formally introduced herself to the pop culture world last week in an exclusive Rolling Stone
profile. It was her first ever interview with the press and her many revelations about growing up as the princess of pop are still making headlines on social media.
The 18-year-old will inherit billions from her late father Michael
‘s estate over her lifetime but, according to the magazine feature, she is more intrigued by the famous name and legacy MJ left her than the massive will. The aspiring model, actress and singer spent most of her life being shielded from the media scrutiny and fan fare she is now courting. But is she bravely walking into her destiny or a death trap?
Paris went out of her way to show Rolling Stone that she doesn’t fear death throughout her piece. She said the tragic passing of her dad, who played both mother and father to her and her siblings Prince (age 19) and Blanket (age 14), taught her to cope with loss starting when she was just 11.
Many remember the fearlessness she showed at Michael’s memorial service in July 2009, when the still pre-adolescent Paris boldly stepped to the microphone to put her stamp on her father’s complicated legacy. “Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine, and I just wanted to say I love him so much,” she announced as many of her elders struggled to keep their poise while coming to terms with MJ’s sudden passing.
But lack of fear does not erase the presence of danger. And despite Paris’ fascination with the mortality of herself and others (she frequents Hollywood’s “Museum Of Death” and irks her boyfriend by walking dangerously close to traffic) her grace and bravery can’t protect her from the trappings of fame any more than her father’s riches could. Ironically, it seems protection is the last thing she’s looking for at this stage in her life.
Michael famously hid his children’s faces with masks whenever they were in public. Paris always considered the tactic “stupid,” but she admitted to Rolling Stone
that she grew to understand his logic. Now that she is grown enough to come out of hiding on her terms, she’s decided to seek the attention instead of avoiding it.
The decision appeared to backfire just days after Rolling Stone debuted her feature online. Paris had a visible breakdown while braving the celebrity rite of passage of being chased through an airport by rabid paparazzi.
In the brief cell phone clip, she looked more like the shy child MJ tried to hide from the world than the fearless woman who is currently covering pop music’s most esteemed magazine.
The footage of her attempted airport escape is stomach-churning and reminiscent of her dad’s tumultuous relationship with fame. Michael was thrust into the spotlight when he was just a boy and struggled mightily with the dehumanizing effects that celebrity has on both stars and their subjects. Thankfully, Paris hasn’t hesitated to clap back at the criticism and negativity that often got under her father’s skin.
The fiery punk rock aficionado and social justice warrior doesn’t appear to be an innocent daughter who’s stuck paying off the debts of her father’s sins. She asked for and embraced her new fame, and now that she’s flipped the switch, it’s unlikely that she will ever be able to return to the refuge of anonymity her dad tried so hard to provide her and her brothers.
Unlike her more low-key siblings, Paris found no solace in anonymity. Described by many as her father’s child through and through, she seems bound by a self-imposed duty to live fully in her truth. Given the immense power she inherited with her blood, that could be a blessing to us all.
Paris told Rolling Stone that she sees fame as a tool that can be used for the greater good — a dynamic she surely learned studying her father’s career, which grew more socially conscious with each release.
“I was born with this platform. Am I gonna waste it and hide away? Or am I going to make it bigger and use it for more important things?” – Paris Jackson
Despite her naturally light skin and blonde dye job, the bi-racial Paris couldn’t help inheriting her father’s pro-Black disposition. “I consider myself black,” she told Rolling Stone, a sound viral bite that’s driven click bait all week, sparking countless social media debates about the defining qualities of “Blackness.”
Thankfully, Paris doesn’t seem to be as confused as the rest of the world about her identity. “(My dad) would look me in the eyes and he’d point his finger at me and he’d be like, ‘You’re black. Be proud of your roots.’ And I’d be like, ‘OK, he’s my dad, why would he lie to me?’ So I just believe what he told me. ‘Cause, to my knowledge, he’s never lied to me,” she explained of her racial identity, which still confuses many, along with the dynamics of their extremely private family life.
The “true” race and lineage of all three of MJ’s kids is ambiguous to the skeptics who doubt the great singer was actually their biological dad. But Paris insisted throughout the feature that he was and the interviewer says he left their meeting thoroughly convinced by her intense tone and strong eye contact.
“He is my father… He will always be my father. He never wasn’t, and he never will not be. People that knew him really well say they see him in me, that it’s almost scary.” – Paris Jackson
Paris obviously isn’t scared of the similarities others see between herself and her father. She battled and overcame the drug abuse and self-esteem issues that plagued him until his death before graduating high school at 17. According to Rolling Stone, multiple suicide attempts and a stint in rehab grounded Paris to the point that her only remaining vices are cigarettes, social media and her shamelessly co-dependent romance with 26-year-old boyfriend, Michael Snoddy.
But for all Paris has endured, it’s hard for any empathetic human not to worry for her future. Especially given the tragic fate that closed the curtain on her father’s legendary dance with fame.
“My dad would cry to me at night,” she revealed to Rolling Stone
. “Picture your parent crying to you about the world hating him for something he didn’t do. And for me, he was the only thing that mattered. To see my entire world in pain, I started to hate the world because of what they were doing to him. I’m like, ‘How can people be so mean?'”
Despite every warning sign advising her to just kick back enjoy her father’s riches in solitude and anonymity, Paris has bravely chosen to face the world that was both so kind and so cruel to her late father and her many other famous relatives.
No matter what anyone says, including her long estranged mother Debbie Rowe, the young Jackson is just as free to choose her own path as she is to define her racial identity. And whether you want her to be famous, anonymous, Black or White, we should all be praying for Paris’ success in her mission to use her heirloom of celebrity as a platform to address humanity’s many ills.
But we must also pray that she finds a way to tame and conquer the undefeated beast of fame before it’s brutality claims her life as brutally as it took her father’s.
Peace and power to Paris Jackson. You will need it on the journey ahead, young queen.
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