Think what you want, Paris Hilton clarifies she is not a “dumb blonde.” She’s just really good at pretending to be one. Aside from her double persona, she’s even a better businesswoman. From being a top social media influencer, producer of a number of TV shows and podcasts, and owning dozens of businesses, Hilton shares on 9-5ish with the Skimm the story behind her alternate identity and how she took back her power by building a Paris Hilton empire.
The Paris Persona
Paris Hilton explains that the main reason she invented a “Barbie doll and fantasy character” out of herself was due to her teenage years enduring abuse at the boarding schools she attended. The producers of the early 2000’s American TV series, The Simple Life, wanted her to act like a “dumb blonde” and pretend she didn’t know anything. “It became a shield for my protection,” Hilton says.
“I am very responsible, hardworking, and smart. I am a workaholic, I work nonstop,” Hilton clarifies. “I’ve always been underestimated, and I love proving people wrong.”
When asked if Hilton is grateful or frustrated in leveraging the persona/character she has had to put on, she says, “everything happens for a reason, and I am very proud of the empire I have built and created on my own. I wouldn’t change anything because what I did was a genius move.”
However, Hilton, like everyone, takes off her mask. “There’s a time and place for everything. When I am in front of a camera, in an interview, or even feeling shy I put on this character. But in my private life, like when Carter (fiancé) and I are alone, or if I am with my family and friends then I am just myself.”
Leveraging A Personal Brand
When using your own name and face, Hilton emphasizes it’s about finding out what you are passionate about, and what makes you different from everyone else. The important part is using all of your social media platforms and taking advantage of all of them. “Work hard, because if you don’t work hard, none of it is possible. Constantly put things out there, and collaborate with others to put your name out there” Hilton advises.
Hilton stresses that a personal brand is also important for people to climb up the ranks in their own careers. “When I started in this industry, there was no social media. People today are very lucky because there are these platforms where you can be very productive depending on what business you’re in. If there is something you are trying to sell or promote, you have a lot of eyeballs on it. Promote that product or service and leverage your social media followers.”
For years, the media and industry leaders have had eyes on Hilton and her empire. Her relevancy and evolution are ever-changing and arguably stronger than ever. Her secret to keeping relevancy is to be authentic and real. “Ever since my documentary, I felt it was an important thing to do. Especially nowadays, people are looking for people who are real and telling true stories and things that are inspiring others. I think it is important to be true and be yourself and think of new and innovative ways to put your brand out there,” Hilton says.
Paris Sharing Her Story And #FreeBritney
Paris’ documentary was a turning point in her life even if it wasn’t the original premise of the film. “I did that documentary because I was underestimated, I was misunderstood, I just felt like I created this whole empire and people were just looking at me as this character from The Simple Life. I was sick of that narrative and I just wanted to tell my story. I didn’t know I would get so personal. The director and I became so close and she just really pushed me into telling my story, and I am so glad that I did. It has changed my whole life and healed me in so many ways. I know myself better than ever and the world does as well,” Hilton says.
After knowing how powerful storytelling can be, Hilton shares her thoughts on the #FreeBritney movement. “I am incredibly proud of her for being strong, brave, and for using her voice. I know how hard it is to have your rights and freedom taken away from going to those boarding schools. I can’t imagine that happening now as an adult woman. She deserves her happiness and her freedom. I know that she is going to keep fighting for it and really believe she will have it (freedom) soon.”
The Paris Plan
There is no doubt Hilton will keep the evolution of her personal brand. However, she makes it clear that her next phase in life is all about inspiring and empowering others. Investing in entrepreneurs that deserve a chance and share her platform with her is on her list along with building a global integrated media company. This includes her production company with Warner Brothers and audio company with iHeartRadio. The only thing she says that she hasn’t accomplished on her career bucket list is to go to space. If we know anything from Paris Hilton’s proven empire, Paris does what she sets out to do.