This Is Paris: Critics and fans can’t get enough of Paris Hilton’s shocking new YouTube documentary
Share this with
This Is Paris, the new documentary about heiress Paris Hilton, dropped on YouTube this week.
And like most everything Paris does, it’s causing a pretty huge reaction online and beyond.
Fans have been discussing the film on social media in their thousands, while film critics have also had a lot to say about it.
As well as offering a look behind Paris’s colourful image, it also details her allegations of abuse suffered at her boarding school as a teen.
Here are a few insights into the professional reviews…
Salon (positive) – ‘Her work ethic and business acumen notwithstanding, “This Is Paris” isn’t apt to change the minds of any Paris Hilton detractors. But as a whole, it stands as a fascinating study of what happens when a human being’s personality is entirely subsumed by the construct she creates. […] Hilton reminds us of all that goes into carefully crafting her image — including the astonishing fact that she’s never been photographed in the same outfit twice.’
Decider (positive) – ‘I’ll admit that I went into this assuming it was going to be some self-indulgent attempt at image rehab, but This Is Paris is not that at all. We spend some time with the Paris the world has known for decades, yes, but Dean hooks us emotionally by introducing us to the little girl who existed long before Paris Hilton was ever a household name – and by pushing Paris to ditch her infamous character in favor of a real person.’
Variety (negative) – ‘It’s no secret that Hilton, along with contemporaries like Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears, was treated brutally. But this documentary seems so intent on excavating her trauma, up to and including animated re-enactments of her time in purgatorial prep school, that it loses sight of her.’
Meanwhile, online, many viewers have been offering Paris support.
‘I just watched the “This is Paris” documentary on YouTube,’ said one, along with a crying face emoji. ‘Hugs and love to you.’
Another agreed: ‘Just watched the new Paris Hilton documentary , wow , really interesting and insightful. Shows a totally unseen side of her , i was glued to it ! Give it a watch if youve not seen it. [sic]’
While a fan penned: ‘My takeaways from the Paris Hilton documentary: 1. I don’t doubt the far-reaching consequences of that trauma; I hope this brings her some relief from it 2. We need to tax the shit out of the rich, oh my god.’
As a Twitter user shared: ‘Who tf knew I would find @ParisHilton so relatable… I cried so many times watching her documentary that hit me so hard. Proud of her cause that was not easy. Idc what anyone says money can’t buy peace of mind.’
‘I never thought I’d be recommending a @ParisHilton documentary, but here we are,’ a viewer added. ‘This dives into the sickening world of ‘troubled teen’ programs and the lasting traumatic effects they can have on the children that are forced through them. Worth the watch.’
I just watched the âThis is Parisâ documentary on YouTube. ð¢
Hugs and love to you @ParisHilton â¤ï¸
Just watched the new Paris Hilton documentary , wow , really interesting and insightful. Shows a totally unseen side of her , i was glued to it ! Give it a watch if youve not seen it. #parishilton #ParisHilton #youtube #ThisIsParis #parishiltondocumentary pic.twitter.com/uDTbrwF4lW
My takeaways from the Paris Hilton documentary:
1. I donât doubt the far-reaching consequences of that trauma; I hope this brings her some relief from it
2. We need to tax the shit out of the rich, oh my god
Who tf knew I would find @ParisHilton so relatable… I cried so many times watching her documentary that hit me so hard. Proud of her cause that was not easy. Idc what anyone says money canât buy peace of mind.
I never thought I’d be recommending a @ParisHilton documentary, but here we are. This dives into the sickening world of ‘troubled teen’ programs and the lasting traumatic effects they can have on the children that are forced through them. Worth the watch. https://t.co/2WuZ8VrACX
More: Paris Hilton
I won’t apologise for talking in a ‘sexy baby’ voice to get ahead
Paris Hilton’s mom Kathy joining Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Paris Hilton and Piers Morgan ‘still technically married’
The new doc follows Paris’ recent comments to the New York Times about her sex tape leaking in 2004.
‘To have that come out,’ she said, ‘such a private moment, and for the whole world to be watching it and laughing like it’s some sort of entertainment, was just traumatizing.’
This Is Paris: Fans can't get enough of Paris Hilton's shocking new YouTube documentary
Paris Hilton says she ‘feels free’ after YouTube documentary
Paris Hilton speaks during the YouTube TCA 2020 Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif. on Jan. 18, 2020. Hilton says she “finally feels free” after discussing her time at a Utah boarding school as a teenager. She opens up about her experience in a new documentary “This is Paris,” debuting for free on Sept. 14 on Hilton’s YouTube channel. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK — There’s a scene in a new documentary about Paris Hilton, where the so-called socialite is speaking with former classmates from a Utah boarding school. They joke about how on her reality series “The Simple Life,” Hilton pretended to be clueless over many things- including how to perform any sort of manual labour.
One bluntly described it as “some straight-up (expletive),” as they all laughed.
“I don’t think you had like a high-pitch voice back then,” was another observation.
None of this is a surprise to Hilton. What’s revealed in “This is Paris,” which debuted for free Monday on Hilton’s YouTube channel, is that the ultra glam, baby-talking young woman whose standard line was “that’s hot,” was a manufactured caricature not just for fame but self-protection, too.
Hilton says as a teen she got into the nightlife scene and would sneak out and go to clubs while her family lived at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. Her exasperated parents sent her away to various programs to straighten out. There was an outdoor wilderness camp where Hilton and another girl tried to escape. Hilton claims they were caught and beaten in front of others as punishment.
When she was 17, Hilton was finally sent to what she describes as “the worst of the worst”: Provo Canyon School in Utah.
“This is the only place where it’s impossible to run away. So it’s basically like that one place that they all talk about at the other places saying, `If you run away or you’re bad, you’re going to be sent to Provo,”’ said Hilton.
She stayed at Provo for 11 months and says while there, she was abused mentally and physically, claiming staff would beat her, force her to take unknown pills, watch her shower and send her to solitary confinement without clothes as punishment.
The 39-year-old says the treatment was so “traumatizing” that she suffered nightmares and insomnia for years.
“We are aware of a new documentary referencing Provo Canyon School (PCS). Please note that PCS was sold by its previous ownership in August 2000. We therefore cannot comment on the operations or patient experience prior to that time,” the school said in a statement on its website.
Attempts to find the previous owners for comment were unsuccessful.
Hilton says when she agreed to be the subject of “This is Paris,” it was never her intention to speak about past abuses, but she opened up as she became more comfortable with director Alexandra Dean.
Hilton said while she was at Provo, she decided she wanted complete control in her life and image. That meant she would never tell anyone about what happened to her there. She also wanted to be very, very wealthy.
“I saw success as freedom and I just imagined this glamorous life. .. I made all these plans of what I wanted to be. And all I cared about was being successful and independent.”
For someone who has been criticized for being famous for no reason, Hilton has built a multi-billion dollar company around her image. She has branded stores in the Middle East and Asia, is a successful DJ, and has released 27 fragrances, among other products.
“It turns out that whole machine, all that attention she got, the paparazzi, the insta-fame, it was all a creation of this traumatized girl trying to figure out how to climb her way out of this hole she was in,” said Dean. “She attracted it all. In some ways she created it all. What I want people to know is that they should give her credit for being immensely innovative, but they should also understand that what they watched was not the person, but the shield that she constructed to protect herself.”
Hilton says since speaking out about what happened at Provo, she feels free. She’s now sleeping through the night and no longer has nightmares. She also says she’s happy and in a healthy relationship with businessman Carter Reum.
Her life has slowed down in the past six months due to the pandemic, and she’s no longer travelling for work. Hilton says she likes it this way and plans to continue to be more choosy about leaving home. “I’m moving on to the next phase of my life,” she said.
She’s also hopeful that speaking out against programs like Provo will deter parents from sending their kids to similar situations.
“I would never recommend that to any family ever, because I think it just causes more drama and more issues than anyone would ever have.” She’s now a part of the Breaking Code Silence movement, a network dedicated to raising awareness about the “troubled teen industry.”
“The parents are manipulated and lied to and told a completely different story,” she said. “I think it’s important to do your research.”
There’s a scene in a new documentary about Paris Hilton, where the so-called socialite is speaking with former classmates from a Utah boarding school. They joke about how on her reality series “The Simple Life,” Hilton pretended to be clueless over many things- including how to perform any sort of manual labour.