Do you know who Kelly Oxford is? I first became aware of her via Twitter – she’s got nearly half a million followers – and her first book was published a few months ago…I just finished reading it over the weekend. Entitled “Everything is Perfect When You’re a Liar”, it is a collection of personal essays about her life, growing up, and her experiences – some of the pieces are really funny, whilst others are kind of dumb…it’s as if she sometimes hasn’t negotiated the line between over-sharing/TMI and not providing enough details to fully engage the reader. One thing that stands out for me about her writing is that Kelly almost goes out of her way to tell stories that paint her in a very unflattering light, as if she doesn’t give a shit whether you like her or not. There is something very admirable about that, I think – in a society where so many of us are eager-beavers to be liked that we’re all aboard the People-Pleasing Express, Kelly fully admits to being an asshole most of the time, and she conducts herself as if she doesn’t care what you think about her. Whether that is real or false bravado, I don’t know, but…it certainly is a refreshing change from the majority of the butt-kissers out there. Some of the stories in her book are kind of ludicrous – especially the one where she runs off to Los Angeles impulsively as a teenager on a mission to meet Leonardo DiCaprio (I don’t care if you are 18 years old…what the F were her parents thinking?!?!?!?), and the story about the time that David Copperfield invited her to Vegas – a story which bugged me because I felt that she behaved kind of badly during that trip, and as a fellow Canadian, I’m somewhat embarrassed by poor behavior. But that’s probably just me. 😉
Although she’s been writing for years, Kelly gained popularity on the Internet via Twitter – her often-humorous tweets are rarely politically correct and each one seems crafted to get a laugh (which they frequently do – out of this girl, anyway). Since her rise to fame on Twitter, she has written this book, sold two pilots, and has a script in development at Warner Brothers. She and her family moved to Los Angeles recently, and it seems that her career as a comic writer is well and truly on its way. I wish Kelly had written about how she went from online blogging from her home in Canada to international celebrity – THAT would be an interesting read, don’t you think? Also, I wish there had been a whole lot fewer drug stories in this book – I will forever think that glamorizing drugs and stoned-culture is highly irresponsible, and I wish that those with public influence and power would refrain from that. I’m no prude, but…I work with teenagers every day, young people will read this book, and we all know that they are highly impressionable – and they will probably leave thinking that if they, too, believe in the adage that weed will always find them and spend a good portion of their lives stoned, that they will find celebrity and success. I just wish people would be more responsible about this kind of thing….but again, that’s probably just me being a weirdo. 😉
To get to where she is, Kelly undoubtedly has put in a A LOT of work – and good for her. I would love to see the kind of success that she is currently enjoying (wouldn’t we all????!), but I wish that she would have talked about that part of things more. You don’t loaf your way through life, being a stoner and doing nothing of any consequence, yet managing to have all of these amazing career things happen to you – life just doesn’t go that way. I wish that Kelly would acknowledge all of the work that she put in (she probably does on her blog – and I have heard her recognize her own efforts in interviews), be real about all of the time and effort that goes in to being an “overnight” success – and give hope to the rest of us poor slobs, who are plugging away waiting on a big break that will probably never come.
Perhaps we need to start working on funnier tweets. 😉