phil welcomed Kelly Cutrone, the habitually black-clad leader of People’s Revolution, the Manhattan-based public relations firm. Cutrone first entered the pop culture universe through appearances on MTV’s The Hills and as a mentor to Whitney Port on The City. Her own show on Bravo, Kell on Earth, featured Cutrone working with her People’s Revolution partners and clients and dealing with favor-seekers and clumsy interns. Through the brutally frank demeanor she displayed on these shows, Cutrone built a fiercely loyal following of young fans hoping to break into the fashion and public relations industries.

On his show, Dr. Phil invited Cutrone to confront two severely mollycoddled young women whose lavish lifestyles were bankrolled by their doting parents. The women's delusions of impending stardom (one wears a golden tiara as an everyday accessory) were the most extreme examples of young people hoping to be lifted into the next wave of reality TV fame. After the showed aired, Cutrone notified her 92,000 Twitter followers that she had signed on to become a correspondent for Dr. Phil's show, thereby infusing daytime television with her own brand of “truth-telling”, as an admiring Dr. Phil described her candor.

Cutrone maintains close contact with her Twitter followers, often directly responding to their questions and comments. This past August, Cutrone used her Twitter account to assemble dozens of her fans at Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village. Underneath the park's landmark archway, an eager crowd of smartly dressed young people greeted her arrival with cheers and a reflex-like deployment of cameras and smartphones. Cutrone quickly initiated an easy, chatty rapport with her devotees about what they enjoyed or found lacking in her bestselling book If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You (HarperOne, 2010). Some listeners standing near me took notes, while others appeared to record the whole conversation on their Blackberrys.

Cutrone’s book is a quick, smooth read, a mix of straightforward career guidance and the kind of advice usually sought from a close confidant. By offering forceful critiques of the cultural scripts that young women are asked to blindly follow, her ethos emphasizes an attention to self-discovery and a disciplined devotion to the work required to succeed as a fashion publicist. Among the key milestones covered in her book are her initiation into Manhattan’s public relations world, her marriage to Ronnie Cutrone, a Pop artist and Andy Warhol's former studio assistant, a spiritual “breakthrough” through which she overcame a drug addiction, her creation and management of People’s Revolution, and the birth of her daughter. Both her book and her Bravo show celebrated a certain ruthlessness (her nickname is “Mama Wolf”), but not one without values. As one example, Cutrone describes turning down Donald Trump as a client over his defense of Mike Tyson during his domestic assault scandal.

To my Columbia colleagues who study European history, “people’s revolution” evokes the elusive goal of Marxist movements that sought to create atheistic, classless utopias. By contrast, Cutrone’s message combines the savvy of a successful entrepreneur, a hypermodern “DIY religion” that encourages an ongoing refinement of the self, and a profound love for New York, itself a monument to capitalist resilience. In her book, she writes, “The only dream I ever had was the dream of New York itself, and for me, from the minute I touched down in this city, that was enough.” Her brand of spiritual revolution continues to insist that young people abandon emotional neediness, pursue their career goals with diligence, and cultivate a habit of constant introspection. In the name of dreams, breakthroughs, and New York City, Amen.

The year in song reflected the state of the world around us. Here are the 70 songs that spoke to us this year.

70. The Horrors - "Machine"

On their fifth album V, the Horrors expand on the bright, psychedelic territory they explored with Luminous, anchoring the ten new tracks with retro synths and guitar fuzz freakouts. "Machine" is the delicious outlier and the most vitriolic cut on the record, with Faris Badwan belting out accusations to the song's subject, who may even be us. The concept of alienation is nothing new, but here the Brits incorporate a beautiful metaphor of an insect trapped in amber as an illustration of the human caught within modernity. Whether our trappings are technological, psychological, or something else entirely makes the statement all the more chilling. - Tristan Kneschke

Keep reading... Show less

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less

Kyle Craft - "The Rager" (track review)

Photo: Jeremy Kale (Sub Pop Records)

In the official video for Kyle Craft's "The Rager", the singer/songwriter brings a sense of poetic tragedy to an intoxicating folk ballad.

When Sub Pop released Kyle Craft's debut album, Dolls of Highland, in 2016, it received a slew of critical huzzahs for the Louisiana native's Dylan-meets-Bowie retro glam stylings. His sophomore effort, Full Circle Nightmare, comes out early next year, and a video for the album's song "The Rager" deftly interprets the sly, intricate wordplay of the tune.

Keep reading... Show less

Up-and-coming indie folk artists introduce captivating new layers of sound to "Hot Scary Summer" in their rendition of this cult favorite tune from Villagers.

When Villagers first released "Hot Scary Summer", it felt like a revelation. Not only did the indie folk outlet develop a truly captivating melancholy atmosphere with their music, nor did they just appeal to the heartstrings by singing about the negative feelings associated with aching loneliness. Rather, songwriter Conor O'Brien went beyond to highlight personal struggles of being called out in public and having threats thrown out by very homophobic individuals.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.