Opinion
3 min

How Paris Hilton saved a gay club kid’s life

Part two of Peter Breeze’s fame-chasing: naked, sober and alone

(“I always thought being fucked-up went hand in hand with success because of all the hours I spent reading about celebrities and their wild partying,” writes Peter Breeze./Evan Eisenstadt photo)

The first thing I noticed about Paris Hilton was her natural glow. She seemed almost iridescent. A paparazzi flash personified.

She looked at me as if she knew me, like she was looking at an old photograph. There was something familiar about her. Like the first time I felt LA sunshine on my skin.

I wrenched my gaze away and looked around the room. Everything seemed still, suspended in a moment, as if covered in dust. A soft grey filter had been placed over reality and everything bled into everything else. My world was bland. How could I have not noticed this earlier?

Paris Hilton had lived in my mind for years in a never-ending loop of paparazzi videos and magazine covers. She personified my idea of fame. But now she existed solely in this moment and demanded that I meet her there.

Her eyes were deep, watery wells of emotion that told me everything I needed to know. She had been here before, not in this particular pizza parlour, but she had been here. She cleared away all the artificial stimulation that was running through my veins.

I always thought being fucked-up went hand in hand with success because of all the hours I spent reading about celebrities and their wild partying. I know now that is a very small part of the big picture.

Much like the iceberg that sunk the Titanic: it’s not what they saw that took them down but was what was hiding beneath the surface. For years I embodied what I thought success looked like instead of focusing on the work that would make me successful. Ice cubes just can’t compete with glaciers.

With a couple bats of her eyelashes, everything I knew was gone. Because of Paris Hilton I was naked, sober and alone.

I looked out into the night as Paris moved further away, getting brighter and brighter and brighter. She was almost blinding. When that kind of light appears in the dark of night you realize how simple it is to stand out.

With a final glance over her shoulder, Paris Hilton smiled and turned into a brilliant sunset. My eyes flickered open and I discovered that I was still in the pizza parlour downtown. People still staring, the camera was still flashing and my fishnets hugged my legs.

I wasn’t naked and I hadn’t just seen Paris Hilton turn into the sun. Or had I? All I know is something inside of me woke up, and underneath a pile of illusions, ego and fear, a star finally began to emerge.

But its light was dim and would need immediate nurturing if it was ever going to reach the sky. I wondered for a second if there was some kind of guest list that could take me there, then quickly came to my senses. My days of being on the guest lists were over.

Before Paris, I experienced the world through the lens of who I wanted to become. Now I experience the world from a much more powerful position: as I am.

While most people find the real Paris Hilton absolutely ridiculous, I think her presence was absolutely necessary for me to discover my own potential. I see her as the collective manifestation of a world that needs to know we can become something extraordinary. That we can live any life we desire, simply because we choose to.

Not every path to greatness needs to be littered with tragedy. It doesn’t need to be complicated. In fact, it can be cheeky and fun! It’s about owning what you’ve got and using it to your advantage.

Instead of looking for something outside of yourself to make your dreams come true, you can start from the inside out.

You’ll never capture the world’s attention — or anyone else’s for that matter — if you don’t believe you’re worth it.

I try not to worry now about who I’ll become tomorrow because I love who I am today. If Paris Hilton has taught us anything, it’s that in the end it’s all about self-promotion.

I mean self-love. In the end it’s all about self-love.

<Previous: Part one of Peter Breeze’s previously unwavering pursuit of fame in a hollow culture

(For more of Peter Breeze’s adventures with Paris Hilton check out his blog: parishiltonsavedmylife.com)