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Planet Cake – Paris Cutler Were A Guy Would She Be More Likeable?

Planet Cake on Lifestyle Food has been on our TV screens for five weeks, and it is a great viewing. There is drama, the cakes are amazing, and the characters interesting.

The show for those who are not watching it is a reality show based in high profile cake shop Planet Cake in Sydney following the highs and lows of making amazingly creative cakes.

However the ‘star’ of the show, and the owner of Planet Cake, Paris Cutler, has been getting some very negative feedback in the social media sphere.

Here are some examples of the tweets:

How shit is that #planetcake show? That woman is fecking horrible and only seems interested in how much ‘her’ cakes are.

I don’t actually like #planetcake, the blonde chick/owner doesn’t do anything she just orders her staff around. ugh.

ehh, that Paris chick from #planetcake is the bitchiest drama queen ever. won’t be wasting time watching again!

And I wondered if Paris was a man whether she would have attracted the same criticism there is double standards when it comes to men and women in business.

Here are some examples:

  • Whereas women are seen as pushy when pitching for business, men are seen to networking;
  • Women when telling it how it is are being bitchy, men are just seen as being assertive;
  • Women who take no nonsense and have high standards are seen as tough, in a negative way, whereas men in same situation are seen as tough in a positive way; and
  • Women who get angry are seen as neurotic, whereas men are seen as being forceful.
And don’t even get me started on the issue of looks and outfits. No one notices if a guy wears the same suit two or three days in a row, however if a female does it is commented on and normally in a negative way.
Conversely I have some reverse sexism going on where I admire women with children who are doing incredible high powered jobs, whereas a guy in a similar positions with children I don’t even think about.
Having watched all the episodes I have felt conflicted about Paris Cutler. At first I was surprised she did not touch or make a cake, but now realise she is a business woman not a cake maker. She runs the business and has the staff with the skills to work for her.
Had we expected her to be a sweet little thing in an apron rolling out the icing fondant, and stirring the cake mixture. I think I had. However what we are seeing is a person running a small business with ten or more staff and juggling all that goes with it. No cash flow then no wages are going to be paid.
Sure she is a tough boss, but it is her brand and she has built it. Also why are women bosses expected to be nurturers, those expectations are not placed on their male counterparts.

Yes I want to know that when her staff are pulling the all nighters that she is paying overtime and penalty rates. However to get the best staff and to retain them she must be paying higher then the going rate for their skills.

If there is no one to produce those masterpieces Paris’s business is going to be in more trouble then the early settlers.

The other criticism has been the cost of the cakes and they cost a lot.  Should the Australian Navy been spending $18,000 on a cake well that is something to debate. In fact the Navy tweeted that they did not pay for it. So a win win for them a free cake plus free advertising for the navy on a TV show was in fact good value.

And yes it is a first world problem that people will spend big bucks on something that is going to be cut up and eaten.

However a business is about making profit, and enough profit to get you through the slow times, pay the bills, and make all the hours and stress in worthwhile.

If she were a guy would I be even writing this blog post? I think not.

I am not sure I like Paris Cutler, but I sure as hell admire her.

Planet Cake – Lifestyle Food – Wednesday nights 7.30pm.

21 comments

1 Nic { 12.01.11 at 1:44 pm }

We love love love the show!! We sit there with eyes bulging at the creativity and cost of these elaborate creations. Im not offended by Paris at all!!

2 Culinary Boner { 12.01.11 at 1:51 pm }

I was going to say that Paris is sorta like the Madam of this business bossing around bunch of busy beaver – and no doubt underpaid – cake technicians. But then I realised a Madam would have probably spent some time on the floor (literally).

The fact that Paris neither makes nor eats cakes is exactly what makes this show a dud. Nothing to do with her gender.

There are plenty of business people out there who are entirely disconnected from the product/services they sell, which makes them no more interesting than the average wage-slave ‘working’ in the public or private sectors with no passion for their jobs. Who’d seriously wanna watch Planet Public Service Bludger or Planet Private Sector Timewaster? So why do we need to watch Planet I’m-Only-Selling-This-Shit- Because-I-Can-Overcharge-For-It?

Though I reckon a reality production company should do Planet-I-Only-Bought-This-Franchise-Because-No-One-Else-Would-Employ-Me.

Were Paris more into the actual product, say in the way that the superb Tabatha Coffey* is about the art of good hairstyling and salon service, then this would make for a much, much more interesting show.

* Did I mention, in sad futility, that Tabatha gives me the horn. Sorry Ajay. (oh and sorry to you, horn)

3 Alana { 12.01.11 at 2:28 pm }

Interesting read! Though I think the comparisons drawn between men and women you outlined are a little generalised. I can apply the same traits to Buddy Valastro of Cake Boss; I’ve seen him bitchy, neurotic and really pushy. And yes Paris is a business woman and I appreciate and respect her for that however this is a cake decorating show. People want to see cake decorating and people want to see cake decorators. Paris is neither of those things so if anything she’s only getting in the way of what people want to see.

Also, the other week she was saying “No lunch breaks today”, etc etc – this has nothing to do with gender, anyone who’d say this to their staff is just being plain nasty.

Oh, and of course, people will always draw comparions (as I already have) between Planet Cake and Cake Boss. Buddy uses cereal treats and makes everything edible; Paris’ designers use styrophoam and cardboard. She also insists on using only mud cake for the sturctural integrity of the cake whereas Buddy is capable of designing intricate cakes with any flavour and any filling. I think there’s a few things to dislike about the show other than just her.

4 Sares { 12.01.11 at 4:31 pm }

Lol thanks for clearing up the $18K Navy cake thing cause my mind boggled last night at the thought our tax dollars had paid for that! Couldn’t believe it!

With Paris Cutler though – i was under the impression that she was a cake decorator & used to make her own cakes which is how the business started but now the sheer volume of cakes & the business commitments that go with it don’t make that possible? Not sure now.

Oh & with Buddy from Cake Boss – i bet the show is staged to make it seem like he is still at the bakery everyday making cakes… With 3 TV shows, books, media plus his biz meetings & 2 baking factories i doubt he could keep up with a normal bakers schedule.

5 Culinary Boner { 12.01.11 at 5:12 pm }

I’d prefer the Navy were given free Sexual Harassment Training videos (preferably on how not to) rather than a friggin’ $18K cake.

I didn’t see the Navy episode.
Did the cake feature massive guns straddled by a marzipan Cher, or wasn’t it that creative?

6 Reality Raver { 12.01.11 at 9:43 pm }

Alana – I take your point, I have only watched one Cake Boss. Do you think she uses mudcake so it keeps moist as it is made so many days in advance.

7 Alana { 12.01.11 at 11:13 pm }

Even though it’s not Australian I definitely think you should watch a few more episodes, it’s really great! I think she uses mudcake because it’s a denser cake making it easier to shape and balance. My point is that Buddy and his team are talented enough to cater to their clients personal cake preferences by making such detailed cakes out of such varied cake flavours, not just thick mud.

8 Quality or Personality? { 12.02.11 at 6:34 am }

Cake Boss pfft

Planet Cake aren’t bakers.
They are cake artists… There is a difference.

I want to watch the best in the world share their artistic secrets.
Not their autistic siblings.

9 Sares { 12.02.11 at 10:46 am }

Yep agree & let’s face it, Cake Boss cakes are 50% “rice crispy treats” most of the time & Alana’s right – you can’t mould with anything less dense than a mud or fruit cake so what else is Planet Cake supposed to do. If i bought cake i would expect to get cake, not cereal!

10 Culinary Boner { 12.02.11 at 2:11 pm }

You call that “art” QualityorPersonality?
This is is Art: http://www.yenerscakes.com.au/vb-carton.html *

(*from cakes bogans like)

11 Culinary Boner { 12.02.11 at 2:23 pm }

More ‘Art’ from my soon-to-be-released best seller ‘Cakes Bogans Like” – http://www.flickr.com/photos/bruce_morrison/3339128775/

12 Shar { 12.03.11 at 8:06 am }

Did someone just “pfft” at Cake Boss??? Are you kidding me by saying they are just autistic bakers? Go watch a few episodes and compare these talented artists who build the WHOLE cake to Paris’s pretend cake show.

13 JJ { 12.05.11 at 11:11 am }

Amusing a whole bunch of comments made here by people that actually don’t know Paris or been to Planet Cake and met the staff. You do realise that in reality TV the producers want to incorporate some spice to make the show more dramatic. Paris’ role in this series the producers seem to edit it to make her look tough and hard… in all reality she’s a lovely woman (yes I’ve met her numerous times) who is a great business mind. The comments like “no lunch breaks” were taken out of context basically it was a throw away line used to emphasize how busy the day ahead was and to ensure the staff knew to maximize their time. As said PC is not a bakery (the cakes are baked off-site, although using recipes created by Planet Cake) and the Planet Cake method uses cakes such as Mud (Dark choc, mik choc, white choc), Carrot cake, Orange cake etc etc with many other flavours… it just seems that the dark choc mud is the most popular and used by 90% of all orders (it is very nice!). In a business you need someone business savy to drive and steer the ship… Margie (who was the original owner) wasn’t able to probably do that and thus sold the business to Paris who has led the business to have 3 published books, great recognition and a TV show. Remember like any business owner the goal of running a business is to 1) Make Money 2) ensure your staff is paid 3) repeat business… There is a lot of work, effort required to create such masterpieces and it’s hard enough to convince a client that a cake is worth over $1000 (because most people think it’s only sugar, eggs and flour)…. Paris is one of the “cogs” in this machine… and I think the show show’s that… because we see all the work the staff do and the roles each staff member plays… Paris is boss/marketing/client-management, Anthony designs, Emma kitchen manager, Anna-Maria/Margie/Ritzy/Jessica etc are decorators.

14 Culinary Boner { 12.05.11 at 2:56 pm }

JJ, comments here are on the TV show and what this portrays. Oh, and in the case of my assessment, how effing boring it is.

If Paris or one of her fan-club like yourself wants us all to ‘see the light’ then meself, Brain Dead Dave, georgie, smauge and shar and the other posters on this TV SHOW BLOG would no doubt be more than willing to have a guided tour arranged. Don’t worry about a cake though, I only eat food, not Art.

15 Georgie { 12.05.11 at 4:43 pm }

Here is the last word in cake art –
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeSIzimj53s

16 Reality Raver { 12.05.11 at 5:29 pm }

JJ – thanks for the comment. A person goes into business to make a profit, and if that can involved something they are passionate about or if they spot a niche then good on them.

Agree it is editing and that is why I actually like the show. Paris is shown as a complex individual, where you sometimes you may not like her and sometimes you do. I find the best US reality shows do this – Real Housewives is fantastic at this. Some eps I like some of the individuals and some eps I don’t like them, and this is what makes the shows interesting.

Georgie – that is hilarious

17 KatInEurope { 12.05.11 at 7:50 pm }

I’m kinda embarrassed about how much I’m enjoying Planet Cake – but I now think my (as yet uniced) Christmas Cake will look crap in comparison.
Yes, she’s a tough manager, but yes she wouldn’t be getting half those comments if she were male.

18 CS { 12.10.11 at 12:53 pm }

Planet cake is ridiculous! They don’t even make a cake base! They always use styrofoam and their human figures are just stupid. Margie although, is quite amazing. I’m glad Paris can’t boss her around. In regards to cake boss, it makes PC look talentless. Yes, they use rice crispy treats at times, but it is never at 50%! I’d rather that then styrofoam any day! Paris overcharges. All I can say is I hope her workers are earning a lot to be putting up with her narcissistic attitude! This show could have been amazing – just needs more cake and new management.

19 ange { 12.12.11 at 8:01 pm }

Love the show – could watch those amazing cakes all day. Don’t think much of Paris, seems like a mole. Wouldn’t want to work for her – haven’t actually seen her get her hands dirty (i.e. icing etc) but she is good at prancing around playing Queenie.

20 Puddymoors { 12.17.11 at 6:19 pm }

I’m so glad I found your blog! I’m a fan of Ace of Cakes, and to a lesser extent Cake Boss (I really don’t like all the conflict Buddy has with his staff). I stopped watching PC, amazed at how Paris seems unable to manage her staff, and that when things go wrong she’s always going somewhere else, it’s never her who stays to fix it. If it were my business that’s what I’d be doing!
I love Ace of Cakes because Duff (the owner) actually seems to like his staff, they make AMAZING cakes, they cook them themselves and there’s never a mention of cost.
Thanks for not being all ‘How amazing are the cakes’ with Paris!

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