Perez Hilton, the blogger who made a name for himself by being wantonly invasive and cruel to celebrities and crafting semen doodles, is a changed man now — or so he tells Alex Morris of New York magazine. Is it genuine? And, even if it is, does it even matter now?
This isn't the first time Hilton's publicly announced that he's changing for the better: in 2010, he bravely vowed to cool it with the semen scribbles, to stop outing celebrities, and to cease calling children ugly. Now he has a son (Mario Armando Lavandeira III, who was conceived with a donor egg and a surrogate and born in February), and he's claiming that fatherhood has softened him and drastically altered his priorities. With the wisdom he's gained from fatherhood, he says that he now has a lot of regrets from his despicable past:
“I would say things [on my site] knowing it was mean and hurtful. But I would justify it by saying to myself, ‘I want people to disagree with me, so that comment is another page view,’ ” he says. “Now I definitely regret it. I have a lot of regrets.”
Perez has moved to New York, we learn, because he wants to surround himself with happy people and become happier himself. In other words, as Morris puts it, he hopes to "escape the insular stardom vortex that he helped to create and maintain." Throughout the profile, Hilton comes across as wildly un-self-aware and a bit delusional: bewildered at the idea that celebrities are human beings with real feelings ("I actually ran into Jennifer Aniston and we had a talk, and she was like, 'No, I'm a real person.' I really didn't view them that way."), hypocritical ("I mean, friends my come and go... but children are forever"), and sort of cringe-inducing ("I want to be around intellectually stimulating people, have snooty conversations about politics. Like, I want to be smarter.").
There's ample evidence that Hilton's trying to change: though the diction on his blog has remained more-or-less the same, still peppered with inarticulate exclamations, the tone has become so markedly Not-Mean that it seems almost insincere, leading one to believe that Hilton might not know what a nice person actually sounds like. On his latest about Kim Kardashian's post-baby body:
Being a new mom shouldn't revolve around jumping back into your old schedule and spending hours at the gym. It's all about bonding with that new bundle of joy - and Kim is no different!... The great thing is that she HAS been finding time to work out though and has lost 25 lbs. since giving birth, but Nori obviously is still her number one priority... Aww! That’s so sweet! Nori is pretty darn cute so we can see why it would be tough to leave her!
(Three years ago, before the "moral makeover" sequence was initiated, Khloe Kardashian called out Hilton as her "personal bully"; he would call her a "fat, ugly transvestite.")
It does seem like Perez Hilton is trying to turn over a new leaf, likely because the pushback against his malignant, obnoxious and completely thoughtless online persona reached a fever pitch a couple of years ago. Maybe he has learned from his new mistakes — he hasn't called a female celebrity a FAT, UGLY SLORE in quite some time — but the fact of the matter remains that he's still responsible for popularizing and espousing a genre of gossip site that courted attention by spewing misogynistic, body-shaming bile. Everyone deserves a chance to learn from their mistakes and better themselves, it's true. Has Perez Hilton really learned, though?
The article ends on a supremely delusional and self-rigehtous note:
“Like if Beyoncé and Jay Z wanted [Hilton's son] Mayito over at their house to play with Blue Ivy, I don’t know if I would. Jay Z talks about drug use all the time in his songs.” Hilton looks lovingly down at his child. “I wouldn’t want to expose my son to that.”
"Perez Hilton Has Baby, Wishes He Could Be Pregnant, Vows to Be Better Man" [NY Mag]
Image via Getty.