I am obsessed with Paris Hilton’s show My New BFF. The other day at work I was editing a business story about the lease financing arrangements of one of Indonesia’s budget airlines. Hawt. I started thinking about how Paris owned her own plane and therefore didn’t have to worry when she flew her potential best buddies to Los Vegas to hunt for men to bring back to her bachelorette pad.
Now my gym workouts are scheduled around Paris. The staff at fitness first told me I should do more weights and yoga, but I try to do cardio so I can be close to the tv. The other day I forgot my headphones and was devastaed: I wouldn’t be able to hear Paris’s voice.Now she’s started interrupting my dreams. She walks in on my set when I’m dreaming of home, or being in the mountains, there she is. She never, ever leaves me.
I watch My new BFF with wonder. I think about the MTV production staff editing together these clips of young dumb things getting drunk and wonder if they’re actually a bunch of postmodern satirists creating a critical masterpiece, or are as into Paris as her minions are. I wonder at the woman wearing a jilbab on the bike next to me and wonder if she thinks if this is normal behavior for Western women.
The divide between worshiping Paris and hating her is a fiberglass panel. I am speechless as I watch, that people spend their lives watching this, and yet, I watch on, addicted. Since childhood I have despised the kind of person Paris represents and the women who follow her, as well as the make up/fashion/fitness etc industries that are propped up by the pursuit of their ridiculous dreams. But I am fascinated. When she walks in and sits on that throne, huskily drawls a “hey girls,” and then decides who will get to be in the next episode, I think of being told I wasn’t allowed to play certain game in preschool by other kids, or having to advise a girl at age 13 that she’s “wasn’t allowed to be in our group anymore.”
I have a few mates who are into Australia’s Next Top Model (not mentioning any names!!), Big Brother, etc. We’re well-traveled, educated, with a wide range of interests, and yet we’ve become obsessed in the cinematic equivalent of pissing your life up against a wall. Is the appeal really just an ironic snigger at ridiculous people in the world?