“This is Paris” Documentary Review


Kiersten Buckley, Co-Editor in Chief

Paris Hilton’s name has been ubiquitous in the media since the early 2000s. Whether it was her new boyfriend, her most recent arrest, her newest perfume, her most recent song, or her newest television show. Or, it could have been her newest nail polish line, her most recent engagement, her sunglasses line, her clothing line, or her newest dog. Regardless, Paris Hilton is not a name that can be forgotten easily.

Hilton’s most recent endeavour is arguably her most interesting. On September 14th, 2020, Paris Hilton released her documentary This is Paris as a Youtube Original. It is free to watch on Youtube, with ads of course, but I highly recommend that you all watch it.

Paris Hilton in 2017

During this documentary, we learn more about Paris as a real person, and not just another clueless celebrity. She includes intimate footage of her life, such as her bouts with insomnia and her mental health issues that she has faced for decades. This is Paris talks about how Hilton faces anxiety with each new boyfriend that she dates. So much so, that she buys a new laptop every time she gets a new boyfriend to prevent them from hacking into her computers. Additionally, due to her crazy traveling schedule throughout the year, Hilton faces intense insomnia and nightmares. I can almost guarantee that the average person does not buy a new laptop for every new relationship, nor do they travel more than half of the year like Paris does. But, most people will be able to understand Hilton’s feelings of anxiety and nightmares. This helps to humanize Hilton by showing that she is a normal person just like the rest of us, and not the sensationized dumb blonde that the media has had us believe that she was for decades. 

Furthermore, the documentary showed a behind the scenes look of Hilton’s relationship with one of her ex-boyfriends. We get to see that because of her many past relationships, Hilton had garnered copious amounts of trust issues. She and her boyfriend had issues regarding trust, so Hilton decides to set up hidden cameras around her house. We also get to see some fights between the couple, which eventually culminates in a heated breakup that is caught on camera. This segment of her documentary was immensely interesting since viewers got another personal and intimate look in Hilton’s life, and it was also filmed incredibly well. 

Paris Hilton at age 12

“This is Paris” also takes a deep dive into Hilton’s rebellious childhood, which was arguably one of the most interesting parts of the documentary. Due to her defiant teenage attitude, Hilton was sent to multiple schools for “troubled teens”. But, the most notable school that she was sent to was the Provo Canyon School in Utah that she attended in 1999. Hilton recounts a traumatic story of how she was kidnapped by two men in the middle of the night and taken to the aforementioned Provo Canyon school, where she was then abused terribly for a year. The worst part is that Hilton’s parents consented to this unlawful kidnapping of their daughter, and they were unaware of the abuse until Hilton told them during the filming of this documentary decades later.

The scene when Hilton spoke about Provo Canyon school struck a chord with me simply due to the raw emotion that she displayed during the scene. As she recalled her abuse, she teared up as her older sister comforted her. She talks about how she has never opened up about her abuse with anyone else before, and how she was terrified but relieved that the world would finally hear. It was fascinating to see Hilton actually display real emotion, unlike the fake bubbly persona of her that was constantly portrayed in the media for decades. 

Furthermore, Hilton has begun a campaign to shut down Provo Canyon School. It has gained immense traction through social media, and Hilton has even created a Change.org position to shut down the school (I signed it, and you should too if you support her cause!) I find it incredibly brave that she was able to speak out against a school that has caused her so much trauma and pain. It is also incredibly inspiring to see a celebrity using their platform to spread positivity and good ideas in this day and age.

Overall, “This is Paris” was an incredibly interesting watch. Viewers get to see Paris Hilton in a whole new light, and the vulnerable person who she truly is will surprise you. I highly recommend watching this documentary if you want to learn the real Paris Hilton behind her dumb blonde persona!