Perez Hilton. Celebrity gossip guru turned spokesman for holistic well-being? There is a lot more to this Internet sensation than meets the eye.
In the latest episode of The Chopra Well show Who Are You? Deepak interviews Perez Hilton on consciousness, life purpose, and personal transformation. First on the agenda, though, is Perez's dramatic weight loss. Many of Perez's followers undoubtedly noticed his incredible body transformation in recent years. With exercise and portion control, he lost between 70 and 80 pounds, surgery-free!
"Was your motivation spiritual?" Deepak asks. Well, to be honest, it wasn't. Perez wanted to "get laid." This isn't the first time someone hit the gym to look hot on date night, and it probably won't be the last. But the process soon assumed spiritual dimensions, as well. Perez relates how, more than a weight-loss, before-and-after story, the journey expanded his mind and made him aware of a universal source of energy.
Alright, be honest: How many of you thought Perez was a bully? For years it seemed his claim to fame was his biting, almost cruel sense of humor and a startling aptitude for gossip. But, as Perez recounts to Deepak, things shifted for him two years ago, after uploading his own "It Gets Better" video on YouTube.
"It Gets Better" is a project initiated by columnist and author Dan Savage in response to a rise in suicides by homosexual youth. Savage's own video, which launched the campaign, is a message to gay teenagers that life goes on after high school and, for many, improves exponentially. Hallelujah! Many gay celebrities and activists have followed suit and uploaded videos with similar messages of inspiration. As a proud, openly gay man himself, Perez Hilton was troubled by reports of a string of suicides by gay teenagers. This prompted him to record an "It Gets Better" video in 2010. Little did he know how great an impact the act would have his life.
Comments flooded in, some positive but many rude, and some downright vicious. In the Who Are You? episode, Perez explains how shaken he was to realize that so many people viewed him as a bully. The feedback acted as "a wake-up call" and convinced him to change the tenor of his articles. His site went through a dramatic and very public transformation, in which he issued a formal apology for his previous behavior. Now, with five websites in tow and a full staff working for him, Perez aims for cute, playful, and timely. And, as he tells Deepak, "I'm happier than I've ever been before."
In the meantime, Perez is exploring spirituality, strengthening his family relationships through therapy, and campaigning against bullying. But given that he's such a successful businessman and celebrity in his own right, can we take his commitment to spirituality and positive change seriously? Absolutely.
Perez Hilton is a perfect example of a self-made man. Add to that the fact that he lost a parent at age 15, overcame obesity, speaks openly about being gay, and believes in an endless cosmic energy field, and we're smitten.