This Is Paris: Hilton documentary puts the reality in reality TV

The heiress gained notoriety as the original social media influencer. As she shows a vulnerability the world has never seen, will fans take note or turn away?

The first 30 seconds of the YouTube documentary This Is Paris will feel familiar to anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the original social media influencer Paris Hilton. In it, Hilton – great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton Hotels – struts into a recording studio, perfectly poised with multiple pink bags and her tiny dog Diamond in tow. Staring down the microphone, she repeats “This is Paris” and her infamous phrase “That’s hot” until she gets that perfect mix of sex and California vocal fry that entices some and annoys others. She stands tall like a gazelle, possessing the confident demeanour of a pop star.

This act is so natural that it seems utterly unimaginable that Hilton could be anyone other than this. It’s an introduction that seems to indicate we are going to get an insight into how the sausage was made – how she effortlessly changed the landscape of TV, popular culture, digital voyeurism and celebrity. This Is Paris might just be another blindingly shiny PR exercise to get us to resent and be obsessed by her in very equal measure.

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