New family, new Paris Hilton

The ‘it girl’ influences navigates life as a wife and mother


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Paris Hilton promotes her video game, “Jewel Jam,” during a 2010 video game convention.

Lourdes Lopez, Staff Writer

Paris Hilton is the “it girl” influencer to many millennials and members of Generation Z. She exemplifies a certain type of self-determined stardom as the young, aloof socialite she was in the early 2000s. Throughout her rise to fame, she was most notably known for her ignorance and detachedness from the real world as an heiress of the Hilton hotel chain, which is estimated at a $14.2 billion net worth.

Back then, Hilton used her burgeoning fame to create a cultural legacy that includes, among other things, “The Simple Life,” the expression “that’s hot,” the reggae-tinged hit “Stars Are Blind” and one enormously successful perfume line. Now, Hilton is shifting her legacy and purpose. As a 42-year-old, she is endeavoring to become a more authentic and transparent version of herself. 

Hilton underwent two life-changing experiences somewhat recently. She got married in November 2021 and had a baby boy, Phoenix, in January of this year. She donned a brunette wig and a sweatshirt and checked into a hospital using a different name on the day her child was born. Hilton wanted to avoid being recognized by one of her many calling cards — her platinum-blond hair. 

Only Hilton, her husband Carter Reum and their surrogate were aware of the baby’s birth at that time — everyone else was unaware. Even their close family members didn’t learn until right before she posted about his arrival on Instagram. She and her husband decided they would have that whole experience for themselves, in contrast to the public life Hilton has had her entire life.

Being pregnant is a big secret to hide — even with a surrogate — but Hilton is accustomed to concealing aspects of her life. She disclosed for the first time in the 2020 documentary “This Is Paris” the abuse she experienced as a teenager when her parents, Rick and Kathy Hilton, sent her to a number of boarding schools that claimed to help problematic teenagers. Since then, she has emerged as a leading proponent for banning the so-called troubled-teen industry. In 2021, she backed legislation in Utah that would have increased school regulation, and she is currently advocating for federal change.

Another change for the artist is the dropping of her typical media persona. Hilton’s dual vocal range had been revealed in the past — one being the low-pitched and nearly sonorous voice she uses when speaking privately, and the other being her higher-pitched and coy public voice. Hilton calls the persona “my steel-plated armor” and a “stupid blonde with a sweet but sassy edge.” “I made sure I never had a quiet time to figure out who I was without her,” she adds. By abandoning the act, she would have to manage yet another public rebuilding of herself. 

Hilton is also telling her complex life in her own words in a new book titled “Paris: The Memoir.” Hilton discusses topics including her difficulties with ADHD and her traumatic experience at Provo Canyon School in her biography, which sees her uncover the underlying tales behind some of the most talked-about episodes in her life, such as her sex tape. Nonetheless, there are also humorous and fascinating pop-culture eras that readers can enjoy.

The memoir was published in February of this year, and it puts Hilton squarely in charge of her own cultural re-2contextualization. She emphasizes the point of how the treatment of “it girls” translates to the treatment of all girls in our culture. She also delves into more disturbing details from her high school years and mentions how her priorities have shifted due to recent life events. 

She is enjoying being a mother and savoring experiences that are brand new to her or the most recent version of herself. People used to approach her for selfies and ask her to comment, “that’s hot” or “sliving,” which is a combination of the words slaying and living, for a very long time. These days, she claims they tell her, “I admire what you’re doing for children” or “I experienced the same thing.” It seems that the popstar will now be slowing down, and her image will continue to shift.