My New Best Friend Forever

by

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?

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7 Responses to “My New Best Friend Forever”

  1. Marmalade Says:

    Facile, ignorant, self-important, self-aggrandising emotional car-crash.
    Grrr.

  2. Marmalade Says:

    Paris, not you!

  3. nyscha Says:

    Yes it is. The appeal is just that, me thinks.
    Well for me, anyway, I feel like a better person after watching one of these shows because I can roll my eyes and scoff and act like I’m better than the ridiculous people on TV.

    It beats watching an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations on the Travel & Living channel, that show always makes me feel so friggin’ jealous. It does nothing for my self-esteem.
    My brain, yes, self-esteem, no.

    That is, I think, the sole reason Paris Hilton exists in this world; so that we have something to feel righteous about.

  4. Marmalade Says:

    Being anti-war makes me feel righteous. Being anti-Hilton just makes me beggar belief that this position has to be asserted!

  5. Ashlee Says:

    haha. Not mentioning any names? Hmm.

    I saw an episode of this show the other week for the first time and even for a Top Model watcher like me, it was a bit too much.

    Arguably, Top Model involves very little skill… but kissing Paris Hilton’s non-existent tush to become her new BFF is even less based on skill, and I never realised that reality TV could go quite this far down the path of ridiculousness.

    The reason why I watch Top Model is because I find it hysterically funny. It’s not meant to be a comedy, but for me, it is. Even though arguably it objectifies women, supports the industry that has warped women’s body image to such a degree, etc etc etc, I know all this…. I find the foolishness of everyone involved in the show to be quite hysterical.

    But sometimes with Top Model, and also I guess with BFF, I also get the feeling that it is almost a work of satire, like you mentioned. They really are magical kinds of TV shows… they can appease those who enjoy mindless consumer culture and celebrity worship, and they also offer something comical for a snarky satirical type as well. I always wonder if this is intentional… some clever trick… I find Idol being viewed and discussed in the same way among different demographics.

    Or maybe it’s all just escapism… or it’s just so bad that it is good.

    At the end of the day, sometimes you just need to take a breather from cultural criticism and feminist analysis and laugh at dumb girls falling over in high heel shoes because Tyra Banks made them walk down a cobblestone runway.

  6. lovelli Says:

    It was Twiggy in the 70s, I think, who got the world going on strong on bones but (not so much) on ladies with flesh.

    Responding to Ashlee, though, I really dislike the fact that there are people who would pay millions of dollars to sit and see girls falling over.

    I’ve watched Factory Girl (2006), a film on Edie Sedgwick, in which the main heroine was similar in posture with the ’49-born model, and I was reminded–again–of Twiggy.

    What is my point, you ask?

    These models are biting satires on a regular basis, and it’s killing me to know that—after a day of wearing a 7-inch of high heel shoes to work—it is not easy to walk that runway and keep a straight face. And I’m not only talking about Twiggy, but also others who have made their marks along the way.

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