Why Nicole Richie Doesn’t Regret Her Wild Younger Years 

Nicole Richie Throws a 70s-Themed Birthday Party
Did our invitation get lost in the mail?

Nicole Richie, once known for her dubious misadventures with pal Paris Hilton on The Simple Life, has since settled into a quieter existence as a successful fashion designer and mother. But last month when she turned 35, Richie decided to look back at her scandalous years in the spotlight.

“I hear a lot of ‘Wow, you once looked like this, but now you look like this!’ and ‘You once were wild, and now you’re an angel!’” she wrote for Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter. “I was so used to hearing others’ views of my life that I found myself believing them.”

Richie realized that, although she embraces her past, even the reckless parts, sometimes in public she feels compelled act contrite.

“I sat and wondered, ‘Why do I laugh at home, but feel shamed out in the world?’ With my family and close friends, I am owning my past, relishing in the absurdity, slightly flinching at my own naïveté, and giving myself props for the unabashed bravery that streaked through my youth. But not trying to hide from it, not trying to change it, just allowing it to help propel me forward.”

Richie concluded that despite her mistakes, she’s proud of her journey and tired of acting like she’s ashamed of her messy past.

“And as much as I have to look at those moments and learn from them, as we all do, it’s important for me to have gratitude for that time, too. Not shame. Being ashamed of your life is not OK,” Richie wrote. “I realized I am actually extremely thankful I was so beastly in front of the world for a few reasons. It’s so bad in people’s minds that there’s nothing that can embarrass me now. I got a little surprise gift of freedom!”