Michael Jackson: Facts vs. Myths
In the music industry, there have been countless individuals who have made a significant contribution to the industry. Michael Jackson ranks as one of the most highly celebrated artists in the music industry. He is also widely regarded as the king of pop due to his outstanding career in music and entertainment. However, his status as a celebrity and one of the most celebrated icons in the music industry was the subject of several myths which questioned his personality, choices, and health. Michael Jackson’s change of skin color was falsely regarded as an attempt to change races while it was due to a skin condition he was experiencing. People also regard him as a child molester, an issue which was disputed in courts and police investigations. It was also discovered during his autopsy that the long-held myth that his nose had fallen off was indeed not true.
One of the most widely shared myths about Michael Jackson is that he abused and molested children. Over the years, various parties, including children and parents, accused Michael Jackson of molesting young boys. The accusations were also featured in documentaries. His Jackson’s Neverland Ranch and condominium in Los Angeles were the subjects of an investigation by the police. The molestation trial of 2005 was one of the most high-ranking trial cases which did not find him guilty of the ten counts leveled against him (Sisario). However, the accusations turned out not to be true. The police investigation, as well as court findings, acquainted him of all charges leveled against him. Michael Jackson also faulted people who accused him of molestation by highlighting his commitment to assisting children. Although the cases of Michael Jackson molesting children keep on emerging now and then, there is no proof that he violated or molested any child.
Another myth about Michael Jackson was based on his skin change. Michael was an African American who had dark-colored skin, which is typical of African Americans. However, his appearance drastically changed, and it no longer reflected the one he had in his early adulthood. Instead, his skin became lighter. Some of the myths around his skin change suggested that it was engineered by the need to be identified as white. People suggested that Michael Jackson hated the fact that he was black. Others suggested that he had succumbed to the pressure in the entertainment industry, which often favors white people as opposed to the people from other minority ethnicities. The change became part of cultural argument among many, which stretches to date. However, the myths turned out to be false. Michael Jackson’s skin change was not motivated by cultural or racial reasons. The reason behind his change of skin color was due to a skin condition he had called vitiligo. The skin condition destroys the pigmentation of the skin (Khunger). The condition was responsible for his change of skin from white. Also, part of the reasons why the disease is not widely known by many is because it only affects 1% of the population. He also debunked the myth that he hated being black in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, where he stated that he was proud of his roots as an African American.
Another myth about Michael Jackson was associated with his health condition. Throughout his lifetime, Michael Jackson suffered from various diseases. The skin condition, vitiligo, caused several complications on his skin. As a result, he had to attach a prosthesis to his nose to shield his damaged. It was initially suggested that Michael Jackson did not have a nose because it had fallen off. The myths floated around his nose were due to the belief that he had undergone plastic surgery. At the time of his death, some myths suggested that hie had died without a nose. IA story aired by one of the media outlets indicated that his prosthesis was missing from his nose. However, that myth was debunked by an autopsy released after his death. The autopsy did not indicate any of the myths that were suggested about his nose. Ed Winter, who was the Los Angeles County Coroner, at the time of Michael Jackson’s autopsy categorically refuted, claims that his nose had fallen off as suggested by people (Knopper).
Myths have been a major part of society for years. There is a tendency of people to believe myths as opposed to facts. This is because myths tend to spread fast and also gain interests among people, especially in the age of the gutter press and fast spread of information via the internet. Celebrities and popular figures across the globe are some of the most affected and covered by the spread of myths. The myths tend to discredit or add certain aspects of their lives that did not exist or not happen. The case of Michael Jackson and the myths around his molestation of children, his change of skin color, and falling of his nose represent a classic example of how myths work in society. People need to analyze and assess the credibility of sources of information about people. The media, scholarly research, and personal interviews represent an opportunity to differentiate myths and facts. The ease of accessibility of information, which is aided by the use of the internet, provides an opportunity for the public to investigate information and tell the difference between myths and facts.
Khunger, Niti. “Changing skin color.” Journal of cutaneous and aesthetic surgery, 8.2 (2015): 77.
Knopper, Steve. “Five myths about Michael Jackson.” The Washington Post, April 2, 2020, www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/five-myths/five-myths-about-michael-jackson/2019/03/07/255266fe-4101-11e9-922c-64d6b7840b82_story.htmlSisario, Ben. “What we know about Michael Jackson’s history of sexual abuse accusations.” New York Times, April 2, 2020, www.nytimes.com/2019/01/31/arts/music/michael-jackson-timeline-sexual-abuse-accusations.html