The XX Factor

America’s Moral Decay Watch: Perez Hilton, Children’s Book Author

Perez Hilton has apparently inked a deal for a children’s book, suggesting he might be about to join a pantheon of greats that includes Glenn Beck, Sarah Ferguson, and Madonna. Celebrities (or maybe we should say notorieties) who’ve written children’s books? Yes, but more importantly: celebrities who’ve written really bad children’s books. (The awful truth is that of those above, Glenn Beck’s is the best of the lot.)

Julie Andrews writes charming if slightly maudlin children’s books-my taste ran in that direction as a kid, and I loved Mandy long before I realized who’d written it. I find Jamie Lee Curtis’ work a bit on the didactic side for reading aloud, but it’s a fault she shares with many a fellow author, and I wouldn’t throw a book like Today I Feel Silly off the shelves. But Perez’s earlier work suggests that, in spite of the appealing title, The Boy With Pink Hair is more likely to induce a wince than a smile, and the book’s alleged message, “Believe in yourself,” does seem a tad inconsistent coming from a someone who, as Jezebel’s Tracy Egan Morrissey put it,  made a name for himself by “making fun of other people’s bodies and being an overall cruel bastard.” Ooh, sounds like a fantastic role model for the whole family.

But for an overall response to the idea of Perez’s book, I have to say that Jezebel commenter Dilly Dalai put words to my own initial reaction: “I misread that as ‘Paris Hilton to Publish Children’s Book’ … and #therealityisnotmuchbetter.”

Photograph of Perez Hilton by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images.