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Kelly Cutrone By Amy & Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture Passionistas
Some people might think Pop Culture is a frivolous interest and that those who follow it aren’t very deep. But we have found that we can see inspiration in the oddest places. We are heartened by the perseverance of those brave Survivors who spend 39 days stranded on an island in a show of wills to outplay, outwit, and outlast, the generosity of spirit displayed by celebrities during the most dire of global disasters, and the commonality we can all find in a TV show about–like this seasons new hit Parenthood. Here are our favorite inspirational pop culture moments of the week:
Kathryn Bigelow and Geoffrey Fletcher Make Movie History at the Oscars
The week started off with two truly inspiring Oscar stories. Early in the evening, Geoffrey Fletcher became the first African-American to win the statuette for Writing of an Adapted Screenplay for “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.” In his acceptance speech he said, “This is for everybody who works on a dream every day.”
And then Kathryn Bigelow smashed through Hollywood’s glass ceiling by becoming the first woman to ever win an Academy Award for directing for her Iraq War film “The Hurt Locker.” In a truly empowering and inspirational moment, Barbra Streisand announced the groundbreaking victory by saying, “And the winner is… Well, the time has come… Kathryn Bigelow.”
Bigelow is only the fourth woman to even be nominated for the top award. The other three were Lina Wertmller for “Seven Beauties,” Jane Campion for “The Piano,” and Sofia Coppola for “Lost in Translation.” Even Barbra, who is a respected director herself, has been overlooked by the Academy.
Bigelow’s low key acceptance speech did not acknowledge the historical significance of the win, but the Oscar orchestra underscored the moment by playing Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman” as she walked off the stage.
It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know Especially if Who You Know is Conan O’Brien
Last week, before Sarah Killen became the only person Conan O’Brien was following on Twitter, she was just a young student, too broke to pay for her impending wedding this fall. Well, she wasn’t totally broke, she and her finance John Slowik, Jr. had saved $30 for the September nuptials.
Now, thanks to everybody’s favorite unemployed talk show host, 19-year-old Killen has been flooded with gifts including a dress, refreshments, and a honeymoon.

But rather than keep the spoils of her recent good fortune all to herself, the young bride-to-be is asking her 27,000-plus followers to donate to the Susan G. Komen Foundation which benefits breast cancer research.
Conan may have picked Sarah’s @LovelyButton Twitter account at random, but it’s almost impossible to hear the story and not think that karma was at play and that sometimes good things do happen to good people.
Now if only Coco will fulfill the couples latest request and agree to be Slowik’s best man. After all, once the former “Tonight Show” host wraps up his 30-city “Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour,” he should have lots of free time on his hands again.
Kelly Cutrone’s Female Empowerment Book
Hard edged fashion PR maven Kelly Cutrone might not seem like the ultimate source of inspiration, considering she spends the majority of her TV time yelling at her employees and snapping at runway show seat stealers. But this week on “Kell on Earth,” Cutrone surprised us with a sentimental tribute to her young daughter, Ava.
The People’s Republic CEO spoke of why her first book, “If You Have to Cry Go Outside,” is important to her, “You know, I’m really happy that I wrote the book that I wrote because I spend so much time with these young women who just feel like they have to do what their parents want them to do. So as you’re saying hello to your dreams you’re saying goodbye to what you were programmed to believe in. And this is the journey that we’re all on together.”
The self-help tome is dedicated to her daughter: “This book is also for Ava. Everything I do, I do for Ava, because I want Ava to have the best life that I can give her. I want my daughter’s thoughts to be her thoughts. I want her feelings to be her feelings. I want Ava to be creative and I want her to learn how to trust and listen to herself. That means I want my daughter to be autonomous. I want her to be the empowered young woman. That’s what I want for her.”
What a beautiful gift for a mother to give her daughter.
Inspiring People to Get Healthy on “The Biggest Loser”
Aside from the occasional game play move on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” the show is typically a feel- good evening of TV. But this past week was especially inspirational as the contestants worked for a full week at the Los Angeles Food Bank for Feed America. They all got a great feeling from giving back to people in need and realized how fortunate they are in their lives.
But the most inspiring moment came when the teams were eating their low-calorie lunches and a Food Bank employee stopped into the break room. The overweight 33-year-old man had lost his father when he was the same age to complications from obesity. He thanked the contestants for encouraging a nation to get healthy and asked for personal advice about how to start on his own weight loss journey. It brought tears to our eyes as each cast member shared words of encouragement with the man who clearly was motivated by their replies.
Their counsel was to start small. Sherry suggested that he take a walk around the block. Just one block at first, and that maybe by the second week he could build to two blocks. O’Neal told him adamantly that he could meet his weight goals if he put his mind to it.
Certainly former “Loser” participants have proven that taking these baby steps can lead to significant results in the long term.
Super Bowl Winner Scott Fujita Donates Earnings to New Orleans
The Super Bowl win for the New Orleans Saints was more than a football victory. It was a message to the rest of the country that the Big Easy is back with a revitalized spirit after recovering from the unspeakable tragedy of Hurricane Katrina.
Scott Fujita, linebacker for the Saints, moved to New Orleans shortly after Katrina hit and was determined to help the city that took him in. He gave back to the community often during his four years with the team.
But, this weekend, despite the Super Bowl victory and his dedication to Nawlins, Fujita announced he had signed as a free agent with the Cleveland Browns. Still he wanted to leave the city with a lovely parting gift. So he donated half of his $82,000 Super Bowl bonus check to charity–50% went to a New Orleans’ coastal wetlands restoration project and the rest went to help the victims of the Haiti earthquake.
He said, “The people of this city and region have been so good to me and my family that we just felt strongly about doing something to protect the city we have come to love so much.”
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