Review: Normal Gets You Nowhere by Kelly Cutrone

Normal Gets You Nowhere
By: Kelly Cutrone, Meredith Bryan
Publisher: HarperOne
Published: May 3, 2011
Genre: Non Fiction

Barnes & Noble

nor-mal: according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule or principle / conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern / of, relating to, or characterized by average intelligence or development

Who wants to be that?

When Kelly Cutrone’s first book, If You Have to Cry, Go Outside, was first published, young people flocked to this new voice—finally, someone was telling it like it is, in language they spoke. It quickly became a New York Times bestseller, and fashion publicist Kelly Cutrone became more than a personality, she became a beloved guru, mentor, and fairy godmother.

Now she’s back with another no-holds-barred book to awaken our souls and kick our asses into gear. With Normal Gets You Nowhere, she invites us to get our freak on. History is full of successful, world-changing people who did not fit in. Think Nelson Mandela, Joan of Arc, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, John Lennon, and Rosa Parks. Instead of changing themselves to accommodate the status quo or what others thought they should be, these people hung a light on their differences—and changed humanity in the process.

“I know you don’t feel normal, so why are you trying to act it and prove to everyone you are?” Cutrone says. So much of what we say or don’t say, and what we do or don’t do, is dictated by what others have told us, or what people may think of us. This is not how we should be living, by measuring ourselves against the mundane.

An invitation to rethink who you are, what you value, and what you want from life, Normal Gets You Nowhere goes beyond how to reinvent yourself and create your own brand, and investigates what it means to live in this world as a tuned-in, caring individual with a passion for making a difference. There’s already an army of super talented uberfreaks changing the world–isn’t it time you joined it time you joined them?


I picked up Kelly Cutrone’s “Normal Gets You Nowhere” after reading (and liking) her previous book “If You Have To Cry Go Outside”. Let’s start off this by saying I have a lot of respect for Kelly Cutrone. She is a strong, independent, successful woman in the fashion industry, that I think any modern woman can take some advice from. On a personal note, we are like one in the same, both Scorpio’s, and both from Syracuse! Since I’m from Syracuse, her frequent references to CNY are cool (who knew her family owns Pirro Funeral Homes!).

From this books title, I was hoping to get revolutionary wisdom on how to not be normal – that would make sense right? Well, I don’t think the book necessarily stuck to the theme unfortunately. Honestly, anything that comes out of Kelly’s mouth I eat up, she is so intelligent, has had great experiences in life and has some interesting stories. That being said, I feel like the book didn’t really teach anyone about how to be different in life. The epilogue was the hardest hitting evidence on the title, where she define’s what she means when she says “normal gets you no where”. To Kelly, and I agree, if you are waking up, going to work, eating at a restaurant for dinner, watching a movie at night and falling asleep in the arms of a man, that is normal – and it will get you nowhere. Further drilling it down, if you arn’t out there pushing yourself every day as hard as you can, you won’t achieve your highest goals (if you have any). You won’t be a successful CEO of a company, or own your own boutique if you are worried about getting the kids to their soccer game, or what movie to watch that night.

Kelly does push the reader to question things in life. Like, what is the driving force of the media’s message, why is the homeless man on the corner homeless, or why are there no woman’s faces on money bills? Where she loses me is her trying to tie Christmas and lawyers into “normal”. She had stories that were entertaining, just not relating to the subject, really.

Kelly is, in her own way, trying to push the reader to excel in life – to not settle for less than they deserve. While I agree, and want to excel in life, I also believe that it’s ok to work hard and still be considered “normal”. We are the ones who define normal anyways, and who said normal was all that bad!



“I believe that all 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 f*cked up, f*cking other people over, letting your ego lead your choices – the thinks 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.”

Another concept from the book that I liked is what Kelly called “The No Matter What Club”. It’s your group of friends in life, that you’ve signed up to be on their team, no matter what. Think about it, who and how many would be on your team? I’ve lived through 25 years of friends, coming and going – but there will always be those select few that are my No Matter What’s.


2 Thoughts on “Review: Normal Gets You Nowhere by Kelly Cutrone

  1. I only know Kelly from watching the Hills but she does seem to have a good way at giving advice and she makes a fair point about all of us needing to push ourselves more every day!

  2. I used to watch her show on Bravo, and I wondered what she was up to. I have always admired her ability to balance motherhood with her expanding career. Her relationship with her daughter’s father is also interesting. Do you know about it? They have such a progressive attitude towards love and parenting. They love each other but they also love their own lives and where they live, so they don’t live in the same country. It is not something that I would ever do, but I admire how they make it work.

    s @ Oh! Paper Pages

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