I invented the selfie: Paris Hilton

Socialite Paris Hilton at The Museum of Contemporary Art (Moca) annual gala at The Geffen Contemporary at Moca in Los Angeles last month. She keeps busy these days with business projects.
Socialite Paris Hilton at The Museum of Contemporary Art (Moca) annual gala at The Geffen Contemporary at Moca in Los Angeles last month. She keeps busy these days with business projects. PHOTO: AGENCE -PRESSE

Long before the Kardashians bared their private lives in public view, there was Paris Hilton who filled the entertainment pages of newspapers with her exploits in the early 2000s.

The socialite, now 36, has fond memories of her wilder days, telling W magazine that her habit of recording her party lifestyle entitled her to say that she invented the selfie.

"If a beeper had a camera, I would have taken a selfie with it," said Hilton.

While the topic of who popularised the selfie - Oxford English Dictionary named it the word of the year only in 2013 - can be debated, there is no denying that the socialite was among the first reality television stars with her turn in The Simple Life from 2003 to 2007.

The show depicted Hilton and her friend, Nicole Richie, coming to grips with manual, low-paying jobs.

"Nowadays, everything is just so scripted and fake," Hilton said of today's reality shows.

"Everything is planned out. There's nothing real, really. I'm glad that I did it in the beginning when it was organic and fun."

She did not say it, but she might have in mind the Kardashians, who reportedly reshoot scenes for their reality show.

Hilton has not abandoned her habit of taking selfies and wefies - and with an eye-catching device.

She suggests that "you should have at least three phones and they should all be bedazzled".

According to W, Hilton has five iPhones, but remains attached to her older gadgets.

In a video for W that shows her at home, she is seen with a Motorola Razr flip phone with rhinestones in a cheetah pattern and three decorated Blackberrys.

"Nowadays, I feel like it's so easy becoming famous. Anybody with a phone can do it," sniffed Hilton, who keeps busy with business projects.

According to Women's Wear Daily, she has released 23 perfumes since 2004.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 13, 2017, with the headline 'I invented the selfie: Paris Hilton'. Print Edition | Subscribe