Do you remember Paris Hilton? During her peak of fame and popularity, she was a talented, jack of all trades celebrity. Not only was she an actor, but she was also a model, a singer, and a writer, producing multiple novels. She was also a disc jockey! The Beverly Hills raised girl joined the social circle of famous people from a young age, where she joined Trump Model Management, an agency owned by Donald Trump, to model as just a teenager. Even at that point in time her life was the perfect example of a typical celebrity female. She would constantly be ending relationships and starting new ones.
When she first became an adult, she and her boyfriend (at the time) Rick Salomon filmed a sex tape, which was then released it publicly shortly after. News tabloids obsessed over her. Paris Hilton’s life was front page material for any gossip magazine. The sex tape was the cherry on top, making her a well-known commodity. Her on-and-off personality was just what the media wanted. Very shortly after the tape was released, within only a span of a week or two, Paris Hilton starred in the mega-popular television show, The Simple Life, alongside one of her best friends, Nicole Richie. The series cemented Paris’s status as a star celebrity. However, like with everything else in the world, the excitement over her and her personal life began to fade. Lately, many have stopped to wonder, what in the world happened to Paris Hilton? Many have forgotten about her. She was such a story, and the media couldn’t get enough from her. How could she fade away so suddenly?
Paris Hilton was born on February 17th, 1981, in New York City. One could have guessed her future success from the start. Kathy Hilton, Paris Hilton’s mother, was also an actress during her peak of fame, and she was also a constant threat to make the headlines. Gossip loved her, just as they ended up falling in love with her daughter. Rick Hilton, her father, was a successful businessman. He taught Paris a few things, including money management, in order for her to become as wealthy and successful as she is today. Paris also had siblings, two brothers and a sister. You may have noticed her last name is the same as the popular hotel company, Hilton Hotels. Conrad Hilton, her grandfather, was the founder of the massively successful company. You could argue that she was born into fame.
Paris Hilton’s fame is interesting to study. Some consider her “famous for being famous”. Others say that she took advantage of her opportunities, and used the fame around her to build up her own image, and eventually become more successful than any of her family members.
Hilton became so famous, that she was considered the model for the famous person. As weird as that sounds, it’s true. For example, on the popular television show, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and also the subsequent series, The Suite Life on Deck, the character London Tipton was based on her. London’s father owned a large hotel company, like Hilton’s grandfather. And just look at their names; both have first names that are the same as famous cities in Europe, and their last names are very closely related. But that wasn’t even Paris’s only fictional copy. In the super successful television show, Two Broke Girls, Paris had another fictional clone in Caroline Channing. She even had a character in the worldwide hit video game World of Warcraft, named Haris Pilton.
Her identity as the perfect famous person was so iconic that when a fictional story needed an ideal famous person, they just cloned her life. But this brings the question back up: how did her flame of popularity fade out?
As a young kid, her family would move very often. Although she was born in New York City, she spent most of her childhood in Beverly Hills, California. Due to her parents’ status, she was able to hang out and make friends with the kids of other famous celebrities. For example, Kim Kardashian and Nicole Richie were two of her closest childhood friends. After she spent most her young life in Beverly Hills, California, Paris Hilton and her family moved away to New York during her sophomore year of high school where she attended a school that Lady Gaga happened to be enrolled in at the time. The fame was starting to eat at her, however, and at her young age, she wasn’t able to handle everything that was going on in her life emotionally. She went to a school temporarily for teens needing help with their emotional control problems but was able to leave after a year. However, during her senior year of high school at Canterbury Boarding School, she was expelled for an unknown violation of school rules. Once again, perfect for the tabloid magazines. She then dropped out and obtained her GED.
She decided to continue modeling, which was a job she had been doing since she was a child. She met with Donald Trump, and he agreed to bring her in for his modeling agency as she would bring a lot of publicity, which would be a good thing. Her typical day at this time would consist of her waking up, going to work to model, and then partying all night long, sleeping for a few hours, and then repeating the same cycle the next day. Of course, this caught the attention of the gossip news companies, as her life was now on display each night on the celebrity news television channels. Some said that she wasn’t enjoying her youth and that she was “growing up a little too fast.” This is the case with a lot of young celebrities, as they get into the hardcore partying atmosphere early, and then they can’t escape it. It becomes a problem for the rest of their lives. Lives that may not last too long if they can’t escape these demons. She was now considered the epitome of a socialite. Hilton was dubbed multiple names, including “New York’s Leading It Girl”. If someone walked into any store that sold magazines, they would see Hilton’s face everywhere.
While Hilton’s fame could have disastrous results on her, it also helped her at times. She was able to land a role in a small horror movie, Nine Lives, and her acting career took off. The film wasn’t necessarily casting her for her acting skills; it was obvious that Hilton was a mere marketing point to get people excited to see the movie.
Her acting career was about to get a big boost, however. In 2003, she co-starred alongside her childhood friend and fellow famous socialite Nicole Richie in a reality television show, The Simple Life. Their lives were anything but that, which was the irony of the show. This was shortly after the public release of a sex tape that gave her even more worldwide fame. The show became a mega-hit sensation, getting over thirteen million views on the premiere episode alone. The show developed her reputation as a low IQ blonde. Many thought that the show was showing her real-life persona, as she came across that way everywhere on television. However, Hilton took offense to these ideas, and she claimed to have been in character, and that is not how she acts in real life.
In 2005, Hilton hosted the popular nighttime show Saturday Night Live from NBC, and then got her first major role in a blockbuster movie, House of Wax. Hilton actually impressed with acting ability, as some critics noted. However, the film received subpar reviews. Some critics liked it, but many did not.
A year later, Paris got into legal trouble. She was pulled over by a cop for reckless driving and later was charged with driving while intoxicated. She then had her license suspended, yet was caught driving a few months later. The following month, she was caught speeding. She certainly wasn’t helping her case that she wasn’t a dumb blonde. She was sentenced to jail time but ended up with 40 days of confinement at home. However, she ended up doing jail time after a change in her sentence. In jail, she met a minister named Marty Angelo. Marty influenced her greatly, and Hilton decided to start a new beginning. However, The Simple Life was not renewed for a sixth season due to her legal troubles. It seemed as if Hilton’s world was falling apart, and she needed to start over.
She was soon in a new reality television show, this one on MTV, called Paris Hilton’s My New BFF. The show was about Paris’s search for a replacement best friend, after falling out with Nicole Richie. She then recorded her first song, “My BFF”, which became an instant hit, and the show’s title theme.
Although Hilton had promised a new beginning, at the 2010 FIFA World Cup she was caught smoking an illegal substance, however, the case was dismissed. However, a couple weeks later, Hilton was caught with possession of marijuana. The next month she was pulled over due to allegations that she had cocaine in her car, and she happened to be driving drunk at the time, which was charged against her. 0.8 grams of cocaine was found in her handbag, and she was sentenced to a large fine, community service, and she was enrolled in a drug abuse rehabilitation center.
Paris made a return to reality television with a new series, The World According to Paris, on Oxygen channel. It was about her regular, everyday life. The show didn’t get as many views as her previous shows did, and was unsuccessful and canceled shortly after. Her fame was starting to fade, as people were less interested in the rich blonde girl who was always getting into legal trouble. The world was starting to move on and focus on other celebrities. Hilton kept trying to hold on to a rope that no longer existed, yet she was clueless to why she kept falling when trying to hang on to this imaginary rope.
The truth was, Paris Hilton ruined herself. She was put in the perfect situation to be famous, and she took advantage of that opportunity, but for all the wrong reasons. She didn’t use her power and wealth to make a statement or help the world. She used it to party and take advantage of people due to her social status. She also blew her chance at maintaining it, as she became known as a public mess. However, after her flame became nothing but smoke on a half-finished candle, she started to change. She donated hundreds of thousands to hospitals and other charities, continued to be in small movies, and she stayed out of legal trouble. She has kept herself out of the headlines for a while now. The truth is, her absence from gossip companies and television shows may have faded her popularity, but it is probably a good thing. The fact that most of us have forgotten about her, and haven’t heard of her in while, is best for her. It means she is staying out of trouble, and for her own sake, fame aside, that is for the better.