Paris Hilton Has a Message for Teen Girls Who Want to Follow in Her Social Media Footsteps
Paris Hilton is often referred to as the "original influencer," and while she's proud of the empire she's created, she also knows all too well about the ugly side of social media. On her recent appearance on the YouTube series "Hot Ones"—an installment that was perfectly named "Paris Hilton Says 'That's Hot' While Eating Spicy Wings"—the socialite and DJ was asked to share how she felt about being a social media pioneer.
The show's host, Sean Evans, referenced a line from Hilton's documentary This Is Paris, in which she said, "Everyone says I'm the original influencer, but sometimes I feel like I've created a monster," before asking her to explain what she's proud of and what she regrets.
"I feel like I've always been ahead of my time and doing things first and that makes me happy and proud," Hilton said. She also said she's proud to think about the ways that others can utilize social media to "build a huge brand and business that's very lucrative and support themselves and their family" just by being themselves and using their own talents.
On the other hand, however, Paris says she's worried about the negative effects social media can have on young girls. "The thing that bothers me is just, I can't even imagine being like a 13-year-old girl and having these pressures of having to be perfect and care about likes and people trolling you and being mean," she said.
She then shared a message for teen girls and any young people on social media. "I just feel that anyone out there should know that you shouldn't base your opinion of yourself or your self worth based on the opinion of strangers," she said. "And I think that's a really important message for kids to know that, yeah social media is fun, but you can't take it so seriously, because otherwise, it will make you go crazy."
Several hot wings later, Hilton also addressed the recent attention surrounding her own documentary and Framing Britney Spears, which has caused a widespread reappraisal of the way the media treated young women in the early 2000s. "Myself, Britney, we're all just human beings, and words hurt," she said, reflecting back on the scrutiny she faced back then. Ultimately, though, Hilton said she's "grateful" to see "people reflecting on the mistakes they've made or the things that they've said."
"Ever since I got into this industry as a teenager, I felt just so much pain for a long time, just feeling like a punchline to so many jokes for people," she continued. "Now to finally hear people seeing how wrong it is and apologizing is just an amazing feeling. I feel just grateful and...I'm happy that people realize that it was just really messed up that they were doing that."
The reality star, now 40, also hopes that the recent awareness around her experiences with the media will help change the landscape for others. "Whether being publicly humiliated by people and just being fucked over by people a lot, it's been a hard journey," she said. "Maybe I had to go through it in order for others to not have to go through it and it's only made me stronger."