Celebrity can be such a fleeting prospect: These people are famous simply for being famous. The useless operate in a celebosphere dominated by two women who first orbited around one another like twin stars, then broke off and set parallel paths to dangerous heights of overexposure: Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton.
The beginnings: Talk about media sensations. Paris Hilton is the great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels. A sex tape of Hilton with her then-boyfriend Rick Salomon was made public. In an eerie echo, Kim Kardashian, who was a close friend of Hilton's, entered the media scrum when a sex tape of her with her former boyfriend, singer Ray-J, ended up on the Internet.
The reality: Hilton starred with her longtime friend Nicole Richie in The Simple Life. She also was in Paris Hilton's My New BFF, reached overseas with Paris Hilton's British Best Friend, stretched to the Middle East in Paris Hilton's Dubai BFF, and finally hit global saturation with The World According to Paris. Kardashian's entree to reality TV was Keeping Up With the Kardashians, which has spun off into Kortney and Kim Take New York and Kourtney and Kim Take Miami.
The work: Hilton has launched perfumes and fashion and has opened 44 Paris Hilton stores around the world, offering items such as handbags, shoes, perfumes and watches. She likes to remind people that even though she is an heiress, she has worked since her teens, when she was a model. Kardashian, who released a workout DVD series titled Fit in Your Jeans by Friday and developed the self-titled fragrance Kim Kardashian, has partnered with her sisters, Kourtney and Khloe, in several retail ventures, fashion collections and perfumes.
Dating, etc.: Hilton has been engaged to Greek shipping heir Paris Latsis, dated guitarist Benji Madden of Good Charlotte and dated Doug Reinhardt when he was starring the The Hills, but broke that off because she worried he was using her to further his career. Kardashian was married to NBA player Kris Humphries for a total of 72 days in 2011, prompting widespread speculation that it was simply an effort to increase her celebrity. Before her divorce was finalized, Kardashian began dating Kanye West. The divorce was legally finalized on June 3, 2013, and she gave birth to North West 12 days later. She and West married on May 24, 2014.
Word: Hilton has published Confessions of an Heiress, which became a New York Times best seller, and Your Heiress Diary: Confess It All to Me. In May 2015, Kardashian released a portfolio book called Selfish, 325 pages of her selfies.
Causes: Hilton created a canine clothing line, Little Lily by Paris Hilton and has donated some of the proceeds to animal rescue. She has donated at least $100,000 to the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, where a room has been named in her honor. Kardashian has embraced her heritage, speaking out against the Armenian genocide of 1915 in Turkey. She endorses Hillary Clinton for president and is concerned about raising biracial children in the U.S. She has nearly 100 million followers on social media, but says it's possible they click only for the bikini shots.
Wax and whine: In the last few years, Hilton appeared to have lost her grip on overexposure but she has made a roaring comeback. She returned to the headlines when an Arab TV show pranked her by pretending that her sightseeing plane was about to crash in Dubai. She has threatened to sue. Meanwhile, Kardashian's headline count seems to grow as she embraces motherhood, supports Caitlyn Jenner, muses about politics and social issues and refines her selfie abilities. These two women are nearly equal in celebritude, overexposed and underwhelming in redeeming social value, but Hilton gets the nod as Most Useless because she had a hand in foisting Kardashian onto the world.