Paris Jackson on race: ‘I consider myself black’
Michael Jackson’s daughter, Paris, wants the world to know that she sees herself as a black woman, and there’s nothing anyone can do to change that.
In a rare and candid interview with Rolling Stone, the 18-year-old covers a wide range of topics, from her battle with depression and drug addiction, her sexual assault by a “complete stranger” at age 14, and being entered into a residential therapy program at age 15 after she tried to kill herself “multiple times”
She also opens up about her famous father’s 2009 death, saying she blames Dr. Conrad Murray for getting her father hooked on anesthetic.
Despite the rough time she’s had living in the public eye, Jackson is adamant that she’s Michael Jackson’s biological child and therefore considers herself black.
“I consider myself Black. [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,'” she said. “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.”
Despite how she was raised, the aspiring model acknowledges that her appearance affords her privilege that most black women don’t have. “Most people that don’t know me call me white. I’ve got light skin and, especially since I’ve had my hair blond, I look like I was born in Finland or something.”
Now sober and happier than she’s ever been, Jackson she says her new career in front of the camera has been therapeutic.
“I’ve had self-esteem issues for a really, really long time,” she admits. “Plenty of people think I’m ugly, and plenty of people don’t. But there’s a moment when I’m modeling where I forget about my self-esteem issues and focus on what the photographer’s telling me – and I feel pretty. And in that sense, it’s selfish.”
Currently, Jackson lives in the private studio where her dad demoed his hit single, “Beat It.”