When we think back to the early 2000s, it's hard not to remember Paris Hilton, right? She was everywhere: Garnering a staggering 13 million viewers with the premiere of her and Nicole Richie's The Simple Life, bopping from elite party to elite party in her Juicy sweatsuits (which were definitely not made for actual sweating, mind you), and creating her own personal brand before it was cool. (Pretty sure I could still dig up my pink and black striped bottle of Paris Hilton perfume.)
But when Paris Hilton talks about Paris Hilton, her memory serves a bit differently. Not only was she wildly famous (beyond even the likes of a mere Kardashian, at the time), but she's the one to thank for so many social norms we take for granted today.
While today even your 80-year-old grandmother has appeared in a selfie, and the word even appears in dictionaries, it hasn't always been that way. In fact, Paris says she herself invented the selfie.
"If a beeper had a camera, I would have taken a selfie with it," she told W. "I think I have a selfie from when I was a little kid, like on a disposable camera."
Ummm... don't we all, Paris? Maybe the only difference between her selfies and our selfies is that years later we're slightly embarrassed about our pouty poses — and we didn't go on to self-market those selfies into full-fledged careers, admittedly. Besides — there are others out there who can legitimately take claim to inventing the selfie.prevnext
Getting famous in a non-traditional manner
Paris basically told W that she paved the way to fame for other rich socialites and models.
"We started a whole new genre of celebrity that no one had ever seen before," she explained.
After all, she was worldwide famous at the age of 19, thanks to Donald Trump's modeling agency, T Management. (And we can't forget the infamous, non-consensually-released 1 Night in Paris sextape.) Because she didn't have to take the traditional path to fame via acting, singing, or some other form of outward talent, Paris says she invented being a tastemaker.
"Nowadays, I feel like it's so easy becoming famous," Hilton dismissively added. "Anybody with a phone can do it." Tell that to my mere 300-something Twitter followers, Paris.prevnext
Being an influencer
While today we have sponsored Instagram posts and Pinterest-based blogs to thank for setting style trends, back in Paris' day, she was the one setting the bar — so she says.
Remember Kylie Jenner's "belfie" (butt selfie) in a Juicy sweatsuit that practically had Paris Hilton's name on it? And remember Kendall Jenner's Paris Hilton-themed 21st birthday, where she wore the exact outfit Paris wore at her own 21st birthday? Paris mentioned the Jenner sisters' copycat looks in her interview.
"To now see things on the runway, and to see girls wearing things that I used to wear is really cool because nobody really dressed like me back in the day," she said.
While no one is doubting Paris' influence, Kylie's belfie and Kendall's party could have been in no way influenced by the recent upsurge in '90s and early 2000s fashion trends, right? They were both solely based on Paris Hilton's look from 15 years ago? That's what we thought.prevnext
Possibly the Kardashians?
Let's not forget that Kim Kardashian West (before the West) (and the Humphries) (and the Thomas) was a protegé of Paris Hilton's, working as her stylist during her 20s. Kim has long since passed Paris on the fame spectrum (thank you, Kris Jenner, aka #momager of the century), but that doesn't mean Paris has bad blood for Kim or her family. In fact, she's even "proud" of them.
"They are all intelligent, beautiful business women and I'm proud of them and the brand they've built," she told W.0comments
Photo Credit: Getty / Jason LaVeris
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