Michael Jacksons Skin

Fade to White

Michael Jackson’s changing appearance stunned the world; who could have imagined what Michael Jackson, child sensation in the Jackson Five, would grow up to look like? The adult Michael Jackson bore almost no resemblance to the young Michael, which of course was one of Michael Jackson’s scandals, analyzed and overanalyzed during Michael Jackson’s death and the aftermath by the media to no end. Michael Jackson's changing skin color was one of the biggest sources of speculation regarding Michael Jackson’s changing appearance. Who could have imagined that Michael Jackson, an African-American man, would, at his time of death, look like a Caucasian man? When Michael Jackson's skin first started changing color, no one knew what to make of it, and people were baffled. Michael Jackson's skin color inspired much discussion on race and whether Michael was trying to shed his racial identity and assume a more “white” identity. To this end, critics analyzed what ethnicity the women in Michael’s music videos were, how his music sounded, and which race he seemed to self-identify with. Michael Jackson's skin color mystified the world.

Yet Michael Jackson insisted that Michael's changing skin color had nothing to do with his racial identity, but rather only had to do with a skin condition he had, vitiligo.

Apparently, Michael Jackson's changing skin color, according to a biography of Michael Jackson, was due to his vitiligo. Michael was diagnosed with the skin condition in 1986, in addition to being diagnosed with lupus. The vitiligo partially lightened his skin, and made Michael self-conscious about Michael Jackson's skin, so he apparently decided to go ahead and bleach the rest of his skin to have it all be a uniform color. Of course, the public will never know the exact details of Michael's skin condition.

One consequence of Michael's changing skin color was that he met Debbie Rowe, an assistant to Michael Jackson’s dermatologist. Debbie Rowe would subsequently become Michael Jackson’s wife and the mother to two of his three children, Paris and Prince Michael II. Ironically, neither Paris nor Prince Michael II had dark skin; both children appeared to have very light skin, raising questions of whether Michael Jackson was truly their father or whether someone else had fathered them.