Hotel heiress Paris Hilton has published her memoirs. The It girl of the 2000s reveals dark chapters of her family history.
Paris Hilton’s autobiography initially seems like a lively circle around pink soap bubbles. But then suddenly it gets under your skin. It is a story of privilege and rebellion. And one about abandonment, sexual abuse and systematic violence.
More about the It Girl of the 2000s
Paris Hilton calls herself the mother of all influencers. The great-granddaughter of the Hilton hotel founder became an It girl in the early 2000s. She modeled, founded her own media company, starred in a few films and recorded several pop songs. And she was a guest at every important celebrity party. Today she lives in Los Angeles with her son, husband and dogs.
About parties and ADHD symptoms
«Skin care. Seriously. If you take nothing else away from my story, at least this is it: skin care is sacred.” The book begins so innocently. Half-sentences and interjections are strung together in a trendy manner.
It’s a lot about celebrating and being celebrated. About celebrity friends like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Paris Hilton describes her life today between glamor parties, business trips and a picture-perfect marriage.
After a lot of light-hearted banter, celebrating one’s own family history and plenty of name-dropping, the turning point suddenly comes. Paris Hilton talks about her undiagnosed ADHD, difficulty concentrating at school, and her rebellion against her conservative parents. At just 15 years old, she dropped out of school and kept leaving home to go dancing all night long.
Strip searches and violence in the home
First, her parents send Paris to live with her grandmother for a year. When that doesn’t seem to tame the wild teenager, she is torn from her sleep one night and forcibly taken to a school home for difficult-to-educate young people, a “boarding school for emotional growth.”
There she suffers systematic psychological and physical violence. “When she said the word strip search, I didn’t know what she meant,” writes Paris in her autobiography. “The woman put a latex glove over her fingers and said: “Are you cooperating or do the boys have to hold you and pull your legs apart?”
Between her 16th and 18th birthdays, she only sees her family at Christmas and is completely cut off from the world. She reports on so-called group therapies in which young people are forced to humiliate each other. Of beatings and solitary confinement.
Is it all a facade?
There are scenes that serve the image of the rich girl. For example, she quickly drives a limousine from Las Vegas to Los Angeles because she spontaneously bought a few new pets on her New Year’s trip. Then the numerous oh-so-beautiful parties with oh-so-beautiful people, the lap dogs, the skin care tips.
But with knowledge of her experience of violence, the picture changes. The squeaky voice, the constant preoccupation with your own look. After reading this book, you can imagine that the doll attitude was for self-protection.
A journey through time between bland and profound
For everyone who experienced the noughties, “Paris. My life” is nice to read. The almost 400 pages are like a little road trip in your head back to the time of Viva, MTV and “Sex and the City”.
Linguistically, the book is a bit bland. Half-sentences and interjections line up one after the other. The narration is not very subtle and very American.
However, Hilton’s descriptions of his time at boarding school go deep. You learn a lot about the US education system and these types of boot camps. Paris Hilton is now fighting against their continued existence on a political level. So is the book worth reading? Conclusion: A clear yes.
Paris Hilton: “Paris. My life”. Translated by Viola Krauss and Maria Mill. 2023, Knaur.