Friday, April 8, 2011
By Frances Vega
Reality star and fashion designer, Whitney Port, appeared at USC Tuesday to talk with students about her new book, “True Whit.”
Port, who appeared on "The Hills" and starred on her own spinoff, "The City," has kept herself busy over the last few months. She’s working hard on her clothing line, doing charity work for an organization called FACE Africa, has a new book out, and for one night she added motivational speaker to the list.
The two-hour long event included a lecture, Q&A, and book signing.
Prior to the lecture, Port tweeted about how she never expected to give a lecture at her alma mater, but from the way she carried her long, Amazonian-like figure, she looked ready to get down to business. She appeared in the large classroom wearing an elegant gray blouse and green slacks from her clothing line. Port stood tall behind a podium discussing her new career as a designer and why she decided to write a book. She said she wanted to put together a way to answer all the questions fans had been asking her online.
It seemed as though she truly enjoys answering her fan’s inquiries. The designer was supposed to be promoting her new book, but she spent the majority of the lecture giving advice and answering questions. Port, who graduated from USC in 2007, told fans she wanted to provide them with an educational experience and that they could ask her anything. No questions were off the table.
The majority of the questions were about fashion and Port’s career choices, but every once in a while, someone would throw her a curveball. One audience member asked how she deals with people she doesn’t get along with—like Olivia, her rival on The City.
“How’s Olivia? Have you talked to her lately?” the audience member said.
“You know someone actually just sent me a really horrible picture of her today,” Port said.
After the audience got a laugh from her response, Port went on to say that she doesn’t usually have to worry about running into people she doesn’t like and that she just tries to live her life.
When Port mentioned that she contemplated rushing a sorority when she was in college another fan asked, “Do you feel like not being in a sorority held you back socially?”
Her graceful response to that question was, “you can’t miss what you don’t know.”
Port also spent some time talking about how she got involved with reality television. She said being a TV star was never part of her life plan and that she was reluctant to be on TV, but a Teen Vogue internship seemed like a good opportunity so she decided to go for it. She also said she pretended not to know who Lauren Conrad was when they first met.
The stories she told revealved a very unique path to success, but Port always tried to find a way to make her experiences relatable. She said part of her goal was to give advice that would help her fans succeed as well. Her biggest lesson for everyone was to take chances and learn new things.
To emphasize her point, Port borrowed a quote from her mentor, Kelly Cutrone.
“You cannot be afraid of taking chances because if you don't take chances then you’ll always be average.”