March 21, 2011
the late review – If You Have to Cry, Go Outside
Welcome to the late review, wherein I review a book long after you’ve all had the chance to read it.
If You Have to Cry, Go Outside (and other things your mother never told you) is the longest, cheesiest title for what is really a very punchy book by a woman who knows how to get to the point. That said, a long title definitely benefits from greater Googleability, and so Cutrone may have a method to her madness. She demonstrates a lot of that kind of canny counter-intuition in Go Outside.
Straight up: I loved this book. There aren’t many books I would characterize as a must-read for any would-be or die-hard fashion careerist. This is one, for sure. I think this is the first time I’ve read a real-talk rationalization of how the so-called superficial world of fashion is aligned with a sense of female divinity… and dignity. It is a uniquely feminine industry, and Cutrone addresses young women directly, without condescension or cliches.
Cutrone’s character as a publicist and celebrity provokes a lot of mixed feelings in me. Before she was on MTV, she didn’t endear herself to bloggers. I loved the way she balanced The City, but found the episodes I saw of Kell on Earth to be claustrophobic and chaotic, in a way that was fascinating but not inspiring. When it comes to her practical advice, I can take some of it and leave some of it. Go Outside really hits home when Cutrone articulates the airier stuff – philosophy, mysticism, self-discovery, and ambition.
I do think that this book is the very best of Kelly Cutrone. Her story is compelling and she provides a much needed, strong counterweight to the mainstream majority of shopaholics and fashionistas. Cutrone is using her celebrity to its best advantage. I appreciate that.