If there’s any celebrity offspring we should have permanently tracked on our Google Readers for the latest news on whether she has an emotional breakdown, it’s Paris Jackson. Lest you have forgotten (she hasn’t), her dad was Michael Jackson, who was plenty troubled even before his sad death. And even though his dying wish was for his three children to be shielded from the paparazzi, the media jumped on these kids and dragged them into the spotlight. You’d expect Paris to act out or make some really dumb decisions.
Instead, she comes across as incredibly eloquent and thoughtful. Only 14 years old, she volunteered to have Oprah interview her, which we still thought was exploitative, but at least she was somewhat in control. You get the same sense from her upcoming Glamour feature, which she’s doing as promotion for her first movie role for 2014′s Lundon’s Bridge and the Three Keys.
Despite her aunt Janet Jackson being against any of Michael’s kids entering the biz before they turn 18, Paris seems really committed to this role. Probably because it will give her a chance to not just sit around and be known as the King of Pop’s daughter tragically left behind after his suspicious death. Paris has had a lot of time over the three years to ponder what it means to be Michael’s daughter, and she tells the magazine,
“I love my dad, and I’m proud to be his daughter. I just don’t think the title ‘M.J.’s daughter’ fits me. A lot of people think he’s the only reason I’m making it, but I want to show that I do have talent and that I can make it if I try. I want to be my own person.”
Interestingly, this interview is coming out right after Paris had to defend her dad on Formspring. An anonymous user posted the question “Who is Michael Jackson?”, and while it’s unclear if it were meant as pure ignorance or a barb, Paris launched into a rant (though not without warning her questioner). She wrote,
michael jackson was the king of pop rock and soul . he was a genius . he was a warrior . he was a prisoner in this hell hole we call society . he was the bravest man i’ve ever known . he was an angel sent from heaven . not only was he the greatest and most talented man , but a philanthropist and a patriarch for the jackson family . the glue that kept everyone together . he loved and cared for children and cared so much to make this world a better place .
he was goofy , crazy , hilarious , loving , kind , beautiful , lovable , incredible , and the best , most loving father probably to ever exist . i am so grateful and honored to have known him for over 10 years . he was my life . the only thing that really brought me true happiness .
michael jackson was the greatest thing that ever happened to the music industry . . . and my life
This open letter of sorts took my breath away. If I were in Paris’ shoes, and especially at the tender age of 14, I would probably be a lot more defensive and resentful of my deceased father. Instead, she draws on perspective that some people twice her age lack and is able to point out all of the good that Michael did for his children. Sure, we don’t know how biased she may be considering her sheltered upbringing, but I believe that this is all genuine. Because MJ is dead—it’s not like he will benefit from any good press.
Bravo to Paris for maturing into a reflective, smart young woman. I really think we could have a success story here.