My friend swears that Fabio is a natural blonde and that his flowing golden locks aren’t the result of extensive hair dye procedures. I disagree, which is why my friend and I frequently engage in life-threatening fisticuffs. I’d like to stop this senseless violence, but I can’t find any definitive evidence regarding the true essence of Fabio’s follicles. This is my fault. I had a perfect opportunity to discover the truth, but I blew it.

I remember the day well. I was reading outside the UCen when I looked up from my textbook and saw Fabio walking by. I blinked and rubbed my eyes. No, it wasn’t my imagination. It was Fabio, and this was my chance to ask him about his hair. I didn’t know how to greet him, so I simply yelled, “Hey you with the bad blonde dye job.” I was surprised to see half of UCSB’s undergraduate female population turn around. Where did these ladies come from? Were they aliens? Were they malnourished Fabio clones? No. They were dropouts from the Paris Hilton School of Fashion. I could tell by the fake tans, the neon orange Uggs, and the backwards trucker hats. The trucker hats were the real giveaway. Everyone at the Paris Hilton School of Fashion knows that trucker hats went out of style in early 2004.

Despite their poor fashion sense, these strange women intrigued me. Why did they idolize Paris Hilton? Better yet, why do I even know who Paris Hilton is? She’s not talented. She’s not important. There doesn’t seem to be any logical reason why anyone should care about her. She’s a glittery icon to whom celebrity has been bequeathed by a bizarre conspiracy of physical forces that remain undetectable by modern instruments. How odd.

Celebrity is a very odd thing. Some people actually earn it. Albert Einstein was a great scientist. William Shakespeare could write the pants off a pig. But Paris Hilton? She’s pretty much worthless. The same goes for hacks like Ashlee Simpson, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. These human voids only serve as further evidence to support the idea that any talentless turd can become a pop star as long as they have an army of make-up artists, songwriters, producers, choreographers and publicists working for them around the clock.

This whole phenomenon used to puzzle me. Then I realized that being famous isn’t necessarily about being talented. It’s about appeal. Paris Hilton may not be particularly gifted, but there’s something about her social status, lifestyle and appearance that appeals to America’s fantasies. The celebrity known as Paris Hilton isn’t even a real person. The celebrity is an idea, an image that’s been created and carefully cultivated to perfection. This charade is pretty effective. It works well enough to trick legions of people into copying her style, buying her products, reading about her in tabloids and generally idolizing her.

This was evident that fateful day in front of the UCen when the Paris Hilton clones turned their eyes on me. They lowered their monstrous sunglasses and stared as I stood there with my textbook in hand. I was totally frozen. I thought that I had incurred the wrath of these macabre monstrosities, but they soon resumed petting their Chihuahuas and fidgeting with their T-Mobile Sidekicks. I breathed a sigh of relief. Then it hit me. Fabio! I had gotten so caught up in the world of the Paris-ites that I had completely forgotten to stop Fabio and ask him about his hair.

I frantically scoured the dense mid-afternoon crowd for the infamous hunk. I bobbed and weaved among the pedestrians, desperately searching for any sign of the “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” spokesman. I looked everywhere, but he was gone. I was worried. Why? My concern didn’t make sense. Why did my friend and I care about Fabio’s hair? Why had we even heard of Fabio? He’s not talented. He’s not important. There’s no logical reason why anyone should care about him. I couldn’t understand our obsession with the man until I remembered a very crucial concept: Fabio kicks ass.

Daily Nexus columnist Nick Pasto can believe it’s not butter. It’s fucking margarine, idiots.