Meghan Markle had another kind of royal on her podcast Archetypes with Meghan this week: the hotel heiress, paparazzi princess, Bored Ape babe, and distant cousin to the late Queen Elizabeth herself, Paris Hilton.
Before you ask: No, our hostess with the mostest didn’t ask Paris exactly what her mom Kathy said in the Sprinter van coming home from the Caribou Club in Aspen with only Lisa Rinna as a witness. Instead, the two businesswomen talked about the archetype “bimbo,” which is not a word that people use much these days (when I’m calling out blonde women, I prefer “dumb slut” or “prostitution whore” or “fascist”). This is a problem with Archetypes week after week: Every pernicious term that Meghan and her guest spend an hour deconstructing is dated by about a decade. They say that famous people are emotionally stunted at the age they achieved stardom, and perhaps Meghan’s astronomical rise to Canadian celebrity in 2012 shielded her from a cottage industry of Dolly Parton prayer candles, otherwise she might know that self-aware dumb blondeness is actually kitsch — not to mention, hot — now.
Paris, too, has become somewhat of a redeemed folk hero since her 2020 documentary This Is Paris, which explores her advocacy in the Troubled Teen Industry. As she explains to Meghan and in the documentary, her parents sent her to boarding school in Utah when she was 16, not long after the family moved to New York City from Los Angeles. The school was billed as a therapeutic place to ride horses and escape the paparazzi, but Paris — after being kidnapped from her bed and whisked away in the middle of the night, under order from Kathy Hilton — suffered horrific abuse there. Over the two years she was at that facility, she daydreamed a way out in which she would build a perfect Barbie dream life totally under her own control. By 18, she landed The Simple Life, she pretended not to know what Walmart was, and now, between her NFT empire, her DJ career, and being invited to talk to a literal princess (kind of), she is honestly sliving.
Meghan could use some of that energy, honestly. Over the course of the Paris interview and during an interlude with comedian Iliza Shlesinger, she repeatedly calls herself an ugly loser. This form of self-deprecation has got to go, babe. It doesn’t make her seem more relatable to us homely dorks listening, especially because Meghan also includes a story about only being valued for her looks as a briefcase girl on the American version of Deal or No Deal. She doesn't have to pick a lane, but she does need to get her stories straight.
Mostly, though, it’s fun to see these two women who are famous for being famous in such different realms laugh together. Meghan unlocks a core memory from 2004 about Paris’s dog Tinkerbell running away (Tinkerbell was OK; we don’t know if the same can be said for Diamond Baby).
But then Meghan’s got to moralize. She has to — it’s her whole thing. She delivers the following line about interviewing Paris with such empathy, with such heart, and with such precision that the whole thing devolves into corniness:
“And as I assured her, I wasn’t looking for the gotcha moment. I was looking for the got you moment, as in, the real you. And I think we did.”
It’s a good line, but it won’t ever top “that’s hot.”