The Stunning Transformation Of Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton has undergone a stunning transformation. The hugely famous star first rose into international prominence on the reality series The Simple Life, which starred Hilton and another wildly wealthy heiress, Nicole Richie. It was on this show that Hilton spoke her famous catch phrase, "that's hot," for the first time. After that, Hilton's fame continued to grow as she launched dozens of fragrance and clothing lines. And as the Evening Standard noted, Hilton was probably the first person to become a successful, million dollar brand, famous for simply being herself.

After her popular stint on The Simple Life, Hilton went on to become a DJ and businesswoman. And in 2020, a YouTube documentary called This Is Paris revealed that even her biggest fans may not know the dark truth about who the superstar really is (via Variety). Want to know how Hilton went from socialite, to reality star, to businesswoman? Here is the stunning transformation of Paris Hilton.

Paris Hilton came from a long line of wealthy hotel moguls

When Paris Hilton was born on February 17, 1981 in New York, she was already destined to live an incredibly privileged life. Paris is the oldest child of Richard Hilton, a real-estate developer, and Kathy Richards Hilton, a famous socialite (via Biography). As Business Insider explained, the Hilton family has a long history of success and wealth. 

Paris' great-grandfather, Conrad Hilton, built the famous Hilton hotel empire throughout the early 1900s. Conrad was also briefly married to actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, while his son, Conrad Jr., later married Elizabeth Taylor — though the marriage only lasted a year. Conrad Jr. also continued to expand the hotel empire. 

It's easy to see how Paris had a significant advantage from the moment she was born. Nevertheless, despite her origins, Paris has always been clear about her desire to earn her own money. "Because of my last name and the way I look, some people think I'm a spoiled brat," she once said. "But I'm not like that at all." She later added that, "Things may seem to naturally come my way. But I work hard for them, too" (via Esquire).

Paris Hilton became interested in fragrances as a child

After becoming a mega celeb on The Simple Life, Paris Hilton found huge success with her line of fragrances. As she revealed to Gay Times, she eventually created 25 different scents, and described the experience as "a dream come true."

As it turns out, creating a fragrance empire was actually a lifelong dream for Hilton, as she's had a true passion for the perfume industry that dates all the way back to her childhood. "I've worn perfume since I was six," she explained to Glamour, citing her mother was her original inspiration. "I used to go into my mum's boudoir when she was out and spray myself all over."

It's clear that perfume has always been an incredibly important part of Hilton's identity. It's no wonder, then, that she later said, "It's who you are." It's wonderful to discover that the star was eventually able to follow one of her childhood passions.

Paris Hilton suffered abuse as a teen

Fans of Paris Hilton might assume that the star has always enjoyed a carefree, luxurious life. However, in 2020, the world learned that the heiress was hiding a dark history of trauma and abuse. In Paris Hilton's revealing documentary, This Is Paris, the heiress opened up about her experiences at several boarding schools as a teen. 

Hilton's parents sent her first to a series of "emotional growth" schools, where she was allegedly forced to do manual labour and was occasionally beaten. Later in the documentary, Hilton explained how she was taken from her home by strangers in the middle of the night and sent to the Provo Canyon School — "the worst of the worst," as Hilton recalled. She said that she and her schoolmates were mentally and physically abused, given pills, and beaten by the staff. At one point, she was placed in solitary confinement. "They would make people take their clothes off and go in there for like 20 hours," she recalled.

These horrific experiences gave Hilton a lifelong determination: "I was going to do everything in my power to be so successful that my parents could never control me again."

Paris Hilton moved to New York at 17 and dreamed of becoming a model

As a teen, Paris Hilton dreamed of becoming a model. So when she and her family moved to New York, Hilton was entranced by the glittering lifestyle of the modeling world. "Before New York I didn't really wear dresses and never went to parties," Hilton explained to the Evening Standard. 

However, Hilton's parents were strict, so she initially struggled in her pursuit of fame. "A lot of the times, what I would do is actually sneak out at night," Hilton revealed on MTV's When I Was 17. She also explained how she found ways of ducking past the hotel's security system, leaving a pile of pillows and a wig under her duvet. Of course, as the documentary This Is Paris revealed, this rebellious streak resulted in Hilton being sent away.

When Hilton turned 18, she was finally free to pursue her dreams of modeling. Notably, she met photographer David LaChapelle who took an iconic photo of her giving the finger. Looking back, she confessed that her trauma at the time contributed to her attitude in the shot.

Paris Hilton became a socialite and "the most fascinating girl" in New York

The reign of Paris Hilton began in the late '90s, when she and her sister Nicky became the "It" girls of New York. They attended the biggest parties, and the world was their oyster. Although Hilton hadn't accomplished anything in particular to get so famous, there was just something about her people couldn't get enough of, according to The New York Times. Hilton even denied being a celebrity herself.

Around the same time, the paparazzi began following the sisters around the city constantly — especially on their late-night partying escapades (via Vice). Then in 2000, the New York Post covered Paris' ever-growing fan base, who tried to catch a glimpse of the heiress at nightclubs. It seemed that Paris and Nicky Hilton were ushering in a new era of debutantes who were certainly less demure than their predecessors — which, of course, isn't necessarily a bad thing!

In 2003, a leaked tape was hugely embarrassing, causing lifelong trauma

In 2003, Paris Hilton had her first real run-in with the dark side of being a public figure, when a bedroom tape that she'd made with her ex-boyfriend, Rick Saloman, was leaked to the press. "I feel embarrassed and humiliated," she told the Associated Press (via Entertainment Weekly) at the time. "I was in an intimate relationship and never, ever thought these things would become public."

In 2020, Hilton spoke to Sky News about the impact the leak had on her at the time. "Back then, they made me like I was the villain," she recalled. She went on to explain how the general consensus seemed to be that she'd made the tape on purpose in order to get headlines. 

Hilton went on to say that since the #MeToo movement, she hopes women will be more respected by the media. "I'm happy for the future of women that they wouldn't have to go through something like that, because it's one of my biggest regrets...and something that will traumatize me for the rest of my life," she revealed.

The Simple Life changed Paris Hilton's life -- and turned her into a character

In 2003, Paris Hilton starred on The Simple Life, and the hit show made her internationally famous. "It changed my whole life since it was the first of its kind," she explained to Gay Times. "After that show, I got to go all around the world and it really just started my career in this business." 

Of course, Hilton's new level of fame could also be pretty exhausting and overwhelming; she confessed that dealing with both the paparazzi and the made up stories in the media were a difficult adjustment.

Even though The Simple Life was marketed as a reality TV, it turns out, Hilton was playing a character. In the 2020 documentary This Is Paris, she opened up about how the bubbly, baby-voiced Paris of The Simple Life had become difficult to live with. "I just had this plan, and then created his brand and this persona and this character, and I've been stuck with her ever since," she confessed. "I didn't used to be that way."

Paris Hilton says she was abused by five of her boyfriends

Paris Hilton hasn't exactly been lucky in love. In the 2020 documentary This Is Paris, the star confessed that at least five of her past boyfriends had been physically abusive. "I've been in a lot of relationships where people — they just get so controlling and get so angry that they become physical," she recalled. 

A few of the instances of physical abuse were made public at the time, too. In 2004, the New York Post reported that her ex-boyfriend Nick Carter had allegedly given her some horrific bruises after a fight.

Hilton went on to explain that she was potentially more susceptible to abusive relationships because of her time at the boarding school in Utah. "I had become so used to it at Provo, that it made me feel like it was normal," she confessed. "Looking back, I can't believe I let people treat me like that." We have to say, it's incredibly tragic to hear about what was going on behind the scenes of Hilton's glamorous life.

Paris Hilton popularized the selfie in 2006

These days, it's pretty hard to imagine a time when we weren't snapping shots of ourselves on our smartphones for social media. In fact, for many Zoomers, the selfie is practically a necessity. However, when Paris Hilton was a young woman, selfies weren't exactly the cultural phenomenon they are today. As Hilton herself tweeted in 2017, "11 years ago today, Me & Britney invented the selfie!"

According to W magazine, Hilton is often credited with taking one of the very first selfies. And even if she didn't exactly invent the artform, it's pretty clear that she played a big role in making it a popular type of picture. "If a beeper had a camera, I would have taken a selfie with it," she revealed. "I think I have a selfie from when I was a little kid, like on a disposable camera." Sounds like Hilton has always been desperate to get herself in front of the camera — even if no one else was around to press the button.

Paris Hilton released two albums and appeared in several films

After The Simple Life, Paris Hilton pursued a career as an actress and a singer. She released her debut album, Paris, in 2006; she made it with Romeo Antonio, who was also responsible for albums by Jessica Simpson — who's undergone a stunning transformation — and Kelly Rowland. The first single "Stars Are Blind" was actually pretty successful — as Paper noted, Lady Gaga once said it was "one of the greatest records ever." 

However, after two albums, it was pretty clear that Hilton wasn't destined for a long career as a pop star. As BuzzFeed reported, her first single was probably the peak of the short-lived career.

In terms of acting, Hilton also met with little success. She took on tiny cameos in Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!, Veronica Mars, The Hills, Snakes on a Plane, and other films and shows. Most often, she was cast as herself — or rather, as the caricature of herself that had become famous on The Simple Life (via IMDb). Then in 2010, Hilton was given the Razzie for Worst Actress of the Decade (via The Register). Ouch!

Paris Hilton started DJing in 2012 to prove people she has real talent

After working as a model, a singer, a reality star, and an actress, Paris Hilton tried a fifth career path in 2012: DJing. Thanks to her connections, she didn't exactly have to work her way to the top of her field. As she told Billboard, her first gig was, "like 30,000 people, closing for Jennifer Lopez, it was so much fun." 

After her first show, Hilton developed a passion for spinning. She also learned more techniques, and continued to work at festivals and shows around the world, becoming more and more confident along the way. "I'm proud to say I've gotten so many compliments and so much credibility from it," she continued. 

Hilton added that she loves surprising audiences with her talent for DJing, and showing that she's not simply resting on her laurels. Nevertheless, Hilton doesn't shy away from self-promotion at her shows — apparently, she always ends her shows with her hit single "Stars Are Blind." We have to say, it's super cool that Hilton has found a creative outlet that she seems to excel at!

Paris Hilton took a step back from the limelight, but kept working super hard

After spending a few decades smack dab in the center of the limelight, Paris Hilton took a step back. And even though the heiress is no longer plastered all over the tabloids, she's stayed pretty busy behind the scenes. She spoke to Glamour about her decision to become more private in 2015. "When I first came onto the scene I Was going out to every club every night, it was crazy," she recalled. "But I've grown up."

And what has Hilton been up to? She's been working — hard! "I'm on a plane 200 days of the year," she continued. "I'm 100 percent focused on my business and brand and I've never been happier."

Hilton's business is doing well, too, by any measure. In 2017, Evening Standard reported that Hilton's fragrances alone had brought in over £1 billion — that's well over $1.25 billion! Sounds like Hilton really has grown up since her crazy days in the spotlight, and has focused in on what she perhaps does best — building a brand.

Paris Hilton is a proud supporter of LGBTQ rights

Paris Hilton has long been an icon for the LGBTQ+ community. In 2018, she posted a heartfelt message on Twitter to the community, writing, "Sending love to everyone in the #LGBTQ Community! I stand for you I support you I applaud you for being free to be who you are."

Hilton later spoke to Gay Times about how she is keen to support gay and trans rights. "I have several friends in the trans community and have heard their stories of what they went through and the hardships," she explained. Her compassion inspired her to stand up for the community and help to "give them a voice." 

Hilton went on to say that she'd love to make her products as inclusive as possible — she's even considered creating a gender-fluid makeup line. Apparently, her fragrances are already a big hit among the community. It's so cool to see Hilton using her platform to take a stand on the political and social issues she cares about.

Paris Hilton embraced honest and love in 2020 with a new documentary and a new boyfriend

Paris Hilton's 2020 documentary This Is Paris completely transformed the public's perception of the heiress, who's long left her ditzy, club-going days behind her. One of the biggest revelations in the film is that the high-pitched, childlike voice she used in The Simple Life was actually part of the act. "I easily could have made this some vanity project if I wanted to, but I feel like I've done that my entire career," she confessed in an interview with Vogue.

Paris Hilton also entered into a new relationship with Carter Reum, and by the sound of things, the businessman is the real deal. "My life was always empty, like I was missing something," wrote on Instagram for their one year anniversary. "You are my reason for me being so happy and feeling like the luckiest girl in the world!" 

With her honest documentary and her healthy relationship, it seems like 2020 has been a pretty transformative year for Hilton! We can't wait to see where her new honest approach leads her.