Artist Reveals Paris Hilton’s Infamous ‘Stop Being Poor’ Tank Was Fake
Digital artist Jubilee admits she Photoshopped the now-iconic phrase on Paris Hilton’s tank back in 2013. “I was just trying to make a funny shirt,” she says.
Much like Marie Antoinette’s notorious line “Let them eat cake,” Paris Hilton’s “Stop Being Poor” T-shirt is a relic of history—or at least pop-culture history. And much like the French queen’s heartless quip, it didn’t really happen.
The hotel heiress was photographed back in 2005 at her younger sister Nicky’s fashion show in Las Vegas. Her arms stretched high above her head, almost as if she was saying “ta-da,” Paris, then 24, is seen smiling on a stage wearing a low-rise pink maxi skirt and the statement-making white tank top.
But 16 years later, Paris has taken it upon herself to set the record straight, explaining that the iconic image that became a summation of Paris’ devil-may-care party-girl persona in the early aughts had been Photoshopped with the blasé phrase.
“I never wore that shirt,” she said in a TikTok. “Everyone thinks it’s real, but that’s not the truth.” Paris then showed the real photo from that event, with her shirt reading “Stop Being Desperate.”
Digital artist Jubilee came forward as the culprit on Monday. “LMAO omg Paris Hilton made a TikTok abt the shirt I photoshopped,” she tweeted. Paris quickly responded, “OMG I always thought a paparazzi agency edited it.”
“So hilarious & iconic,” she added. “I thought it was funny when it came out, but I also didn’t want to insult people by thinking I would wear that.”
Jubilee tells The Daily Beast via Twitter DM that on a whim late one night in May 2013, she came across the original photo on Tumblr. “I thought the juxtaposition of her flamboyant ‘ta-da’ pose and message on her shirt was hilariously contradictory, so I wanted to push that a little further,” she says.
But she never thought that people would think the image was real, let alone have such a visceral reaction to it. “The response definitely surprised me,” she admits. “It got a lot of notes really fast, then articles were written about how she was an awful person for wearing it and it made me feel pretty bad because honestly, I was just trying to make a funny shirt.”
To have Paris acknowledge the image exactly eight years after she had posted it is surreal, Jubilee says. “It came full circle on the perfect day.”
Overall, Jubilee finds the whole interaction hilarious and Paris seems to have no hard feelings, even inviting Jubilee on her podcast “This is Paris” on Wednesday to talk about it all.
The shirt was brought up while Paris was hanging out with a friend and they were discussing some of her most iconic outfits. When the friend, who happened to work at TikTok, mentioned the “Stop Being Poor” tank, Paris had to explain it was Photoshopped.
“I assumed some people thought it wasn’t real because the real shirt was online,” she said.
“Looking back at that time, I know that some people took it as light-hearted and saw it as a joke, but I definitely had a moment of insecurity where I didn’t want people to think I would wear that shirt. I would never want to offend anyone and telling people to ‘stop being poor’ is just the opposite of my personality.”
“Some people already had this perception of me that wasn’t always positive, so this shirt just added to that stereotype that some people judged me to be,” she continued. “So, it was really hard for me to have people thinking that I would wear something like this.”
“The last thing I would have wanted for people to see me as [is] someone who’s entitled or thought that she was better than other people. It’s just not me at all and people that know me and know my heart know that despite appearances, I’m not that way at all.”