After the controversy surrounding Forbes’ declaration that Kylie Jenner is set out to be the youngest ever “self-made billionaire,” Paris Hilton also has something to say. In a candid interview with Refinery29, the hotel heiress chats about her many business ventures, her grandfather and her solid work ethic.
Hilton, the socialite/dj/former reality-tv star/entrepreneur says though wealth has helped her career, it’s her business acumen that has got her where she is today.
“Yes, I came from Hilton hotels, but I’ve parlayed it into such a huge business that even my grandfather said to me, ‘I used to be known as Barron Hilton. Now I’m known as Paris Hilton’s grandfather,'” she stated. When asked about Jenner, Hilton had no issues with the “self-made” term, either. Naturally, the heiress pointed out that she, too, was self-made.
“I think of myself and anyone who does business as being self-made. Everything I’ve done, I’ve done on my own, and yes, I do come from a last name, but there also are many children I know that come from families who, you know, take the choice of not doing anything with their lives.”
“I work harder and travel more than any CEO I’m friends with,” she said. “The same with Kylie. I think any woman who is going to get into business and be an entrepreneur and make a big name and brand for themselves, they are self-made.”
But like Kylie before her, people weren’t exactly thrilled with Hilton’s claim.
— Bastard Mike (@spacecoast_mike) July 23, 2018
She is not self-made. She was born of 3rd base. Don’t act like she hit a triple. Is Paris Hilton self-made?
— jaki lavoie (@jaki_lavoie) July 26, 2018
To be fair to the heiress, Hilton has cultivated her persona into a lucrative career. With a handful of fragrances, a cosmetics line, a skincare line and new television show on Viceland, she’s been busy. And since Barron Hilton basically pledged most of his fortune to charity, granddaughter Paris is doing her best to keep her assets in check.
But the very definition of self-made is a person who succeeds in life unaided. Would she have been able to do all of this without a couple million thrown her way or without the privilege of being born into a family of rich hoteliers? Probably not. No, we shouldn’t take away Hilton or Jenner’s accomplishments. But let’s leave “self-made” for people who didn’t have fame and wealth to back their ventures up in the first place.