"Don't believe everything you read," Hilton says.

Olivia Harvey
May 04, 2021 @ 10:07 am
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Paris Hilton
Credit: PG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images, Getty Images

Paris Hilton implores of us: "Don't believe everything you read." She, of course, is referring to the now-iconic photo of herself from 2005 wearing a white tank top that says "Stop Being Poor." Hilton took to TikTok to explain that the shirt was photoshopped in the years after the image hit the press and the actual shirt she wore that night read "Stop Being Desperate." Mind. Blown.

"So there's this photo online of me...I'm sure you've seen it," Hilton said in a May 3rd TikTok video. "I never wore that shirt. This was completely photoshopped. Everyone thinks it's real, but that's not the truth."

She then shared another photo from that event in which we can see that her tank had something else printed on it. "This is what it really said: 'Stop Being Desperate,'" Hilton continued. "Don't believe everything you read."

According to the beloved meme history textbook, KnowYourMeme.com, the "Stop Being Poor" meme was created by Tumblr user softwaring in 2013. In the eight years since it was uploaded to Tumblr, the photoshopped image of Hilton has received over 93,900 notes.

The meme, which many have believed was a legitimate photo of Hilton from the early-2000s, was eventually debunked by internet sleuths in the years after it went viral. But because many still thought the photo was the truth, Hilton decided now was the time to set the record straight, officially.

Though the "Stop Being Poor" meme will probably never die—it can be applied to so many things from toxic celebrity culture to politics—it's only fair to Hilton for the public to know that she was never the villain in this situation. Perhaps Hilton should sell merch: "Stop Believing Everything You See Online."