Has Paris Hilton been playing us?
Broadly just did a piece called “This Is How Paris Hilton Fooled the Entire United States of America.” It talks about how her image was fabricated, from the baby voice to her ditziness. They interviewed a more mature 34-year-old Paris on her new DJing gig in Ibiza and her 19th fragrance (she’s made $2 billion off her perfume, alone). It’s a profile on her as a businesswoman and a reality star icon.
Broadly argues that Paris has been unfairly portrayed by the media as a dumb blonde when her entire image has been a marketing ploy. There are some quotes from her sister, Nicky, saying that as a little girl, she was just a tomboy who loved animals. (Apparently she hated pink?) There was also considerable pressure from her family to be her own person.
Paris says the person we see on TV is a character she created on The Simple Life: A dumb rich girl who doesn’t know what Wal-Mart is (fact: she does).
“If you're in on the joke, you know what you're doing, you're aware of it, and you're doing it purposefully, I think it's actually smart.”
You could say she’s paved the way for reality stars like the Kardashians. My favorite quote: “If Keeping up with the Kardashians is a serialized Dickens novel about how fame affects family, The Simple Life was a 1930s screwball comedy about class.”
Did you know when she wrapped on The Simple Life, she became a development executive at MTV during the reality TV boom? In 15 years, she’s amassed an empire including clothing lines, cosmetics, fragrances, hotels, 50 “Paris Hilton” stores in over 40 countries and has licensed her name and brand to 17 product lines.
Nicky said, “[Paris] didn't get this far being dumb.”
My mom always says you can’t argue with success. Paris “Famous For Being Famous” Hilton turned her 15 minutes into 15 years and is laughing at all of us.
Broadly also points out that she came onto the scene before sites like Jezebel and Tumblr, when any female celebrity was fair game for slut shaming without any retribution.
“But instead of apologizing, Paris continued behaving as she wanted.”
This brings to mind another celebrity who’s often shamed for taking her clothes off. I think you know who I’m thinking of.
I've attached a video of Paris Hilton's "real voice" and more shots from PAPER Magazine. I love the black lipstick.
Photos: PAPER/Vijat Mohindra