Paris Hilton is back — and she would like you to know that she invented the selfie, paved the way for other celebrity models, was the first bona fide reality TV star, and pretty much created the concept of being an influencer. Also, she is looking to redecorate.
“If a beeper had a camera, I would have taken a selfie with it,” Hilton explained during a recent interview with W magazine. “I think I have a selfie from when I was a little kid — like, on a disposable camera.”
She went on to become one of the early famous-for-being-famous rich kids of Hollywood, and her fame predated that of Kim Kardashian. “We started a whole new genre of celebrity that no one had ever seen before,” Hilton said.
Back then, Hilton was 19 and was signed to then businessman Donald Trump’s modeling agency (which, oddly, didn’t use his full name, but went with the more subtle T Management). Now, it’s completely commonplace for the offspring of the rich and famous to land juicy contracts — just ask Paris Jackson, Sofia Richie, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Hailey Baldwin, Delilah Belle, or Mason Grammer.
Hilton isn’t wrong when she says she and her gal pal Nicole Richie were two of the first truly successful reality TV stars in history. Their show, The Simple Life — which ran from 2003 to 2007 and followed the girls as they traveled through middle America caring for farm animals while wearing tube tops and stilettos — premiered to an eye-popping 13 million viewers. (Keeping Up With the Kardashians premiered as The Simple Life came to a close.)
Before her series ended, Hilton was able to build a personal brand — before that was really a “thing” in pop culture. She lent her name to a line of clothing for dogs. She published bestselling books. She trademarked her catchphrase, “That’s hot.” And remember, she did all of this before Instagram existed — a fact that is not lost on the now 36-year-old deejay.
“Nowadays, I feel like it’s so easy, becoming famous. Anybody with a phone can do it,” she said, seemingly unimpressed with the recent wave of “famous” faces on social media. She’s also pretty unimpressed by today’s “reality” TV. “Nowadays, everything is just so scripted and fake. Everything is planned out. There’s nothing real, really,” she lamented. “I’m glad that I did it in the beginning when it was organic and fun.”
But while she waxes poetic about the good ole days — which, to be clear, are the aughts — she has plenty going for her now. Though she didn’t disclose hard numbers, it’s estimated that she makes $1 million per night being a deejay. Seriously. One million dollars. Every night. She also has released 23 fragrances, and has begun dabbling in her family’s business: hotels. Oh, and she has a boyfriend. His name is Chris Zylka.
She really, really likes him.
“I want to have something substantial and something that lasts,” she explained. As she resets her image from the 20-something who taught women everywhere to carry tiny dogs in their $1,000 purses, she has decided to redecorate as well. (Her home is now lined with pictures of herself and her selfies.)
“Right now, I’m just looking, but I love Warhol, Damien Hirst, and Alex Israel.” Hilton declared she is “more mature” now and has set her sights on bigger things than being a “former reality star.” Instead, she hopes in the next 10 years to be a wife and a mom, and have “like 20 dogs and 50 fragrances.” And it’s OK if she loses all the posters of herself at her home … because now she has mastered Instagram.
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