It has been a very sad and public divorce between the media and some of its favorite fodder. America's "it girls" Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and Nicole Richie say they're hanging up their party shoes, leaving tabloids at a loss for their latest headlines. But never fear, the next Paris Hilton could be right around the corner -- she will just have some very large (size 11 to be exact) shoes to fill.
A recent series of unfortunate events has put what the world came to know as the "Brit Pack" out of commission. Lindsay Lohan's drunken Memorial Day escapades sent her back to rehab while Britney Spears continues to lay low after a very public head-shaving incident. But the ringleader, Paris Hilton, has made the most public disappearance -- and from her jail cell vows she'll change her wild ways.
"I have become much more spiritual. God has given me a new chance," said Hilton in a collect phone call from jail to ABC's Barbara Walters.
"My spirit or soul did not like the way I was being seen, and that is why I was sent to jail," she told Walters.
Hilton isn't the only "it girl" who said she's checked out of the party scene. US Weekly's Ken Baker said it seems as if all of America's sweethearts-turned-bad-girls have disappeared.
"Nicole's afraid she's going to jailLindsay's locked away in rehab, so who's the next train wreck?" asked Baker.
It's a good question. Not too long ago, when Hilton was at the height of her fame, she captivated American and international audiences with her, well, ability to be herself. Who will step into the vacancy that's left behind now that she's fallen from grace?
Hilton has become synonymous with Hollywood, but fame was made on the East Coast. The heiress's first public debut was on the pages of New York's, not Los Angeles' tabloids.
"Paris was a creature of Page Six for a long time, and there was a time where magazines like US Weekly wouldn't write about her because she was a local socialite," said Baker.
Waiting in the wings are some of New York's most recognizable socialites, such as Tinsley Mortimer and Lydia Hearst. They've both got the money, the famous last name and the long blond hair. But do they have the guts, or the ambition, to put themselves completely out there?
"I think that Paris' willingness to be completely exposed was what really made her different," said blogger Lisa Timmons, editor of the Web site A Socialite's Life. "People felt like they were getting a peek at something they weren't supposed to."
But are "good girls" like Mortimer and Hearst willing to kiss their wholesome images goodbye and expose themselves in the way Hilton did? Because in the "How to be Hilton Handbook " that's criteria No. 1.
Andy Warhol once said, "If you don't know Patrick McMullan, you ought to get out more!" Warhol was right. Celebrity photographer Patrick McMullan has seen his share of socialites and said the New York duo have done a good job putting themselves in front of his camera.
McMullan's lens has captured socialites and celebrities for years and, from his experience, he said Mortimer and Hearst both show promise of becoming the next big thing.
"Both these girls have the same abilities. They're photogenic, they're interesting, they understand how to be photographed and they know what it takes," said McMullan.