November 14, 2006
The Hatred of Paris Hilton
In City Journal, Kay Hymowitz asks a question that I also have asked on many an occasion: why are people so obsessed with the life of a celebrity they deeply hate, Paris Hilton?
Paris certainly knows how to show off her considerable evolutionary advantages to the camera, where it matters most these days; she adroitly tilts her perfectly styled head like that, angles her sweetheart chin just so, arches her long, lean back comme ça, and gives that sideways, heavy-lidded, come-hither look (now known as a Come Fuck Me) that has bewitched fans since the days of Silver Screen.
But the evolutionary theory of celebrity does not begin to explain Paris Hilton mania for one reason: people hate the woman. She must be the most powerful snark magnet in history...
[T]o check out the megabytes of commentary that follow Paris’s every embarrassing move is to be struck by a loathing that confutes the Darwinian explanation. Cries of “nonentity,” “rich white trash,” “no-talent,” “brainless hussy,” and “hotel heirhead” echo throughout cyberspace. Politically incorrect slurs like “tramp,” “tart,” “slut,” “skank,” and “skanktron” have suddenly become acceptable again, as long as Paris is their target...
[T]he reason for this bile goes even deeper than Grove’s accurate indictment. What drives Americans crazy about Paris is what has incensed Americans since before the Revolution: her haughty air of highborn privilege. She is our Marie Antoinette: “I’m the closest thing to American royalty,” Paris explained when she wrote to Prince Charles to ask for permission to use Westminster Abbey or Windsor Castle for her wedding to her soon-to-be ex-fiancé.
Posted by Robin Varghese at 11:01 AM | Permalink