Perez Hilton's new health and wellness website, FitPerez.com went live this week. It's hard to believe that the man who brought us Britney Spears' uncensored private parts and premature reports of Fidel Castro's' demise now preaches portion control and regular physical activity -- but that's exactly the intention of his new site.
"I want to inspire others and give them a destination to get information and entertainment that's different from what I've been doing and what others have been doing," Hilton (a.k.a. Mario Lavanderia) told us. "But it's still me, so it's still fun and critical."
After losing more than 60 pounds over the past three years, Hilton had an epiphany that he'd like to share his lighter side on the World Wide Web. Given that he hangs out with Hollywood types often known for their bizarre diets and extreme exercise routines, you might suspect that he only ate baby food, charcoal or cabbage soup to drop weight. In fact, he says he did it the "old fashioned, rational, boring way": By cutting back on calories and doing something active seven days a week.
Perez wants to send readers the message that the slow and steady weight loss is the way to go but he wants to be sassy about it. So, while he's trying hard to steer people away from fad diets and other silly health practices, the site isn't exactly WebMD. Most of the features are celebrity-oriented. First up are interviews with Glee star Lea Michele talking about her vegan diet and Jersey Shore's JWoww describing her new workout routine. There are tons of interviews with stars and their trainers -- and of course, lots of pictures of ripped abs and tight bottoms.
Though Perez will post a new video fitness tip each week and plans to include inspirational stories from readers, he says the site won't just dish about diet and weight loss; it will cover all health, wellness and happiness topics, such as Terri Hatcher on aging gracefully, Jamie Foxx speaking about the importance of family and Michael Douglas discussing his recent battle with cancer.
And those stars that go to extremes for weight loss? He's already taken "The Event" star Blair Underwood to task for promoting the Master Cleanse, a diet where you subsist on a mixture of lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper for 2 weeks. "There's def something to be said about losing weight by eating healthy and working out regularly," he writes on the site. "Be sure to give that some thought and weigh your options before U take the Underwood approach and starve yourself for fourteen days!"
Still, not all of the information you'll find on the site jibes with the medical establishment. Take the video post of Jenny McCarthy's controversial views regarding autism and how it's caused by childhood vaccines. This claim has been discredited many times over in scientific journals and by most legitimate experts, yet Perez doesn't push back at McCarthy; it's likely he doesn't have the knowledge to correct her factual errors, errors that are misleading and potentially dangerous. Perhaps this is why its best readers heed the disclaimer to treat the site as entertainment rather than sound health advice.
As Perez has gotten smaller, his Internet empire has gotten bigger. Besides FitPerez.com, he's recently launched a fashion site, CocoPerez.com; an animal site, TeddyHilton.com (named after his dog); and an adult-oriented celebrity site, UnratedPerez.com. He claims his original site, perezhilton.com, gets 8-9 million hits per day.
So what's your opinion? Will Perez's celebrity-driven approach to fitness motivate you to put down your fork and rise up from the couch or would you feel ridiculous taking health advice from this guy? Post your comments here and tell us what you think.