Top 10 Reasons Paris Hilton Will Never Be Famous Again

Paris Hilton
Entrepreneur, Actress, Singer, DJ
Paris Whitney Hilton is the eldest of Richard Hilton and Kathy Richards' four children. She is an heir to the hotel chain founded by her grandfather Conrad Hilton. Paris grew up in the spotlight and became famous for being famous. She cemented her status as a household name when her ex-boyfriend Rick Salomon released a sex tape of theirs onto the Internet in 2003. This overexposure helped catapult her reality show, The Simple Life, to great ratings. The show filmed Paris and (former) best friend Nicole Richie living as fish out of water on an Arkansas farm without the modern conveniences. The show was a hit. Paris then began dabbling in almost everything: singing, DJ'ing, modeling, commercials, movies, and more T.V.

Top 10 Reasons Paris Hilton Will Never Be Famous Again

cover photo credit:Helga Esteb /

In the early 2000’s, back in the days before we had reality TV, there lived a girl named Paris Hilton. Paris is the granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, the businessman who started the ubiquitous Hilton hotel chain. With over 4,202 hotels worldwide, Paris comes from an elite family with plenty of money.

It seems that life before Paris Hilton was a little bit simpler. People got famous for having hit songs or starring in blockbuster movies or highly rated TV shows. Some people were infamous, of course, but it was usually for some out of the ordinary action that they performed whether it was being a cult leader or a serial killer.

Then, around 2001, a new kind of celebrity fame hit the scene. Paris Hilton became one of the first celebrities to experience this new kind of fame. Paris became famous for being famous.

Initially, she was well known as the party girl in the celebutante scenes in New York, Miami and Los Angeles. But, a series of well-planned and well-executed choices took her from being just another rich party girl to becoming a celebrity of such status that some publications put out a Paris Hilton publishing ban because they were so tired of writing about her.

Then, in 2009, Paris virtually disappeared from the headlines. She was still active on red carpets and in night clubs, but all of a sudden, America, and the rest of the world, stopped caring about Paris Hilton. Seven years later, Paris is still building an empire inspired by her personal brand but despite the huge rise in online and Hollywood reality TV celebrities, she struggles to make the news much less the headlines.

If you watched the meteoric rise of Paris Hilton and have never been able to figure out exactly what caused her to fall, then read on to find out, in my opinion, the top 10 reasons Paris Hilton will never be famous again.

  1. Paris Hilton Takes All the Credit for Kim Kardashian’s Fame

Didn't Paris create Kim? Not necessarily that bootay though.
Didn’t Paris create Kim? Not necessarily that bootay though.

Featureflash /

The famous reality duo were early friends before Kardashian became a global celebrity. The pair went to school together, and Kim even worked as Paris’s assistant in the early 2000’s. People love the fact that Kim used to work as Paris’s assistant and the fact that it was captured on the mother of all reality TV shows, The Simple Life, is even better.

Because Paris gave Kim her first exposure to the world of cameras, Paris now claims all the credit for creating the media monster that is Kim Kardashian. While Paris was a pioneer in her time, Kim Kardashian has taken her work to a whole new level. When Paris makes remarks like these, it implies that she is just trying to ride on her old friend’s coat tails.

  1. Paris Hilton is Famous for Being a Bad Girl and Her Antics Are Not Shocking

Paris Hilton makes bad girls look so good
Paris Hilton makes bad girls look so good

Everett Collection /

Paris was a party girl before she became famous. After she became a fixture in the public eye, her numerous run-ins with law enforcement over drug charges and DUIs were widely reported in the media. She became one of those celebrities who was routinely in and out of the courtroom and the media ate it up to sell magazines.

But people got bored reading about Hilton’s habits. Her use of drugs and alcohol was not only widely known among her circles, but it was expected of her in the wider public as well. She never had a good girl persona to contradict. Instead, she came onto the scene as a sex tape wielding party girl who had little else going for her except for her recognizable name and her family’s hotel empire.

Of course, the media loves a good drugs or alcohol scandal. But, these scandals only draw lasting attention if there is a deeper catalyst. The reason that Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes remain headline news after years of reports of drug and alcohol scandals is because they are contradicting their long running personas as darling child actors. People have a hard time rectifying the little girl from The Parent Trap with the grown up woman with a drug habit.

The reason that Paris Hilton cannot be famous for her party antics is because they are not even remotely shocking. She is merely fulfilling her role as a spoiled party girl.

  1. She’s Not Dating a Celebrity

Paris is dating someone normal. The horror.
Paris is dating someone normal. The horror.

One of the biggest reasons that celebrities make headlines is because they are in relationships with other celebrities. If Paris wanted to perpetuate her status as being famous for being famous, she would have to interweave her life with other famous people.

People love to watch two big celebrities break up and make up. Ten years after it happened, the world still refers to the period where Brad Pitt left Jennifer Aniston for Angelina Jolie as the ultimate scandal involving jilted lovers. The media continues to remain obsessed with the love triangle trope despite a decade of all three parties calling for an end to the madness.

Paris Hilton cannot have that with her new ‘normal’ millionaire boyfriends. When fans search for her most recent love interest, Thomas Gross, they find nothing that would suggest that he is interesting to those who are fascinated by the enigma that is Paris Hilton.

Gross is an Australian businessman who currently lives in Switzerland. He appears to be a stable person who created his own personal fortune that is estimated to be worth around $200 million.

Not only is Gross a perfectly normal and boring choice as a boyfriend for Paris but he is even what some would consider to be an appropriate choice in both age and maturity. At 34, Paris has left behind all of her 18-24 year old boy toys and has chosen for a stable and successful businessman.

While that is great news for Paris, it does not make for great news in the media.

  1. She Saturated the News Too Heavily and Now Everyone Is Bored

I'm bored. Only 2,000 channels, a billion websites, and 24 hour news and nothing's on.
I’m bored. Only 2,000 channels, a billion websites, and 24 hour news and nothing’s on.

When Paris Hilton was the topic du jour for most of a decade, she completely dominated the market. Everything was about Paris and everyone was talking about Paris. No matter where she went or what she did, she was newsworthy.

Coverage of Paris Hilton’s movements 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year for almost 10 years proved to be just a bit much. While many celebrities continue to remain gossip worthy after 10, 20 or even 30 years of fame, it is because they did not make it their job to be in the news.

Everything that was printed, shared or implied about Paris Hilton was manufactured by Paris, her manager and her team of publicists. She was an expert in self-promotion and she was an equal part of the press coverage she received as the writers and journalists themselves.

Almost every story printed about her was a part of her personal brand marketing scheme. Whether you love Paris or loathe her, it is hard to deny that her methods and ability for promotion and branding are impeccable.

Because she worked so hard to encourage news production and the coverage of her became so intense, it started to become very transparent. It is more fun to stalk celebrities who are desperately trying to hide than the ones saying “Look at me, I am over here!”

If Paris had added a little more genuineness and personality into her brand, people would be able to relate to it more and this would cure the apathy generally felt by people regarding Paris Hilton.

  1. She Hasn’t Done Anything Lately to Interest the Tabloids

Paris's life lacks the requisite conflict for the Media's taste
Paris’s life lacks the requisite conflict for the Media’s taste

Even if the world wasn’t over Hurricane Paris, she is not getting any media coverage from the top news sources to the trashiest tabloids. That is partially because she is simply not doing anything interesting to encourage them.

Sure, she is releasing yet another music album. But unfortunately, she’s tried that game before, and it was neither an overwhelming success nor a spectacular failure. Instead, it received media coverage because at the time, there is no reason or circumstances the media would not report it because of the name it was associated with.

But now, Paris is no longer getting arrested, performing in under-whelming movies or taking her clothes off for magazine interviews. In fact, it seems like Paris has become apathetic about the decline of her own fame because she is not even trying to make headlines.

Should she try a little hard to make the press, they may at least run a story titled “Paris Hilton makes desperate attempts to make us pay attention to her.”

  1. Her Brand Is Boring

Paris would rather make money than controversy.
Paris would rather make money than controversy.

Her own personal brand, which was so carefully crafted throughout the first decade of a new millennium, is boring. Paris’s struggles with the police and the press have been problems that she has created for herself. It is hard to create any emotion or empathy within a readership because her brand perpetuates her image as a rich, white woman who will be rich whether she works or not.

Her brand does not include any real struggles or meaning in her life. Fans can speculate that Paris is not an android and that she does in fact have a real personality as well as feelings and issues that she keeps away from the cameras. The fact that she doesn’t show them leaves her looking vapid and boring instead of dynamic and interesting.

Her simpleton, party girl brand is not complicated by her apparent green thumb in the realm of business. In fact, few people care how she has created so many brands that are associated with her name. They assume that she is a product of the connections that are inherent in the Hilton name.

At the end of the day, she wasn’t discovered as a model by Donald Trump because of her raw and stunning beauty but because she was the infamous blonde socialite who could add real media capital to a new modelling agency.

  1. She Does Not Have a Humble Origins Story

Yes Paris was born with a silver spoon.
Yes Paris was born with a silver spoon.

The media loves a humble origins story. It does not matter whether the subject is an actor, a model or a business person, both fans and the media eat up these rags to riches stories. Even Kim Kardashian has one, despite being the daughter of a wealthy Hollywood attorney. A humble origins story makes a character or celebrity more relatable. Why else would the popularity of in-depth interviews and talk shows remain so prevalent?

Paris Hilton’s popularity dropped significantly after the 2008 recession and it is not hard to see a connection. It is obvious in her brand and in her created character that she was not just born with a golden spoon in her mouth but that she could choose from an entire selection of rare spoons with which to feed herself.

Nowhere is this transition in public priorities more apparent than the pivot from Paris Hilton to Kim Kardashian. Kardashian’s image profited immensely from the false representation of her relationship with Paris. Memes from The Simple Life show Paris ordering Kim to do menial tasks, even though this did not happen in the show.

From her unrecognizable name to her humble origins as Paris Hilton’s lowly assistant friend, Kim has documented on film almost every moment of hard work that she has put into the brand that she has become. Despite her undeniable fame, her television programs still show her going into the boutiques that she owns, doing work and managing her employees.

  1. Her Business Ventures Are Successful but She Was Never a Talented Singer, Model or Actress

Her music may not be my favorite. It's an acquired taste.
Her music may not be my favorite. It’s an acquired taste.

There was a point where Hollywood producers, record labels and modelling agencies would do their best to capitalize on Paris’s fame for their own projects. Paris Hilton has been offered a slew of high profile roles and contracts despite never seeing any tangible success or talent in acting, music or modelling.

Paris’s roles were always obvious attempts at drawing big box office numbers and more media attention different projects. She undoubtedly turned down and continues to turn down a large number of high profile roles and cameos from producers who were interested in free press.

If Paris was able to shine in Hollywood, her personal brand would have become more than the two-dimensional character that she depicted in her reality TV shows and in the media. If she had taken on roles where she could portray demonstrable talent, the media would have been shaken awake with surprise. People would have engaged with the projects not because Paris Hilton was in it but because Paris Hilton performed well in it.

While these roles were good for her business and good for Hollywood, they have not contributed to creating a more relatable brand that would continue to be relevant today. Instead, they simply informed her audience that what they already knew is true. Paris Hilton is famous for being famous and not for her talent.

  1. Her Brand Is Too Diverse

Paris is a DJ too? She's got like 16 jobs mon!
Paris is a DJ too? She’s got like 16 jobs mon!

Celebrity brands usually perpetuate their own fame. However, this is only true if the brand remains successfully without the overt celebrity endorsement. In the case of Paris Hilton, her successful line or brands and products relies almost exclusively on her outright endorsement. Her 18 different perfumes, 17 product lines and her 45 Paris Hilton stores are a testament to this fact.

Paris has recently transitioned from tabloid celebrity to business mogul. Her peers are right to consider her a brilliant business mind and threat. Her fragrance business alone is estimated to be worth around $2 billion.

In addition to all of her retail ventures, Paris has also started opening Paris Hilton branded beach clubs and also makes huge money as a DJ. She has had residencies in some of the biggest clubs in the world.

She is reported to be a hard and thoughtful worker, a true Hilton legacy in the business sense of the world but her brands continue to capitalize on the Paris that many people left behind in the last decade. The Simple Life, which was so keen to remind people that Paris has no need for work, continues to dominate her brand over a decade after it first aired.

Of course, celebrities who want to create a brand or company would be foolish not to use their fame to gather attention and financial backers. Paris’s childhood best friend, Nicole Richie, transformed herself from BFF party girl to bohemian fashion mogul. Her design label, House of Harlow, has taken off and is a staple brand of Nordstrom fashionistas everywhere.

While she may have relied on her name for initial press and funding, the brand has now taken on a life of its own as a successful fashion brand. Richie, well-connected and rich as she is, no longer relies on her own name to keep her line at New York Fashion Week. Instead, her brand has allowed her personal brand to evolve and keep her interesting.

  1. The Media Moves Too Fast for Her to Jump Back In

Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture. Sorry Paris.
Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture. Sorry Paris.

In 2015, we do not live in the same world that we did in 2001. The world moves faster than ever before and the fame game has change completely from the year 2001 or even 2009. Brands that grew up on social media have learned how to play the game to keep up with trends that change by the minute.

By no means is Paris Hilton too old to play the social game, in fact, if she tried she would probably be very good at it. But for her to really succeed in the new media game, she would need to create a new version of herself to enter into the race.

By applying her dated character to a new scenario, it would look more like she was trying too hard to make her dying, but recognizable, brand fit into a new age. The reason that celebrities like Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift attract hundreds of millions of followers online is because they use social media to create an extension of themselves and of their brands. Both in business and in celebrity, Paris Hilton has failed to do that.

People do not follow Paris Hilton to see what photographers caught her shopping in Beverly Hills or what fancy Hollywood parties she attends. She would need to demonstrate a real side of herself that draws a more intimate portrait of who she is as a whole, not who her character is.

This is not hard to do, Kim K has somehow transformed a series of selfies into meaningful expression that is now being published in a book. But Kim has the added benefit of being perceived as a person and not just as a parody.


When you look at all of the things that made Paris Hilton famous, or infamous, and apply them to Kim Kardashian, whose brand is so well defined that her fans would pick up their pitchforks if she was referred to as ‘today’s Paris Hilton’, it is obvious where Kim built on the foundation that Paris pioneered and improved it significantly.

Paris Hilton was the inventor and pioneer of being famous solely for being famous. Her infamy continues to live on years after she lost the attention of both the public and the media. She is now reported as being front row at fashion events in Poland instead of making high profile appearances at New York or Paris.

Although her business mind is undoubtedly one of her greatest assets, her fame is of a previous generation. Paris Hilton’s brand is well recognized but it is cold and inaccessible. In the age of social media, fans expect to be able to interact with and experience the real lives of those they follow. There is very little about Paris Hilton’s personal brand that translates well into the emotional and fast-paced sphere of new media.

Like a bright star that is slowly dying, Paris Hilton’s light is burning out. If she ever regained the fame and notoriety that she attained and encouraged during the height of her career, it would be shock to business, media and Hollywood.

  • Allison Martin

    Oh come on. All this stuff could be applied to Kim Kardashian and nearly every other rich socialite. Furthermore, Kim Kardashian doesn’t have a humble origins story. When your parents are a millionaire and you benefit from that, your origins are not humble.

    • Kim is a media manipulation machine. That’s her full time job. Paris either couldn’t handle the spotlight or voluntarily stepped aside. The point of this post is that once the music has stopped you’d better be sitting in the right chair. Paris won’t get a second chance at her prior fame.

  • Veronique

    Paris Hilton invented being famous for being famous? Really? Have you ever heard of Zsa Zsa Gabor?