Michael Jackson took steps throughout his life to keep his children out of the public eye. I can remember looking at the masks they wore out and about, wondering just what the heck his kids looked like behind the feathers and bright colors. Surely I’m not the only person with that morbid curiosity.
Now, I’m not exactly a member of Michael Jackson’s fan club or anything (in fact, I think the guy was pretty skeevy, to be completely honest with you), but I have a lot of respect for him because obviously sheltering his kids from the limelight was of vital importance. After all, Jackson knew better than anybody the double-edged sword of fame.
Which makes the question of the insurgence of his children’s faces into pop culture following his death so compelling.
Joe and Katherine Jackson foisted their own kids into a paparazzi-fueled existence because it was apparently a small price to pay for the swelling bank accounts. Essentially selling their children into celebrity slavery had detrimental effects on the Jackson children, Michael in particular.
And now, despite Michael Jackson’s best efforts to give his offspring a different, gentler world, it seems …
… that history is going to repeat itself.
Most interesting is that the Jackson child with the apparent star power is his only daughter, Paris, who is quickly becoming an icon in her own right as she’s entering the show biz world at the tender age of thirteen.
Jackson’s only daughter has landed the lead in the upcoming live action-animated film “Lundon’s Bridge and the Three Keys,” based on the young adult fantasy book series by Dennis H. Christen. The film, which will feature the voices of Larry King and Joey Fatone, has been a work in progress for years, but is getting renewed attention thanks to the Jackson name.
To be completely fair, the issue of this being the very thing that Michael Jackson appeared to be taking every possible measure to keep from happening is raised in the piece.
Paris told [Ellen] DeGeneres that Michael not only inspired her desire to act, but also helped her train.
It was his performance in “Moonwalker” which first gave her the itch. “I knew he could sing really well, but I didn’t know he could act. I saw that and I said, ‘Wow, I want to be just like him,’” she revealed.
Her father seemed to approve. “We would do ‘improv’ together. He would give us little scenarios.” Paris said. “He would say, ‘O.K., in this scene you’re going to cry,’ and I’d cry on the spot.”
When asked about the biggest lesson learned from her father, however, Paris kept her answer broad.
“He said, ‘If I die tomorrow, always remember what I told you,’” she recounted. “And I took his advice, and I remembered everything he told me.”
This still makes me very uneasy. Paris Jackson appears poised to board the same train that turned her father into … well, a very strange man, and this is after facing the soap opera trial following his death as well as growing up in a manner best described as unconventional.
The one thing that seems consistently laudable about Michael Jackson is that his kids are good, solid people. I can’t help but worry that Paris Jackson as an icon cannot possibly be a good thing.