By MIA FREEDMAN
So Perez Hilton is a father. When this news broke a few weeks ago, I mentioned on Facebook that it sat uneasily with me. Not because he’s gay. Not because he’s a single Dad. But because….well, Perez has made his name out of being an arsehole.
Wait, it wasn’t even the arsehole part that bothered me it was this: Perez Hilton has made his name and built his business by being cruel. His brand is synonymous with being crudely nasty and revolting about celebrities and those around them including their children.
He gave celebrities vile nicknames like Sluttyienna (Sienna Miller), Potato Head (Rumer Willis) or Maniston (Jennifer Aniston).
He said this about Miley Cyrus when she was 15:
Miley sure loves lifting up her shirts and skirts. Slut!”
The same year, he said this about celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe:
“Her face is tighter than Hannah Montana’s anus.”
He said this about gay DJ Samantha Ronson:
What An Ugly Bitch! And we don’t mean the dog! Everybody’s favorite fug bitch, saMAN Ronson walked her infinitely cuter pooch, Wednesday in Los Angeles.
He said this about Rumer Willis – who he bullied most weeks for years simply because he found her unattractive:
Rumer Willis… isn’t there surgery where you can shave down your jaw??? We’re sure some trannys have gotten it done to make themselves look more “feminine.” Plastic surgery is not always a bad thing.
Rumer should look into it! And, while she’s there, she might wanna get her nose done too!
Every day for six years, he drew giant penises spraying semen all over female celebrities or appearing to penetrate them. He wrote words like “whore” “fugly” and “tranny” over women’s faces. He outed gay celebrities who did not want to go public with their sexuality. He wrote things about children, like that Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise’s then 9 year old daughter Isabella “looks like a lesbian”. He taunted Alexa Joel (the teenage daughter of Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley) so mercilessly, mocking her appearance, that when she attempted suicide, she said Perez’s cruelty had played a role in driving her to such a desperate place.
WARNING: some of these examples of Perez’s altered images are NSFW.
Getting the picture? So that is the background for my unease when I heard he had become a father.
Yes, I know nobody can control who procreates. Yes I know there are far, far worse people who have children – people who abuse them or neglect them or exploit them or withhold love from them.
I get that. I’m not saying someone who is a cruel jerk is worse than any of those people. But in the realm of celebrities becoming parents, this news did not warm the cockles of my heart.
And now this. New information emerges.
1. Perez (whose actual name is Mario Lavandeira) is the biological father – he payed for donor eggs and a surrogate to have his biological child.
2. He named the baby after…..himself. Mario Lavandeira III – or, as he has said – Perez Hilton, Jr.
3. He is a changed man.
First, the photos:
In an interview with the LA Times, Perez insisted he made a conscious decision to change the tone of his site away from being cruel and revolting. Around the time he launched some spin-off sites including a site for young girls called CocoPerez, a fitness site called FitPerez and…a site about celebrity kids called Perezitos.
“I feel like it spiraled out of control,” Hilton said of the online persona. “It got progressively meaner and bitchier.”
In 2010, he decided to “aspire higher.” The shift occurred after he made an “It Gets Better” video, to help prevent gay teen suicide, and discovered, to his horror, that he was considered one of the biggest bullies on the Internet. Khloe Kardashian, a frequent Hilton target, called him out as her “personal bully” for scrawling words like “tranny” and “fugly” on her photos. And that was one of the nicer responses.
So he decided to be nicer. And while traffic to his website briefly dipped, it recovered well and he is now a more commercial brand as well as no longer being a troll and a bully.
“I don’t have to give people nasty nicknames anymore,” the 34-year-old blogger said to the LA Times. “I don’t have to say people are stupid, or people are fat, or people are ugly. I don’t need to draw inappropriate things on photos or out people. I can still be sassy and fun and do my job.”
Can people change? Sure they can. They can change the way they think and the way they do business.
I wish Perez Hilton and his new son Perez Hilton all the very best.
Do you think people can change?