Changing Skin Colour

KOPV

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
12,907
Points
63
Re: Changing skin colour

Michael speaking about it in the 80's would have prevented at least a decent percent of trash talk.. simply because they would not be left to come up with a reason themselves.

Lets not forget that in that time skin lightning cream was getting promoted a lot more than it is now it the black community (and others) people buy creams and use remedies to lighten the skin.. It is not promoted like it was than simply because people today are more willing to embrace who they are..

You combine that with how little was known about vitiligo at the time, of course people would wonder and assume he's changing his skin to fit in to what american pop culture would accept at the time.. It all "made sense" to come to that conclusion.. The biggest pop start turning light, his nose changes, and a dominant feature that was advertised for white hero (a cleft) was put into his chin.. All this happening when not many people knew about vitiligo..

side note Jermaine song didn't help either!
 

Moviefan2k4

Proud Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
289
Points
0
Location
Houston, TX
Re: Changing skin colour

I think this is another part of Michael's legacy, helping people with the same conditions as himself to be more open with them. Imagine how many more would've come forward, had he been forthright from the beginning. Those determined to hurl slurs would do it anyway...but the truth has a way of limiting their opportunities to spread lies. One of the many reasons so many rumors persisted about Michael, is because he rarely addressed any of them head-on from the start. By the time he spoke up, the rumors were all most knew about him.

 

83magic

Proud Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2017
Messages
570
Points
28
Re: Changing skin colour

It was clearly a very difficult thing for him to come to terms with. I don't think he even planned to discuss it in the Oprah interview. She had to practically drag it out of him.

By the way, I'm black, and I never felt as though Michael owed me anything. I never held him up to a 'black standard', and I accepted him for who he was. I just cared about his health. Let's face it, he knew more about that than me or anyone else. He made it clear that he would not go into his medical history, and I respected that. It's a shame that some fans don't. I doubt that Michael would be happy about pictures highlighting the disease that he worked so hard to conceal, circulating the web. No matter how good the intentions are.

He shared what he wanted to, and wasn't obligated to do any more than that. We are not entitled to Michael's life just because we enjoy his music. Not now, not ever.

I don't see how constantly obsessing over the drama does any good. It's not like he can come back and redo it all over again :( I'm just seeing a lot of judgement.
 

Moviefan2k4

Proud Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
289
Points
0
Location
Houston, TX
Re: Changing skin colour

My broader point in my earlier statement, was that to a certain extent, celebrities forfeit their right to privacy as a result of their career choice. Michael had the perfect right to share or withhold whatever he wanted...but those choices cost him dearly because his profession kept him visible. I've said this to many people, about many different subjects: "When you're not told the truth, all you have to fall back on is your assumptions." During the early '80s (when Michael said his vitiligo started), there were a ton of diseases showing up that people knew nothing about...and had virtually no control over. Education is the antidote to ignorance, which is the root of most rumors. If you want people to stop guessing, give them the facts - its that simple. But it has to be done early, before speculation becomes the norm. As much as I love Michael and his music, I think he waited far too long, to reveal his condition.
 

MJTruth

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2016
Messages
872
Points
0
Re: Changing skin colour

I don't think MJ received the right PR advice in the 80s and 90s, if he received any at all. Perhaps he just ignored it. Anyway there is no doubt in my mind that if MJ had explained the issues with his skin condition in the 80s he would have been treated more fairly by the press. Right up until he died the press would say he bleached his skin. People made fun of his skin.
If people are aware that there is a genuine medical condition then they are much less likely to ridicule the afflicted person - it is most definitely not cool to take the piss out of a person for a medical condition or disability. Of course here will always be trolls who will do or say anything for attention but in general people are understanding.

MJ should have stood up, admitted his troubles and become an advocate for Vitiligo. He could have become spokesperson for Vitiligo-related organisations, or at least a patron for them. He had his chance to influence public opinion, advance medical treatment through the increase exposure to the condition and potentially help many, many people around the world. Sadly he allowed himself and the condition to become a joke. His denial about the number and type of surgeries he had also didn't help his credibility.

Yes it was a private problem, but people respect celebrities more for being open and honest.
 

1nn5

Proud Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2014
Messages
1,020
Points
38
Re: Changing skin colour

I agree with Tess66, in that Michael's skin color changed very quickly in the five years between Thriller and Bad. To the average person, who didn't stay informed about celebrities, it appeared instantaneous. I think that's what started the bulk of the rumors, and Michael's refusal to address it just fueled the fire. His interview with Oprah didn't occur until he'd already spent 11 years, wrestling with vitiligo. The glove he wore on Motown 25 remains stained by brown makeup on the inside, to this day...probably because Michael hastily added the glove before going on stage that night.

Michael wore the gloves in the Triumph Tour 81. It's new for the no-fans.
 

Cats-whiskas

Proud Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2017
Messages
110
Points
0
Re: Changing skin colour

Miel thank you so much for the fabulous you tube links. x
 

KOPV

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
12,907
Points
63
Re: Changing skin colour

about Michaels PR in the 80's.. at the time, it worked.. peoples curiosity of the "oddities of Michael Jackson" wih his larger than life entertainmen factor.. More people tuned in, more people flocked to see him, and more peopl bough into this MICHAEL JACKSON image... It was the "How is someone so dfferent yet so great?" thing.. fast foward to 1993 and the allegations and it was the false "ah'ha moment", "Now I get it, the reason he's so "off" is because he's a creeper"..

The PR in te 80's was great but too risky.. it left him too vonverable and an open target!
 

1nn5

Proud Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2014
Messages
1,020
Points
38
Re: Changing skin colour

he wore the glove on the 79 Destiny Tour also
yeah people link this to the Vitiligo and think it's (Motown 25) the first time he wore them . I don't think wore it for Vitiligo, in Moonwalk he exlpained the reason.
 

Moviefan2k4

Proud Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
289
Points
0
Location
Houston, TX
Re: Changing skin colour

My point about mentioning the glove, is that there's no sense wearing makeup on your hand, if you're already going to cover it with a glove instead. Regardless of when he started wearing it, my original claim about the Motown 25 glove being stained with dark makeup still remains. The only reason I can think of that Michael would've worn dark makeup on his hands back then, was to cover the vitiligo.
 

tricia70

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
2,249
Points
0
Location
Florida, U.S.
Re: Changing skin colour

What I don't understand is that Michael wrote and released an autobiography in 88 discussing his plastic surgeries but couldn't talk about how his skin disease made his complexion light like a caucasian man? I love Mike and it's easy to talk like this in retrospect but honestly where was his team?? They should have adivsed him to say something, there is no way that could turn into anything else than a PR nightmare. Maybe they did but he didn't listen. Maybe, just maybe he liked the ambiguity and the mystery of it all during that time I don't know. He should have said something

I think Michael liked the controversy because it played into his idea of any publicity is good publicity. It made him more mysterious. I don't think he listened to anybody much. He did what he wanted and from what I understand he was very stubborn. Let's face it, Michael loved and lived off the media coverage of him whether good or bad. I really think he planted some weird stories about himself just so he would get publicity. Of course in the end it backfired.

In retrospect, he should have come out and told the world about his condition. It would have helped so many people. And a great idea would have been to start a vitiligo foundation under his name to raise fund for research.

Michael was like no other in so many areas. Wonderfully talented but wonderfully flawed. A total enigma.
 

Robbsaber01

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2011
Messages
2,281
Points
48
Re: Changing skin colour

IMO MJ simply wanted to keep certain things private. Could he have come out and said "I have vitiligo" in the mid 80s? Sure. I doubt he wanted the tabloids saying he bleached his skin either. It was his business, and nobody else's.
 
E

elusive moonwalker

Guest
Re: Changing skin colour

Shame some of u all dont blame the media for all their lies that brainwashed millions as much as you critizie mj. And you wonder why he never opened up about it .
 
D

Dutchie

Guest
Re: Changing skin colour

To Michael, none of that stuff was important. He didn't want to discuss or enter in to conversation about it. The way he saw it was to give his music, video, live performance etc to the world. The rest of it was private and unimportant.

Exactly this.

Michael's medical history is/was none of our business.
Fame is a difficult thing. When you and I do our jobs all our clients care about is that we do our job well. Not what we look like, who we went out with last night or what we ate. But when you're a celebrity, people suddenly want to know every little detail about your life, including things that are and should remain very private. Michael had a hard time understanding that because to him, those things were not important.
 
Last edited:

83magic

Proud Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2017
Messages
570
Points
28
Re: Changing skin colour

Was there any concrete evidence that Michael himself planted those stories about the oxygen chamber and the elephant man's bones, aside from that one book that I refuse to mention? Why would he do that, then get upset with people giving him the reaction he sought out in the first place? It doesn't add up.

I support Michael's statement in the Ebony interview in '87. Responding to such stories only dignifies them. Besides, that would be a full time job itself with the amount that Michael had to deal with! He was more focused on the overall plan of creating a lasting artistic legacy :)

'Leave Me Alone' was the perfect way to throw it back their faces and laugh at them.

Also, let's not forget that there were tabloid lies written about him before '86. I saw a report when he was a child that claimed he was a castro! They said he was having gender reassignment, and planned to marry Clifton Davis (the writer of 'Never Can Say Goodbye') when he was a teenager. That he was taking hormones to make his voice high during 'Off The Wall'. People were already talking about his surgery in '83 (my favourite year or him :) )

They've always been there.

It think some of you are being unfair with your expectations of not only Michael, but entertainers in general. How can one person embody the hopes and dreams of billions of people they don't even know? We may not agree with all the choices that Michael made, but we should respect the fact that it was his life, and he had the right the live it the way that he chose to.
 

myosotis

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2009
Messages
4,225
Points
48
Michael's Essence;4208315 said:
Was there any concrete evidence that Michael himself planted those stories about the oxygen chamber and the elephant man's bones, aside from that one book that I refuse to mention? Why would he do that, then get upset with people giving him the reaction he sought out in the first place? It doesn't add up.

I support Michael's statement in the Ebony interview in '87. Responding to such stories only dignifies them. Besides, that would be a full time job itself with the amount that Michael had to deal with! He was more focused on the overall plan of creating a lasting artistic legacy :)

'Leave Me Alone' was the perfect way to throw it back their faces and laugh at them.

Also, let's not forget that there were tabloid lies written about him before '86. I saw a report when he was a child that claimed he was a castro! They said he was having gender reassignment, and planned to marry Clifton Davis (the writer of 'Never Can Say Goodbye') when he was a teenager. That he was taking hormones to make his voice high during 'Off The Wall'. People were already talking about his surgery in '83 (my favourite year or him :) )

They've always been there.

It think some of you are being unfair with your expectations of not only Michael, but entertainers in general. How can one person embody the hopes and dreams of billions of people they don't even know? We may not agree with all the choices that Michael made, but we should respect the fact that it was his life, and he had the right the live it the way that he chose to.

I agree completely. This thread feels like it belongs in the 'tabloid discussions' 'Trials and Tribulations section.

Michael understood from a very young age that the press would write anything to sell copies, and fans / the general public would believe anything they wanted to believe about him, to suit their own aims and agendas. There are still fans who believe Michael is alive!
There are still people who believe he didn't have vitiligo, despite the PM report.
There are people who believe vitiligo is a 'disease'. (The absence of melanin itself is not*....although there may be auto immune conditions underlying it).

Michael gave fans and the public his life in music, dance and art. He doesn't 'owe' anyone ANY information about himself beyond his public career. He knew from 1993 that even some of the people closest to him would be prepared to make up the most heinous stories about him. Why would he even take anyone close to him into his confidence, let alone fans or the general public?

Why should he have been a 'poster boy' for vitiligo? He wanted to be entirely himself, and to help as many people in the world as possible; not to be pigeonholed into some convenient category.

We can 'project' whatever of our 'wants' or 'needs' or 'beliefs' on to Michael, but I'm glad he lived his own true life in his own true way. 'Be true to yourself' is one of his best and strongest messages. I'm glad that he didn't feel that he needed to 'justify himself' to gain acceptance for who he was or how he looked. That's exactly as it should be.

------------------------------------------------------------
* by most definitions
Cambridge English dictionary
disease: (an) illness of people, animals, plants, etc., caused by infection or a failure of health…

Britannica
Disease, any harmful deviation from the normal structural or functional state of an organism, generally associated with certain signs and symptoms.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1299105/
'An absence of health'?
At first sight, the answer to “What is a disease?” is straightforward. Most of us feel we have an intuitive grasp of the idea, reaching mentally to images or memories of colds, cancer or tuberculosis. But a look through any medical dictionary soon shows that articulating a satisfactory definition of disease is surprisingly difficult. And it is not much help defining disease as the opposite of health, given that definitions of health are equally tricky.

It might not be easy to articulate what a disease is, but we like to think we would at least all know when we saw one. Unfortunately, this is problematic as well. Notions of health are highly context-dependent, as human diseases only exist in relation to people, and people live in varied cultural contexts. Studies in medical anthropology and sociology have shown that whether people believe themselves to be ill varies with class, gender, ethnic group and less obvious factors such as proximity to support from family members.

What counts as a disease also changes over historical time, partly as a result of increasing expectations of health, partly due to changes in diagnostic ability, but mostly for a mixture of social and economic reasons.
 
Last edited:

tricia70

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
2,249
Points
0
Location
Florida, U.S.
Re: Changing skin colour

Why should he have been a 'poster boy' for vitiligo? He wanted to be entirely himself, and to help as many people in the world as possible; not to be pigeonholed into some convenient category. "

Show business is a tough business to be sure. Artists know from the onset their privacy is the price they pay for fame. Of course I believe the media and fans understand artists' need to hold on to some of their privacy. But if some thing as "vitiligo" comes up, then it should be the responsibility of the artist to be upfront and honest about it. We all know human beings are not perfect. Take David Cassidy he has been very honest and upfront about his personal struggles. I admire him and respect him more because of it. Michael could have done the same thing with his vitiligo struggles. How can he be "pigeonholed into some convenient category"?? Michael loved to help people so this would have been his perfect opportunity to do just that. The media, fans everyone in general would have respected him for it, not made fun of him or written crazy speculations about him. But I believe Michael, loved the publicity, and imo he let it fester to get just that. Sad.

Michael complained so much about the media, ( and yes the media was grossly incompetent and irresponsible during the trial), but he also gave them a lot fodder throughout his career. He can't have it both ways.
 

Miel

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2016
Messages
142
Points
0
Location
the Rebellious City
Is there even a proof that Michael gave photos of him to tabloids, in the eighties?

Aside Taraborelli’s biography (which is honestly a shaky source), I don’t remember reading about that anywhere.
 

83magic

Proud Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2017
Messages
570
Points
28
Re: Changing skin colour

I asked the exact same thing.

As far as Michael being happy about people thinking he was ashamed of his heritage... the way his eyes welled up, and his voice shivered when explaining his condition to Oprah, said otherwise...

It's interesting that no one has mentioned the low self esteem he had, due to the teasing about his natural features from media, and his own family as a teenager. Having to go in the spotlight on top of that must have been difficult to say the least.

It's sad that some fans hold such a cynical view when it comes to Michael. Then again, when you consider the source (that book) it's not surprising. They make it seem as though Michael spent every waking hour plotting and scheming on how to trick people, and was totally incapable of any genuine emotion at all.

I've already spent too much time in this thread. I'll go back to discussing the music from now on :)
 

EmJ1979

Proud Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2017
Messages
71
Points
0
Re: Changing skin colour

I love Michael before I make my comment as I know that a few will jump on me for what I'm about to say but maybe he let the changing skin colour stories run as he knew that being talked about was better than not being talked about. It kept him in the press and it kept him current. He learnt from an early age to lie to press and was told that it was ok to lie sometimes as long as it helped your career. Regardless of whether it was good or bad press it was keeping him in the public eye and kept people interested. It would have been easier to just say he had Vitiligo, and yes he didn't have to discuss all his medical issues with the world but he must have known that the only way to put the stories to bed would be to just say its Vitiligo. He was an enigma to me and always will be. I have seen him in interviews telling fibs because that's what he or others thought people wanted to hear so we cant always say that everything that he told the world was gospel. He is a very clever man and he knows what he doing with regards to the press. Well that's my belief anyway
 

EmJ1979

Proud Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2017
Messages
71
Points
0
Re: Changing skin colour

I asked the exact same thing.

As far as Michael being happy about people thinking he was ashamed of his heritage... the way his eyes welled up, and his voice shivered when explaining his condition to Oprah, said otherwise...

It's interesting that no one has mentioned the low self esteem he had, due to the teasing about his natural features from media, and his own family as a teenager. Having to go in the spotlight on top of that must have been difficult to say the least.

It's sad that some fans hold such a cynical view when it comes to Michael. Then again, when you consider the source (that book) it's not surprising. They make it seem as though Michael spent every waking hour plotting and scheming on how to trick people, and was totally incapable of any genuine emotion at all.

I've already spent too much time in this thread. I'll go back to discussing the music from now on :)

I don't think he wasn't genuine at all. I think he was a lovely man with great morals and wanted to help the world in many ways. Regardless of the book though you cant say you've never seen any of the footage where Michael was telling little fibs. Whether this was to protect himself as he didn't think he needed to share everything with the world or whether it was what he thought people wanted to hear, he did tell fibs sometimes.
 

83magic

Proud Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2017
Messages
570
Points
28
Re: Changing skin colour

delete
 
Last edited:

EmJ1979

Proud Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2017
Messages
71
Points
0
Re: Changing skin colour

@EmJ1979 I think that a skin disease is far more serious than an oxygen chamber or elephant man bones. It would be extremely insensitive on his part to use that for publicity. Knowing that there are real sufferers out there. He cared for the sick and needy. If it was that 'easy' for him to reveal it, he would have done that years ago. Not only was he private, but you're forgetting that he was very shy. Or was that an act too?

Where's the compassion?

He also had lupus, yet no one really talks about that.

Besides, his status as legend was already cemented after Motown 25. He could have retired after '83 if he wanted to, and always be relevant. To this day he's still the standard that artists measure themselves against. I can't count how many claims I've heard about someone else being 'the next Michael Jackson'. He didn't need any cheap stunts.

I've already acknowledged that Michael had flaws. Part of those were his fibs. There's a difference between changing a few details here and there, and creating harmful and offensive fabrications from scratch.

What does any of this have to do with his music anyway? How does it affect our lives? I just see a lot of nit-picking. I'm not jumping on you. My last post was supposed to be just that on this matter. I only responded because you quoted me directly. :)
Oh no I wasn't aiming that at you when I said that people would jump on me.
I don't believe he put the story out that he was bleaching his skin I'm just saying maybe he let it run longer than it needed to as it kept him in the public eye. I might be totally wrong, I'm just saying it could be one theory
 

Tess66

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2017
Messages
191
Points
0
Re: Changing skin colour

I asked the exact same thing.

As far as Michael being happy about people thinking he was ashamed of his heritage... the way his eyes welled up, and his voice shivered when explaining his condition to Oprah, said otherwise...

It's interesting that no one has mentioned the low self esteem he had, due to the teasing about his natural features from media, and his own family as a teenager. Having to go in the spotlight on top of that must have been difficult to say the least.

It's sad that some fans hold such a cynical view when it comes to Michael. Then again, when you consider the source (that book) it's not surprising. They make it seem as though Michael spent every waking hour plotting and scheming on how to trick people, and was totally incapable of any genuine emotion at all.

I've already spent too much time in this thread. I'll go back to discussing the music from now on :)

Actually, in my post #6 on page 1, I did express that perhaps because of the criticism Michael received about his looks in his youth he was just too shy to talk about having Vitiligo.

"I too wish he would have spoke out about it earlier. Perhaps he was scared or embarrassed, he did have image issues because of things that happened to/said about him during his teen years. Perhaps he was just trying to maintain what little privacy about his personal life as he could.

Maybe his "people" did try, but Michael refused to speak about it until he felt he had no choice.

While his skin color and/plastic surgeries shouldn't have been the focus, he was a musical genius, that's what important, I can also understand why his changing looks were highly commented on. It wasn't subtle, especially when comparing him from Thriller to Bad. It had to raise eyebrows, especially in the black community who thought he didn't want to "be black" anymore.

I also think he could have been an ambassador for the disease, show the world that it didn't matter, that having Vitiligo didn't need to be any kind of stigma. It would have spun things much more in his favor had it been played that way instead of trying to hide it for so long."
 
Top