Friday, January 26, 2007

A Phenomenon Called Paris Hilton

My life is divided into two parts: before Paris Hilton and after Paris Hilton. No, I don't know her and I've never met her, but the turning point that I am referring to, is my discovery of the phenomenon that she is - a celebrity celebrated just for being famous. She is the embodiment of what fame means in this highly evolved (socio-culturally speaking) state of human development as evidenced at present. She epitomises everything that someone wanting to be famous would aspire for. She's the zenith of glamour - the ultimate aspiration of all wannabes. Maybe some day, someone may achieve even more Paris Hilton-ness than her, but for now, she is as Paris Hilton as you can get.

Several people may be endowed with wealth and/or positioned within easy reach of celebrity status, right from the time they're born. Some, in fact, achieve it at conception itself (a la TomKat: Tom Cruise - Katie Holmes' baby, who has achieved celebrity status even before birth). However, not all can carry it well and make a lifestyle out of it. Paris Hilton has shown us that this is a serious business. You can fuck it up, or you can take it to new heights. This is not very different from taking a small business your granduncle set-up and making it a huge global conglomerate. Yes, you inherit some assets. But what you do with them is all up to you and you alone. Paris Hilton had the choice of being a nobody. Or of being a somebody. Or of being anybody. But no, she chose to be Paris Hilton - a unique phenomenon that remains unparalleled, unrivalled and unsurpassed.

All form, no content - what an amazingly profound concept! Whatever content there may be, is completely irrelevant at best, and at worst may even spoil the whole show. For instance, if she really had musical talent, she would have been known as a great musician; if she could act well she would have be known as a great actor; if she could write well she would be known for her books (speaking of which - it seems she has released a book titled 'Confessions of an Heiress: A Tongue-in-Chic Peek Behind the Pose' which guides aspirants with do's and don'ts of living her kind of life); if she was good at modeling she could have become a super-model; if she was a good designer ... etc., but the world would not have been presented with such a superb icon for super-chic fluff - a model non-product extraordinaire. A phenomenon such as this one can only meaningfully exist if meaningful content is non-existent. This concept itself is the hallmark of our times, and that precisely, is where Paris Hilton has contributed to the progress of mankind: she has given that concept a name, a face, a personality, a life. Apparently she will appear in the 2007 Guinness World Records as the world's "most overrated celebrity". Overrated? that sounds like she's not as good as she appears to be. Wrong benchmark used by people who have not understood the concept. Sadly, they're missing the point: she is by no means an overrated celebrity, she is famous for being Paris Hilton - a celebrity debutante, a cause celebre of all dilettantes. And she excels at being that!

Consider this: as Paris Hilton grew up, she could have become a junkie or an alcoholic, and got some nominal press coverage about that, but she would have been one of several thousands of rich folks getting in and out of rehab for substance abuse. She could have turned into an eccentric and got her outrageous antics written about, but then there are so many of those. She could have married a big shot and become his (or her) home-maker, shining in the reflected glory of her spouse / family. Clich├ęd as hell. She could have been a business woman or a professional and carved out a career all by herself, even larger than her legacy business. (Yawn - how boring!) However, she's done none of the above. This woman is fabulously famous for absolutely no reason at all. All she has is the ability to carry her heiress status in a way that makes people envy her, want her, want to be like her, want to be her. And what an ability that is! Every little thing she does attracts media attention, and she's mastered the art of doing those little things she does, and doing them in the most media-seductive style. This is a very fine art, and some people are born with it and others aren't.

If you're one of those who are born with it, you should try and emulate her: learn, implement, evolve - she's set the benchmark, see if you can even reach that height or die trying. And if you're not one of those who are born with it, keep wishing you were. Loser! Go become famous for something meaningful ... and become just another ordinary garden variety celebrity!


Gaurav Agarwal said...

So now you have been watching simple life! You missed one point though, she is an amazing entreprenuer, she turned her social life into a business and very cleverly uses her fame to earn some money!

Priyanka said...

Very inspiring :D

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