Saturday, June 09, 2007

If Paris Hilton Were Named Paris Smith, Would This Whole Mess Have Gone Differently?


But if Paris Hilton were named Paris Smith, she wouldn't have the money, the clothes, the hair, the make-up, the plastic surgery, the jewelry. None of it.

She wouldn't be the paparazzi favorite socialite on the red carpet.

She'd be that janky, flat-chested cashier at the Big Lots with the lazy eye.

She wouldn't be getting $100,000 per appearance to show up at parties. She'd be giving hand jobs in the 7-11 parking lot for beer money, because she blew all her salary on Nigerian email scams and home shopping.

"Famous for being famous" (FFBF) used to refer to an actor or singer or writer who achieved greater fame as a talk show or game show panelist. Kitty Carlisle, Fannie Flagg, Orson Bean, etc. But they did other things well, too.

Even Charo still performed. She did something else.

And those FFBF people were, technically, "famous for being funny and interesting on TV." They were amusing storytellers, they were quick-witted, lively conversationalists.

Paris Hilton? Not so much.

Even Princess Diana wasn't FFBF. Her entire fame derived from the fact that somebody loved her. (Again, unlike Paris Hilton, who is famously loved by no one and loves no one in return.)

And Princess Diana used her fame for charitable works. Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor were so gifted and so justly famous that, when they retired, they could have merely ridden that fame forever. But instead they devoted themselves to making the world better.

Bono and Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt seem like they would be more content to be famous for their good works than for their day jobs. Same with George Clooney.

But Paris Hilton is the only celebrity I can think of who never did anything else to become a celebrity. And no, perfumes don't count. Licensing your name is not "work." Sorry.

More important, Paris Hilton never used her celebrity to better anyone's life but her own. She bet her entire life on the idea that she would always be famous. She confused "famous" with "beloved."

She confused "rich" with "cool."

But cool people don't have breakdowns after three days in a room alone. They don't sob all the way to court, then tremble and rock during the hearing. And they don't have to be dragged from the courtroom, kicking and screaming, "Mom, mom, mom!"

That's not hot.

So now that the facade fell off and she's revealed as the squealing, helpless, pleading, psycho brat that she is, isn't it all over?

If this were a teen movie, aren't we at the scene where the Mean Girl/Heather has now humiliated herself, and now she's looking around the cafeteria at all the people she thought were her fans and friends? And they're all avoiding looking at her? Because they finally realized what a loser she is?

If you go all-in on celebrity and you lose, you gotta pay up.

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