Customer Reviews: If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You
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VINE VOICEon March 14, 2010
I decided to read this book because I've always had an interest in transitioning into publicity/PR and the book sounded like a great read for female professionals. I thought that, though I'm not necessarily interested in fashion, this would offer some solid career tips from someone that has seen it all. It did have a few tips here and there about being tough, but ultimately, it is titled and positioned incorrectly. It isn't about lessons for career women, but rather the author's memoir about how she landed a career in the fashion PR industry after a drug-ridden and messy period of time earlier in life. There is also an out-of-place section on her spirituality and there are spiritual tips sprinkled throughout.

In fact, the lessons for the readers don't actually start until page 149 in the chapter - "If You Have to Cry, Go Outside." Up until that point, it is a story about how she was addicted to drugs, was saved by her powerful tribe at times, and eventually became really successful. The name-dropping is a bit much. We get from the start that she knows and has worked with some well-known celebrities, but it is overly discussed throughout.

I wasn't looking for a tale of morality, but the whole thing seemed rather shallow. In a section titled "Everything Good Happens After Thirty," one bullet point of advice is: "it's time to step it up a notch and charge headlong into the land of overpriced luxury accessories." Is that really an important part of turning 30? And as my review title states - it is extremely over-indulgent and self-inflated. For example, on page 100 she writes, "A lot of women ask me, 'How do you have it all?'"

If you are curious of the inner workings of the fashion PR industry or if you are a fan of Kelly Cutrone, then it would be a good book for you. She is witty and there were parts that were interesting. If you are a career woman looking for solid advice on being powerful, I think there might be better sources of inspiration for you.
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on October 29, 2010
(Writing this under my Husband's account)
A good friend recommended this book so I felt obligated to read it from cover to cover. I hated every minute of it... I kept hoping the book would improve. I thought that I'd suddenly turn a corner with Kelly and realize that she had stopped being a self-indulgent, go against the grain just to create waves, name dropping, self important person. Sadly, that never happened and I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I finished the last page.

The major theme through this book is to create your own religion. She warns not to worship inside a temple, church, whatever because you're limited in that capacity. What she fails to recognize is that her polytheistic approach to her "religious beliefs" leaves her twisting the word of all leaders, all people she might consider to be her God(s) and creates her own ideal. She even goes so far as to brag about this. As a Christian, I was offended several times when she reaffirmed society's tainted view that a woman can not possibly find herself in motherhood, by being a wife, by working in her church or by having a career that isn't the sole focus on her life. Should everyone by a stay-at-home mother and wife who bakes cookies all day and makes sure the house is spotless? NO! In fact it would put most women in their graves. I get that. What Kelly fails to do is recognize that there are some mothers who aren't failing to meet their fullest potential because they do choose to stay at home, bake cookies and do their best to make sure their house is spotless... and fail miserably in most cases. I'm not easily offended. I too have a mouth that needs reminding once in a while. If you're offended by bad language, Kelly makes an art out of using the "f" word repeatedly through this book. I wasn't bothered by this so much as disappointed. Apparently, according to Kelly, she is a very intelligent and accomplished woman. I would hope that she would be more creative in her word choice. Of course, again according to her, it's because she's successful that I criticize her.

Kelly's book is almost a handbook of sorts for anyone that might dare work for her. She talks about how abusive she is to her interns but then quickly makes it okay, again by twisting words, by explaining that she's really just taking care of them and teaching them valuable lessons. She creates social classes in her office by not allowing her interns to eat until everyone else has.... yea, that's cool Kelly. It's all about power and social status that determines one's value right? Go ahead and put down arranged marriages in other cultures that you don't understand but foster the caste system while you're at it.

As I became increasingly angry, I started to come up with choice phrases to call her. As luck would have it, she ends her book with a chapter explaining that it's okay to be a "Bitch." Of course it is because that's exactly what she has touted throughout this book. This book did nothing for me and I definitely don't recommend it.
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on July 2, 2011
I saw the author on the Dr. Phil television show. She was smart and articulate. This book was recommended by Dr. Phil, and I generally like what he has to say, so I bought the book on his recommendation. Big mistake. I own over a thousand books and I have never had the urge to literally dispose of a book in the garbage before. This book is going in the trash. I was expecting advice for young women in the business world. I was not expecting the self-centered hedonistic memoir liberally doused with rudeness. I found this book offensive - it's definitely not worth your time or money.
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on July 18, 2011
I'm saddened if this is what young women are looking to for advice on becoming a success. How terribly pathetic that a supposedly intelligent woman cannot find better vocabulary to express her views than the perpetual use of the F-bomb. I find her to be shallow, self-absorbed, cold, and unnecessarily cruel. If being like her is what it takes to be a success (and it's not), I would choose to be a deeper, kinder, warmer "failure" than follow any of her advice any day.
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on January 14, 2011
I never heard of Kelly Cutrone until I saw her on a Dr. Phil episode and immediately liked her tell-it-like-it-is candor so I looked forward to reading her book.

The book and Cutrone herself aren't what I expected but her journey is her own and this is her book so I won't deny her the right to tell her story in her own way and in her own voice even if that includes the frequent use of the "f-word". But this is not really a book of advice for women wanting success in a career despite the self-help designation. It's more of a memoir as she writes about moving to New York, getting caught up in drugs, sex, and partying all night; fighting her way to success in the fashion industry (public relations), and creating her own religion based on Hindu goddesses. In fact, the tone of the book is heavy on the religion of self and the goddess mentor she calls Mother as she encourages readers to create their own dream religion in which anything goes.

There are tid-bits of advice along the way on making it in the PR side of the fashion industry as a woman. A few times I laughed as she recounted stories in her dry humor way, and I mentally applauded as she wrote about how she handled the abuses of certain high-profile people even though it meant losing them as clients. I do admire her ability to get results, let her yes be yes and no be no, and to not settle for less than what she wants for herself or from her employees. Unfortunately, the book seems to promote that a woman has to be, as she proudly describes herself, a [...] to achieve her level of success, something I don't believe is true.

Cutrone writes about having to pay her dues to get where she is but some of that was because of her own irresponsible choices as much as battling the attitude toward powerful women in the corporate world. In the book she advises readers to detatch themselves from influences such as parents and Christianity as things that will hold them back, yet elevates herself as a guru, mentor, and "Mama Wolf" to young women, replacing those influences with her own views of morality, success, and religion.

By the time I finished reading the book I wasn't convinced that she is as self-assured and satisfied with her life as we're led to believe which simply means she's as vulnerable and human as the rest of us and she'd probably be the first to admit that.

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher for review but the opinion of it is my own and wasn't solicited.
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on February 3, 2010
I am a 36-year old working mom- not her target audience I'm sure- but I felt so inspired and re-energized after I read her book. This woman is so real and so fresh. I am buying copies for all my friends and I can't wait to hear what they think too. Highly recommend it for all ages and walks of life.
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on November 30, 2012
Her life story is interesting, but I FELT like she was often implying that those of us that choose to live a simple life, job, family, church are not living up to our full potential or something. I didn't even finish the book to be honest. I am in a book club and no one finished it, no one really cared for it.
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VINE VOICEon February 26, 2010
I have to admit that I know barely anything about fashion and had only seen Kelly Cutrone's name mentioned a few times, but I was curious to read this book because I liked the title and it seemed like it could have a promising approach to life and business. And it did!

Cutrone's tome is part memoir, part spiritual guide, part you-go-girl empowerment and part business manual, all in her straightforward, no-holds-barred style. In many ways, it's feminism as take-the-bull-by-the-horns (or take-the-city-by-the-horns), whether she's talking about organizing an art benefit against censorship, raising her daughter solo, or running her business, PR company People's Revolution.

I especially liked that Cutrone cuts through the false notion that spirituality and being a good person is somehow antithetical to success and financial reward. She marries the two and even though it sounds a bit incredible, talks about her past drug abuse and lowest, suicidal moments and how PR, along with spiritual guidance from the woman she calls her guru, The Mother, pulled her back.

It's a quick read but the pull-no-punches lessons and Cutrone's brand of being herself as well as vision for women in the workplace is a refreshing one, and it's certainly entertaining. I especially like that while there's juicy stories, Cutrone isn't trying to sell herself as a publicist or her brands or even fashion or PR as industries (if anything she somewhat warns younger readers away unless they can hack it). Instead she tells how she grew up with an inherent sense of who she was and what she was capable of and learned by doing (and by making mistakes, like serving black icing on pink desserts at an Agent Provocateur party). Her ability to own up to her mistakes and failures while still offering up rules for success is what makes this book so bold and memorable.
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on February 24, 2010
When I first saw Kelly Cutrone from Peoples Revolution on "The Hills", my first thought was 'this woman doesn't take anyone's crap, I want to be like that!' Last night I finished reading her book If You Have To Cry Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You. Let me first say that I will not gush about anything unless it resonates with me and I truly love it. I could not stop reading the book, I downloaded the e-book at 6pm and I was done by 9 pm. Kelly's story and no non-sense advice for everything from self discovery to fashion career advice was so refeshing and inspiring.
A lot of what influences women's decisions in life is based on preconceived notions of what we are "supposed" to be or pressures from parents or other people. Living a life that is not authentic to who you really are will eventually lead to a breakdown, which is what happened to Kelly and it happened to me. Kelly points out that in order to be your true self (and successful) you need to be fearless. In the book Kelly says "Because if you're the kind of person who senses there's something out there for you beyond whatever it is you're expected to do - if you want to be extra-ordinary - you will not get there by hanging around a bunch of people who tell you you're not extraordinary. Instead, you will probably become as ordinary as they expect you to be." This dear reader is quite a fantastic piece of advice and from a woman who has been there and done that. When someone with such valuable experience is giving advice, we should listen and take note.
I highly recommend this book to young women, but young or not so young, you will feel inspired. In life we need the truth, even it is not pretty, it is necessary. Kelly tells it like it is. ~ Melanie @ [..]
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on February 27, 2010
This book was great from start to finish. Charming, funny, incredibly insightful--I recommend it for anyone with an interest in fashion, PR, Kelly herself and People's Revolution, or even just going after your dreams and goals, be them career oriented or otherwise.

I finished the book in about three settings, and regularly picked up the phone to read especially laugh-inducing passages to my friends and mother.

Highly recommend, whatever stage of your life you're in. There's a lesson to be learned for everyone.
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