Idiot tycoon: Why I hate Paris Hilton

ina Martin

Here I am thinking the best way to secure a life for myself is to go to college and learn something. Boy, am I embarrassed. Why didn’t anyone tell me I couldn’t possibly make it in this world without a sex tape?

In a May 2 New York Times interview, Paris Hilton revealed she has changed careers.

She is turning herself into a savvy business titan patterned after Donald Trump. Right now, she has her own television show; a new movie; a perfume line; a bestselling book; an upcoming makeup line; a chain of fitness clubs; a line of jewelry, handbags and clothes; an album; a chain of designer hotels (not daddy’s); an energy drink; and, of course, a sex tape — that she profits from.

Don’t forget Jessica Simpson’s meteoric rise to the top when she finally learned that buffalos don’t have wings. That little mistake earned her two (terrible) hit singles, a movie and an edible body spray line.

It’s time to face facts. Madeline Albright is yesterday’s news. When you look at male pop icons in business such as Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and Trump, you see men who worked hard for their achievements. You can chart their beginnings and watch their struggle. Puffy sure didn’t get a giant picture of himself in the middle of Times Square from overusing the phrase “that’s hot.”

It isn’t that these women actually are stupid. At least I hope they aren’t, because then there’s no chance for any girl in college. Playing up what gets people’s attention is smart; after all, success is success. But why do we reward women who make a name off of idiocy? Shouldn’t that behavior be discouraged? And why do we applaud that characteristic in women while holding men to a higher intellectual standard?

“Because what people expect out of society and what they want for themselves are often very different things,” said Neeraj Malhotra, a Weinberg junior. “They’re popular because people like to laugh at them and watch their surreal lives. They’re entertainment.”

But this trend presents a problem for college graduates going into the entertainment industry. If the new standard is more Hilton than Oprah, how can we maintain our dignity while still striving for success?

There is always a moment of choice in everything we do. To get to the point where playing dumb is even an option, we need talent and focus. As long as those are the guiding forces of our career decisions, no one can mistake us for another Paris Hilton.

Remember, there are thousands of jobs behind the scenes that require intelligence, poise and drive. And success stories like Jennifer Lopez still happen.

But after the struggles of the 1970s, a woman who describes her newest business venture as “pink and hot” to The New York Times deserves to be exiled.

Rina Martin is a Communication sophomore. She can be reached at

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