This Is Paris: The New Paris Hilton Documentary

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Dahae Kim, Staff Writer

If you were born in the early 2000s or before, you have likely heard of Paris Hilton. Heiress to the billion-dollar Hilton hotel business, Paris was the “it girl” back in the day. She single-handedly revolutionized fashion with her trademark Juicy Couture tracksuit look, Von Dutch hats, and rhinestone accessories. 

As seen on the covers of 2000s tabloids, her days were spent going on the most extravagant shopping trips and vacations with some of Hollywood’s elite: Nicole Richie, Kim Kardashian, and Britney Spears. 

Through her hit reality TV show The Simple Life, Paris Hilton put on an act of a fun and ditzy party girl. That persona lasted for decades until YouTube released her documentary, This is Paris, to the public in September 2020, where the socialite finally broke down and revealed a side to her that nobody had ever seen. 

In the documentary, Hilton sat relaxed in her Beverly Hills home. Instead of putting on her “dumb blonde” character, she was at ease and wasn’t afraid to get real and raw. 

“I built this kind of shield around me and kind of this persona, almost to hide behind, because I’ve been through so much where I just didn’t even want to think about it anymore,” Hilton stated. 

As a teenager, her parents saw her as problematic and to prevent her from ruining the family’s reputation, sent her to the Provo Canyon School, a boarding school in Utah for troubled adolescents. She believed it would be like any other school but was completely shocked on her first night when she was force-fed pills and treated to extreme emotional and verbal abuse by the teachers and staff members. 

Paris Hilton and a friend at the school tried to escape after a few months and when they were caught, she was harshly beaten and subjected to solitary confinement where she spent hours in a dark, cold room alone without any clothing. 

Due to the immense trauma she experienced, to this day Hilton still struggles with nightmares and flashbacks about the Provo Canyon School. “It was just like living in hell,” she said.

Since then, Hilton has been working to use the immense platform she has to break code silence, especially when it comes to shutting down abusive institutions. She has united with former students who had similar experiences to expose these schools for their atrocious crimes so that future generations won’t have to endure the same hardships.

“I’m really going to dedicate a lot of my life to helping make this happen and shutting these places down,” she promised.

Paris Hilton is no longer interested in putting on an act to the public. Instead, she is determined to use her brand to advocate for positive social change and to speak out for those who cannot themselves.