No seriously, she gets in people’s asses quite frequently if you haven't noticed. So wherever the platform or media of your discovery, you’ve witnessed how she has a strong opinion and a will to match. She’s often condescending to others, and can be interpreted as a bully. However, she also works her ass off with a tide of people–both clients and employees–to support. Let’s just imagine what it would take to pull off five fashion shows for New York Fashion Week. Once visualized, it’s apparent that she doesn’t have time for flip-flops and BS. And Normal Gets You Nowhere couldn’t be a better window into why Kelly is the way Kelly is. This works for me because I respected Kelly's drive and outspokenness, previous to Normal Gets You Nowhere. Besides, I'm drawn to people I feel I can learn something valuable from–and Kelly Cutrone is definitely one of those individuals. Therefore, for the most part, her book satisfied; Cutrone shares her advice on society, sex, religion, death, motherhood, and careers in one swift go.
However, while deeply satisfied with the book, I did think some of that shared advice came across as rambles–to the stream of concise effect. Which I thought was both good and bad, but better if you’re someone familiar and fan of Cutrone. Other than that, the direction and premise of how to “standout” from normal seemed wobbly as the book progressed, kicking out the self-help vibe in place of personal advice and biography. And it all really took a turn when Cutrone goes into these chapters where she spreads on her spirituality. It’s here that things turn into topics of gurus, The Divine, The Mother, and religion. I needed a little more background regarding these areas. And when Cutrone admits to hearing voices inside her head guiding her, I kind of puttered along with it. The truth is that–at the end of it all–she makes valid points across all the areas she covers. Regardless of her direction.
So I want to make this post quick by just diving into the passages that really struck a cord with me, giving you the opportunity to choose whether Kelly may do some work for you.
"Let's face it, we are in a capitalistically overwhelmed state. And this is no accident. While you're in the grocery store or the Gap deciding what to eat and what to wear, there are lobbyists and politicians in Washington passing bills that you know nothing about. They might be limiting your rights at the airport, in an abortion clinic, or at the gay pride parade. But you wouldn't know, because you're wondering whether your cereal has antioxidant powers or if that new pair of jeans will get you fucked."
I think this is probably where Normal Gets You Nowhere was the strongest–at its beginning. While the majority of us understand what she says to be true, it's kind of startling all over again to realize how right she is.
"It's it's happening at the zoo, it could or should be happening for you. We can learn a lot about natural sexual behaviors by looking at our friends in the animal kingdom. Up to 75 percent of bonobos' sexual behavior is nonreproductive (these are the power girls of the animal kingdom). Male sea horses, long upheld as monogamous pillars of ocean society and thought to mate for life, were found in 2007 to be promiscuous, flighty, and more than a little bit gay (they also give birth to the babies). Two male lions have been observed fucking each other. Dolphins are known to pleasure themselves by rubbing against the ocean floor. To me, this says that things like homosexuality and masturbation are totally natural."
Let the wailers wail anyway.
"...It doesn't mean you have to like everything you see. It just means you have to recognize you're not different from it."
I kind of found myself thinking this recently, as a barrage of celebrities try to go-in on Caitlyn Jenner. One celebrity is a rapper, and made a point of trying to discredit and disempower Caitlyn. Meanwhile, he has built his career off glorifying the "gangsta'" life. Which in turn leads into influence and profiling he gets so upset about. Another celebrity made a comment relating how he wouldn't go home to his wife in such a state as Jenner (whatever that means). Meanwhile, his ex-wife is in prison proclaiming he's a child abuser who used to knock her around as well.
"I believe that all of the things you do for other people, you're actually doing for yourself. Life is like a bank account. Random acts of kindness, telling the truth, being loving, showing up for yourself and others–these are all deposits. Getting fucked up, fucking other people over, letting your ego lead your choices–the things we think are fun after eleven at night but don't seem so entertaining at eleven in the morning–are withdrawals. If we give more than we take, we progress. If we take more than we give, we regress."
I could not agree more. It's a wonder why I've let some circumstances with others go.
"All these medications we're so obsessed with nowadays aren't real solutions; they're just temporary, inadequate aids that separate us from our friends, our personalities, and ultimately our being, constructing a Plexiglas shield between our soul and the way we express ourselves. Our soul is put behind a partition, left to mime in vain. Unless you're clinically depressed or bipolar or the kind of person who runs around naked singing 'When the Saints Go Marching In' while waving a chain saw, maybe you don't really need to be medicated. Sometimes the easy way out is not the best yogic move. There are plenty of times I too want to mediate myself through my troubles, so I can go through life above the fray, not feeling anything uncomfortable or painful and not offending anyone. There's just one problem: I'm living!"
Thankfully, I'm not on any medication or never have been. God willing, I pray I never get to the point where I have to dope myself up to function. Sometimes I trick myself into believing I should. And once, I bought a bottle of wine thinking it would zone me out long enough to escape life. Fortunately, I realized immediately I'd rather spend my money on books instead of wine.
"All of us are sparks, and the whole global universe is a fireworks show. How does your spark manifest in the world? Is it progressive or effective? And what will it leave on this earth when it has moved on?"
Happy Super Early Father's Day, Dad. Your spark remains bright.