Three days after Robert Redford declared Paris Hilton and everything she represents — the “ambush marketers,” swag, paparazzi, the general atmosphere of publicity in service of nothing but itself — the bane of his Sundance Film Festival, she was seen picking out free snow gear in Park City, blissfully unaware of being attacked, and unconcerned when told about it. “So many people use my name as an example for everything, good and bad,” she said while browsing the Oakley Learn to Ride “gifting suite.” “I can’t get too upset about it.” Besides, she didn’t see his point: “I now have sixteen brands that I need to market and promote, so from the perspective of a businesswoman, I don’t see anything wrong with it.”
Hilton was in Park City for a film, too: She appears as an expert on fame in Adrian Grenier’s documentary Teenage Paparazzo, which premiered at the festival. Yes, she partied, but it was to promote the movie. Duties fulfilled, she was determined to learn how to snowboard, or at least pose for some pictures looking like she was trying to. A skier since she was little, she claimed, Hilton had attempted snowboarding a couple of times at the urging of her boyfriend, The Hills’ Doug Reinhard, without much success.
As she walked around the Oakley suite, Hilton subjected each item to a rigorous mirror test: lips glossed and pouted, hip cocked. In short order, she had collected white pants with a turquoise jacket; pink-framed goggles; pink-and-black leather gloves; and black-and-white men’s boots, size 9.5 (she had whispered she was a women’s size 11, but they didn’t have any). She took a single sip of a smoothie from the lounge’s co-sponsor, Muscle Milk, declared it “really good,” and set it aside. Her publicist whispered in her ear. “She wants me to mention where we’re staying,” she said, and began reciting, “It’s the St. Regis in Deer Valley. The rooms are excellent. Ski in, ski out, infinity pool, spa.”
Clothes on, it was time to pick out a snowboard. “What’s the best size for someone who really sucks?” she asked, laughing, then rejected one for being boyish green. “Can’t I have something that’s at least a little pretty?” she asked, pointing to a Roxy board with colorful swirls. Strapping in, she put a hand on her hip, beamed for the cameras (both Oakley’s and her own) and squealed, “I got the pink one!” Hilton’s “lesson” consisted of asking a pro one question — “How do I stop?” — and taking off before he could answer. Her balance was surprisingly good, aided by her arms outstretched like wings. Then she snowboarded straight into a giant orange net.