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.
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
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.
“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.
“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.