Since Paris Hilton checked herself in to a Los Angeles County jail on Sunday night to serve her 23-day sentence for violating her probation, it seems that every media outlet is weighing in on what will become of the heiress during her time behind bars. Will Paris learn her lesson? How will jail change Paris?
Her lawyer, Richard A. Hutton told the AP that Paris will be using the time to “reflect on her life, to see what she can do to make the world better and hopefully in my opinion, to change the attitudes that exist about her among many people.” Hah. Just because Paris will be spending a few weeks in solitary confinement devoid of all her Hollywood comforts, doesn’t guarantee that she’s going to emerge with a new outlook on life or suddenly decide to pursue a career with deeper meaning.
While jail may not change the fact that she is a Hollywood heiress who flaunts for the paparazzi, if she plays her cards right, serving time may finally give her some much-needed street credit. Let’s face it. Despite being the focus of endless media attention and public fascination, Paris Hilton doesn’t exactly have the kind of credible image that translates into a mega brand. In addition to the sex tapes and her party girl habits, very soon after the announcement of her new Paris Hilton cosmetics line last fall, she was photographed going out on the town without any underwear. Her purported feuds with Nicole Richie certainly haven’t improved her image as a good friend, either.
To make matters worse, Hollywood will exploit her sentence for all its worth and the public will eat it up. Already, an orange jump suit that Paris tried on when she checked in to jail is being sold on eBay. So, the question isn’t whether Paris will reflect on her life and become a better person after three weeks in jail, but will she rise above the criticism and begin to give her brand a more responsible image?
Take Martha Stewart, for example. Not that I’m even suggesting the two be compared, but I did not have that much faith that the public would embrace Stewart as much as they did after she was released from jail. If anything, going to jail helped Martha Stewart’s brand. That’s because Stewart didn’t let her wrongdoings define or even cheapen her image. Instead, she moved on by continuing to embrace her passion and finding new and improved ways to share that with the public. It’s all up to Paris now. Do you think the Paris Hilton brand will benefit from being locked up? Or will it become so over-hyped and obnoxious that it will lose all credibility?