Paris Hilton is an icon. Love her or hate her, Paris spawned an entire generation of pseudo celebrities, and is even credited with inventing the selfie. As the original “famous for nothing” heiress Paris created a sub-culture built on the heels of the recognition she gained from the reality series “The Simple Life” where she lived on a rural farm and worked blue collar jobs with her best friend Nicole Richie.
Most people remember her famous sayings “that’s hot” and “loves it” but none of us ever met the woman behind the curtain and carefully constructed image.Fast forward to present day, we meet Paris as a successful DJ. An entrepreneur in her own right, Paris shrewdly capitalized on her mid 2000’s fame and created a global brand. This girl is sharp. She knows how to make money, but she really isn’t the image she created.We also meet her equally intelligent sister, Nicky Hilton Rothschild who gives her doses of tough love.
Their sisterly bond is interesting as they had two entirely different experiences growing up, but Nicky’s care and concern for her sister was unique and heartwarming. We then dive into Paris’s upbringing, and it wasn’t all glitz and glamour as one would think.Paris was a rebellious teen, and during those years her parents sent her off to a handful of different schools in hopes they would straighten her out, the worst of the lot being Provo Canyon School where Paris and her classmates recalled being verbally, physically and emotionally abused.
Each have suffered lasting effects from the abuse, in Paris’s case it led to her getting into a toxic relationship with Rick Solomon who then sold her out with the infamous “1 Night in Paris” sex tape. Paris, not understanding that abuse was wrong due to her treatment at Provo clung on to Rick for the love she so desperately craved and needed. She reluctantly agreed to filming the sex tape due to pressure from Solomon, and her desire to make him happy.
The PTSD caused a lifetime of damage for her, humiliation and degradations followed her well into her adult life. The documentary, from director Alexandra Dean really makes you understand the inner workings of Paris. Why she is the way that she is, and what her struggles were. We were even able to see how much she has grown when she was about to play at the Tomorrowland festival, arguably the biggest moment of her career as a DJ.
It was there that her boyfriend at the time, Aleks, instead of being happy for her, seemed hellbent on being jealous and catty and tried to ruin it for her. I admired Paris as she ripped the VIP bracelet off his arm and kicked him out, not allowing him to ruin what she had built. She went on to play a successful set and move on with her life. I obviously don’t know her, but, as an audience member, I felt proud of her.
She has suffered abuse, has been hated, made fun of, and humiliated yet she still knew her worth, presented herself as someone of high value, and no longer had the tolerance for someone who just wanted to control her. She set a boundary and stuck to it. Women as a whole could follow this example from her. No matter what we have gone through in relationships and life, we all deserve someone who treats us with care and respect, supports our dreams, and wants to be with us.
At one point in the film, Paris described a photo famed photographer David LaChappelle took of her before she was famous. Inside her grandparents posh Beverly Hills living room Paris flicked off the camera, unknowingly telling the world and her abusers to fuck off. It was interesting as it was almost prophetic of her growth trajectory as a person and a celebrity, she’s had enough and isn’t afraid to show it.
Please visit www.change.org/shutdownprovo to sign the petition to close the abusive Provo Canyon School.
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