As some people look at the Mona Lisa, so I look at Paris Hilton.

Her beguiling, close-lipped smile gives her a certain air of mystery and hint of reserve.

I remember, several years ago, seeing a videoclip of Paris Hilton and watching her move and speak for the first time.  I was a little disenchanted.  She is, after all, just another Hollywood star. (I wonder if seeing and hearing Mona Lisa move and speak would have been a similar experience?)

Regardless, it’s the still photos of Paris Hilton that live on in my mind, and for a time, I was fascinated.

The apex of my fascination occurred during her jail stay for drunk driving.

Do you remember the news at that time?  She was swept into custody in early 2007 and sentenced to solitary confinement.  She screamed for her mother as they took her away.

Days passed and then…she emerged.  But it wasn’t her.  Or rather, it was her, truly her for the first time.  She was completely transformed and completely herself.

Her look was different.  Her smile (and yes, she was unabashedly smiling!) was authentic.  Her eyes held peace.  She reminded me of cornstalks and blue sky and wind.  She was genuinely happy.  She had found God.

This is what she said of that experience:

I used to act dumb.  It was an act.  I am 26 years old, and that act is no longer cute.  It is not who I am, nor do I want to be that person for the young girls who looked up to me.

It was at this exact moment, when Paris desired to be a good role model for girls, that the popular media effected a ban on any coverage of her.

This is one of those close-lipped mysteries, too.

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