I’ve known about Paris Hilton on and off since I was a teenager and now at 30 years I’m training as a counselor and learning about the effects of trauma. Below is a combination of my thoughts, experiences, and review.
I watched Paris Hilton as a teenager on The Simple Life, I saw clips of her carrying homemade collages to her grandparents and knew little about her as a self-made millionaire and saw her as a rich kid from a rich family. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that she’s still in the media, still a top celebrity as many have fizzled out over time.
There were a few things that didn’t add up from what I saw of Paris growing up (from the little I did watch back then as we had 5 channels, I probably watched it on a friend’s skybox).
Her voice went from a scale of very high to normal then quite low, it wasn’t consistent and it confused me. Were all rich kids this stupid or was she making it up on TV? This was before scripted reality shows became big and popular and asking farmers stupid questions, walking everywhere in heals and complaining at a simple task – really?! I’d see clips of her carry photo collages as family presents, a lovely hobby and gift though my basic understanding back then was people did that when they couldn’t afford to buy anything like me and my friends often did and wanted to do something thoughtful. She was super rich!
This is Paris free to watch on Youtube, I’ve learned a few things about Paris Hilton and as it was a reflective healing journey, it’s helped me understand parts of myself too.
When the Simple Life is brought up, she simply says ‘that wasn’t me’ I think what I’m getting from that is it was a character she made up to mask the hurt and trauma she had from her teens. It was a coping strategy, on the outside, it played her as a dumb blonde with a lot of privilege. I picked up on this when I was younger, intuitively it was confusing. Blonde she may be but she is smart and has worked her way through judgments, media, constant press, traveling all year, and has become extremely rich and resilient.
Paris’s mum features throughout the documentary and has revelatory moments, I’m reading The Conscious Parent at the moment and the author’s name here, makes a clear distinction we must all relate to in some way and strive for better is the difference between control and care. I feel what happened at 15 years old is that her mum controlled her in that she will not get into modeling, not stay out, not make a bad reputation for them, dress prim and proper, etc it was endless. While I believe everyone is doing the best they can and as a parent, you want the best and for your children not to make mistakes, it happens! We hurt, we feel, we learn. Yes, Paris may have been ‘naughty’ though ‘fixing’ her through adolescence camps was simply not going to work out. It only bought more trauma, times have changed since then and she wasn’t any worse than the people I grew up with. Behaviour is communication and though mixed with hormones in your teenage years, it can be a cry for help, a signal that someone is unhappy, or simply a wave of emotion that will eventually pass.
The stories of her at Provo were deeply saddening, I hope it has given her some release to tell her stories, I think it’s great she met up with other survivors and is part of the movement Breaking Code Silence. The time she spent in solitary sounds like the defining moment in her life, when you’re faced with a situation that will make or break you. It got me thinking more deeply about affirmations and visualisations too. When I was in my teens I did yoga in the mornings followed by journaling, throughout my twenties I did this too and eventually, my mantra became ‘I am a yoga teacher’, I wholeheartedly believed in the health benefits and joy I felt from breathing, stretching in yoga. I mentally repeated the mantra after meditation, throughout the day, on days where everything felt like it sucks. I believed it, even when it was hard as paying even £1000 to learn something seemed impossible. In 2017 I became a yoga teacher and have taught on and off ever since I achieved my goal and everything felt complete for a while.
However fast forward to now and I am doing 30 minute Pilates classes in the morning before meditation, zooming out completely, it may have been exercise I needed to feel mentally alert and energised, not necessarily the yoga. I didn’t become a yoga teacher for the money, though I wanted to help people how yoga helped me for years, and I have done for a few people. How this relates is that my new mantra was ‘I am a counselor’ or ‘I am a clinical psychiatrist’ may not be correct again. Today I’m starting an evening course on a journey to make that a reality. The thing is Paris zoomed out completely and was able to visualise being so successful that she would never have to rely on anyone ever again, that is the ultimate affirmation and one we could all aim for. The essence of a powerful autonomous woman and completely self-sufficient. Sure it could be put down to dissociation and another coping mechanism to survive though it is through God’s grace that moment happened.
It reminds me of a mantra Suze Orman recommends for her listeners on her podcast Women and Money, she describes it as the words that changed everything for her, I thought it was a bit eccentric and the furthest thing from me though I’m going to use it more now. It is this: I am powerful, I am successful, I earn £50,000 a year. You can add happy or whatever number you want.
The other surprising thing that has come forward from watching This is Paris, is following up on her Youtube, I watched the Artworks she makes at home (I also have had an art room in every space I’ve lived) and for a recent charity exhibition and auction and it is inspiring. It’s completely freestyle, outsider art, and pure expression, something I used to connect so deeply with. I’m dabbling in drawing on the iPad and collaging in my sketchbook. It’s truly opened me up creatively and I hope she offers prints someday I can put on my photo wall.
Overall much love and appreciation for Paris Hilton’s honesty, vulnerability, and courage.
Stay hot and Sliving (a term for self-empowered living).