Several pictures have surfaced of Lindsay Lohan attending professional cum-squiggle artist Perez Hilton's birthday party, and though Lohan's appearance is sure to raise rumors and questions, the one I'd like answered is this: what the f**k was she doing there?
I don't think I need to go into an eight paragraph explanation of everything that is wrong with Perez Hilton and his pink nightmare of a site (the tag line is "Celebrity Juice, Not From Concentrate," though it should probably be tweaked to "Celebrity Juice That You Probably Read On Another Gossip Site Three Days Ago"), as I think it pretty much speaks for itself. However, I do find the relationships that Hilton has created with several celebrities to be somewhat interesting, in that he often provides his friends, such as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Courtney Love with mainly positive coverage, even during their wackier escapades. Hilton and his high-profile friends are surely well aware of the benefits of their cross-promotional efforts: being on his good side, surely, is better than being on his bad side, which is where Lindsay Lohan typically finds herself.
Branded as "Lindsanity" on the site, Lohan is often the target of cheap jokes regarding her addiction problems, her appearance, her career, and her relationship with her (admittedly awful) stage parents. It is a distinctly Perez type of attack: to kick the fallen and/or falling when their down in a passive-aggressive attempt to position yourself as a "tough love" type who is just trying to keep it real or some such. In the past three months alone, Hilton's site has had the following gems to share re: Lohan:
From March 5, 2010, "Lindsay Lohan Without Her Pants On:"
As per usual, she looks a cheap hooker HOT mess! Since when is underwear pulled halfway down one's ass or sexy? Or posing like you're taking a dump?!
Gross! Is Playboy next? She's getting closer!
From March 3, 2010: "Lindsay Lohan Is Writing A Book"
Let us save you and everyone else a lot of trouble and get to the jist of the memoir with 140 characters, in honor of your beloved Twitter, Lilo. How about:
"I was that cute kid in Parent Trap & then I blacked-out for 13 years."
Look! We only needed half of a tweet!
From February 22, 2010: "We Can See Right Through You, Lindsanity!"
And what a revealing outfit she chose to wear! Did they make it out of a screen door for you, Lilo?
Not the best choice, considering you seriously needed to be wearing a bra. Your lopsided lumps don't help you any!
From February 16, 2010: "Lindsanity Wants To Show Haiti She Can Be A Bigger Disaster"
Looking fresh, La Loca!! Now tell us - is the bloating from booze, drugs, or both??
Just last week, Hilton mocked Lohan for being denied entrance to a Victoria's Secret party, but added, "You can come to OUR party on Saturday - we'll let you in!!" Apparently, Lohan took Hilton up on the invite, showing up to the carnival-themed event and snapping a few pics with the man who has spent a great deal of time reminding everyone on the internet what a "hot mess" she is. And that's the way to show someone whom you consistently point out as having drug and or alcohol problems that you care, right? By inviting them to a party where people are drinking and such? Good looking out, Mario.
It is impossible not to consider the ol' "all publicity is good publicity" line, especially as it applies to Hilton's particular brand of gossip and how his relationships with celebs is reflected in the content posted on his site. But it's still troubling and frustrating that celebrities—particularly women—continue to bow to this dude's whim and celebrate him lovingly as he continues to do, as Anna North pointed out last summer, what he's done for years: "dehumanizing women by exploiting sexist attitudes - with little repercussions."
I am not naive enough to think that none of this—including Hilton's trademark misogyny—isn't just branding and publicity based. Lohan's participation, in spite of everything, either displays a remarkable desperation, a dark sense of humor, or simply a willingness to attend an event that might drum up some publicity that Hilton himself can't turn into a slam on her body or her life (though I'm sure he'll find a way.) Or maybe all of this speaks to a culture that applauds misogyny and celebrates cruel sexism as some kind of juicy, bitchy fun. But ultimately the fact that female celebs—even the ones he torments—are still rallying around Hilton just reinforces the idea that he can be as nasty as he pleases to women who don't fall on his good side, as long as the ones who do stick by him and applaud his efforts. I suppose it's easy to turn a blind eye when Hilton's cum pen isn't drawing "hot mess" and "eww" exclamations all over your face. But at some point, this dude's party has to end.