Who would have thought that the heiress once known for being “New York’s It Girl” and being splashed among the tabloids as a reckless party girl would one day go on not only to make one of the greatest embryonic reality shows of all-time, but would also eventually grow up all too fast into the 35-year-old she now is? Born on February 17, Paris was never one to follow the rules set out for her by others (case in point, getting expelled from a Connecticut boarding school in typical bad girl fashion).
The hard and fast regulations of a high school setting proved too much for her, and she eventually went on to earn her GED outside the parameters of “the institution.” With that out of the way, Paris could pursue her true calling, modeling. Incidentally, she started out under the management of, ew, Donald Trump’s modeling company (how quickly we forget such grotesque details). Her “it girl” status was reaching a high pitch in 2001, when she made a cameo in the now illustrious model spoof movie, Zoolander (we don’t have to talk about the second one).
With her ever growing notoriety as the brainchild behind the concept of “famous for being famous,” it was only a matter of time before Paris landed her own reality show with fellow socialite, Nicole Richie. The Simple Life first aired in 2003, which premiered on December 2nd on Fox, just in time to cash in on Paris’ recently “leaked” sex tape. The criticism and general appalled reaction to the vacuity of the show was paired with simultaneous interest and obsession. Just as was the case with Britney Spears, the Bush years were both the best of times and the worst of times for Paris’ media coverage. In fact, it’s almost fitting that Paris’ thirty-fifth birthday is the day after February 16th, the almost ten-year anniversary of Britney’s famous head shaving debacle.
After the success of The Simple Life, which was on for a total of five glorious seasons, Hilton transitioned to film, with trash roles in House of Wax and Bottoms Up solidifying her viability as a camp actress, perhaps better off sticking to playing the role of herself, as she would yet again in Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring in 2013, based on the real life robberies that took place in the Hollywood Hills by high school students who favored targeting her house in particular for their heists. As Paris segued somewhat gracefully out of that strange period called the 00s and into the 10s, she began to focus more heavily on her DJ career, frequenting hubs like Ibiza to prove her worth among the ranks of the professionals. She was named Best New Female DJ of the Year in 2014, and continues to hone her empire based on an endless supply of lifestyle products, including her line of perfume–which may well rival Britney’s in terms of amount (though Britney actually has more, surprisingly). All in all, Paris has aged rather gracefully–a far cry from that girl on Larry King Live who insisted she had endured unspeakable trauma while briefly jailed for a DUI. Here’s to many happy returns, and hopefully an eventually Celebrity Deathmatch between her and Kim Kardashian.