Kelly Cutrone continues to be a scary, awesome delight. The PR maven recently sat down with MediaBistro to talk about her public relations firm, People's Revolution, and about her increasingly frequent presence on MTV reality soap schlock The Hills. Cutrone has a six-year-old daughter and does constantly worry, she says, about where girls get their ideals from, whether it be from Disney cartoons, Hannah Montana, or The Hills. The interviewer asked her to explain the success of the gross, glossy docusoap and Cutrone's answer was typically informed, a little nutty, and mostly funny considering she's kinda criticizing a show she's about to be on a lot. Read her answer, which involves theories about High School Musical and showbiz narcissism, after the jump.
I have a bizarre experience with The Hills. I'm a mom and I have a six-year-old, and when my daughter was a year and a half, my mom was trying to give her Disney princess stuff and I was really opposed to it, because I thought the messaging was very negative in the setup for little girls. It's always some poor village girl, and something happens to her, and then poof, this guy shows up and they move to the castle and everything is great.
I just really didn't want my daughter to get into that. I mean so much to the point that I was looking at a Waldorf or city and country type gender-free school because I just thought that it was negative imaging. By the time my daughter was two, she knew every Disney princess, every name, even though we didn't have it in our house and I just totally succumbed to the fact that Disney had gotten my kid and there was nothing I could do, so I mind as well join them and celebrate that aspect of imagination and femininity with her.
And now she's six and she's really into Miley Cyrus, who I think originally the core concept was developed for a tween market, but what's happening is TV and media are sexualizing kids so quick and everything's moving so fast that a five-year-old is now into what a 12-year-old used to be into because of the way things like Disney edits and paces their show.
People like Zach and Cody, That's So Raven, and then Miley, so it was like my daughter just turned six, she just finished kindergarten and she knows all about High School Musical, which is really a tween Grease, if you think about it.
Then what happens for these girls, their next installation is, guess what, The Hills. And they're just old enough to start watching MTV, they're hormonally in place, and they see these four young, beautiful girls who really in my mind are a continuation of a Disney princess, because they live in a world that most people will never live in. And, on top of that, you pick up the extra market of people who do live in that world who want to see themselves reflected back, like the fashion and entertainment people who kind of watch it like it's something like they can't really believe that they're watching, but they are watching and they're enthralled because they can't believe they're watching what they're watching but they're also narcissistic because they see their own world reflected back to them.
And then there's a sub-group of people that are drawn in by their wives. And I know this because when I go out of town or something, people come up to me, like a 40-year-old guy who's an engineer who is like, "Oh, are you on The Hills? I told my wife that was you, I knew that was you." And I say, "Well why do you watch The Hills?" And he says, "I don't know, I like to watch TV with my wife and she started having me watch it."
Being from upstate New York and not being born in New York on Park Avenue, I think I have an interesting perspective because I come from one world and I live in another, and I think for most young people who watch that world, it would be amazing if you're 21 and get invited to go the Crillion Ball in Paris. That's my take on The Hills and that's why I think it is so successful.