It must be extremely difficult to grow up in the shadow of a man as famous and beloved as Michael Jackson. I mean, her father is THE Michael Jackson. It doesn’t get much cooler or mainstream than that. Yet despite this, Paris Jackson (the daughter of Jackson and Debbie Rowe) is a well-rounded and very likable young woman. Since her father’s unfortunate passing, all eyes have been on Paris, and to be perfectly honest, the girl is handling things with grace.
The 19-year-old has all the luxuries money can buy, but she’s a normal teenager who is honest about her struggles and passion about real-world events. And for these reasons and many more, Paris Jackson is total goals. Don’t believe me? Below are 15 reasons that make the young star one of my biggest girl crushes!
15. She’s A Normal Teenager
Growing up with the constant media scrutinization can’t be easy. Actually, that’s probably an understatement, because it must be unimaginably hard when your every action is reported and discussed at length.
But Jackson is not trying to be someone she’s not, and she’s surprisingly a very normal teenager. She’s not afraid to share the silly things she gets up to on her social media accounts and it makes me love the sh*t out of her. She loves trips to Disneyland, she loves goofing off with her friends (and there are plenty of GIFs and Instagram posts to back up this statement), and she has mastered the art of pulling funny faces (really, I’m impressed).
14. She’s Honest About Her Struggles
Paris Jackson’s life has not been easy. She lost her father when she was 11 years old, and she has struggled with depression and self-harm. She was reportedly sexually assaulted when she was 14 (she described this person as being a stranger who was “much older”), which led her to attempt suicide multiple times.
However, Jackson has made the decision to speak out about her struggles, which could potentially help others who may find themselves in this same position. In an in-depth interview with Rolling Stone magazine she spoke candidly about her feelings, including her lack of self-esteem.
“I’ve had self-esteem issues for a really, really long time,” she confessed. “Plenty of people think I’m ugly, and plenty of people don’t.” Thankfully that’s changing. Jackson revealed, “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.”
13. She’s Fiercely Loyal And Defends Those She Loves
Back in 2016 Paris Jackson’s now ex-boyfriend Michael Snoddy, a drummer for Street Drum Corps, made headlines for his controversial confederate flag tattoo.
The outcry started on social media after an image of Snoddy’s tattoo cover up was shared by the tattoo parlor who did the work (he had recently replaced the tattoo with a new flame design). People were angered by Snoddy’s former tattoo and took to social media to voice their disdain, but Jackson stuck by her boyfriend’s side and defended him.
She wrote on Instagram that she “could care less about the tattoo.” Adding that Snoddy had originally gotten it for his favorite band. However, he made the decision to get it covered up at his own expense because he reportedly didn’t like the racism affiliated with it. She went on to state that regardless of what is on her boyfriend’s body, she will always love him, but that his decision to get the ink removed should be a testament to his good character. While this is controversial, Paris is passionate about those she has in her life. She feels deeply and she is willing to stick by her loved ones, no matter what.
12. She Cares About Real Issues
As a teenage celebrity, Paris Jackson’s interests could be trivial, but she has substance to her and cares deeply about real-world issues. She’s also willing to speak about her political beliefs in public because she realizes she was born with a platform — one that she doesn’t intend to waste.
One of the things that really matter to Jackson is the situation in Venezuela; which is reportedly near-civil war and is experiencing constant violence and political unrest. During an interview with Teen Vogue, Jackson shared her feelings on the country and its people, saying, “What’s happening in Venezuela has been heavy on my mind recently, mostly because of the how the citizens are really, really struggling right now. Do you know how much most of them get paid, like, hourly? It’s outrageous, not to mention [many of them] can barely afford food, and when they can, there’s hardly any food for them to buy.”
11. She’s Proud Of Her Body — And Defends Her Love Of Nudity
Paris Jackson has openly discussed how cyberbullying has affected her, and a lot of this bullying seems to be focused on her looks. She previously stated that some people find her “ugly” while other’s do not. Despite the barrage of hate that she receives, Jackson is proud of her body, and this is something I really admire about her.
She speaks about her body with confidence, and is an advocate for nudity. Taking to Instagram earlier this year, Jackson shared a photo of herself along with a lengthy caption defending why it’s a beautiful thing to be able to embrace nudity. And that you don’t have “to make it sexual the way many Hollywood stars (and the media) do.”
She continued, “Not only is your body a temple and should be worshipped as so, but also part of feminism is being able to express yourself in your own way, whether it’s being conservative and wearing lots of clothes or showing yourself.”
10. Family Is Important To Her
Paris and her mother Debbie Rowe didn’t always have the best relationship, but when it was revealed that Rowe had been diagnosed with Breast Cancer, Paris put aside their differences to pursue a relationship with her mother.
Jackson was there for Rowe throughout her health battle and publicly showed support for her “badass mom” when she took to Instagram to share a photo of Rowe holding up a sign that read, “chemo done.”
Aside from mending her relationship with her mother, Jackson was also incredibly close to her late father, Michael Jackson. She still wears his rope-and-jade bracelet (the same one he was wearing when he died in 2009) and has several tattoos dedicated to his memory; including cover art on her forearm from his 1989 multi-platinum album, Dangerous.
9. She Doesn’t Care About Trends
There are many celebrities who have become obsessed with social media. They spend hours trying to get the perfect selfie and documenting their every move, but rather than focus on fame-hungry antics, Paris Jackson is much more authentic.
Paris didn’t choose to be in the public eye, but she has since decided to embrace it. Speaking during an interview with Teen Vogue she revealed that she was given a platform and that she could have an incredible impact on people if she chose to use it for something important. She also revealed that she doesn’t want to discuss unimportant things like the latest trends: “So many people right now are so focused on what kind of shoes this person has, the designer purse they carry, what car they drive, [or] whether they wear the same outfit more than once. I want to use my platform for something other than that.”
8. She Shows Emotions
Being a celebrity is a lot like playing a game, and before anything is said, it is often carefully rehearsed and planned out. Paris is not like that, though. She can’t hide her emotions and this is rare and beautiful.
She proved this when she appealed to social media trolls to leave her alone because their words were hitting hard. In the tearful, since deleted, Instagram video, Jackson discussed how growing up in the spotlight had been so difficult for her and how the comments from online trolls affected her emotionally. She said, “When you say damaging things like that to people, it f*cks them up. But maybe that’s what you want.”
7. …But She Still Stays True To Herself
Despite the fact that what people say about Paris Jackson hurts her, that doesn’t mean she’s going to alter who she is. Rather than change her personality and her approach to fame (she ensures that she is as honest as possible with her fans), Jackson is all about staying true to herself.
I love that she continues to share her opinions, continues to post photos on social media that celebrate her body—or are close to her heart—and she continues to do what makes her happy. Plus she keeps her appearance exactly the way she wants it. She’s gotten backlash for her tattoos (as of 2017 she happens to have 50) and piercings in the past, but that didn’t stop her from getting more.
6. She’s A Talented Musician
Paris Jackson has music in her blood, so perhaps it’s not surprising that she is also musically talented.
She’s a singer and a guitarist who has shared her skills with the world. In a clip posted online, Jackson played a rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.” She’s also done a cover of “If You Could Read My Mind” and Cage The Elephant’s song, “Right Before My Eyes.”
But if you were hoping that Jackson would be pursuing a career as a musician, you’ll be upset to learn that she has no plans to turn her passion into something professional. She previously told director Lee Daniels that she writes music for herself. Adding, “I use it as a way to get stuff out. It’s not something I see myself following career-wise.”
5. She Has Big Goals
Paris Jackson is dreaming big and knows what she wants to do career wise: she wants to be a surgeon. But not just any surgeon, she wants to be a heart surgeon. Jackson previously told Event that she wanted to help people and intended to “go to medical school and be a doctor specializing in heart surgery.”
While she made this comment more than four years ago, and her goals could have possibly shifted since then, it’s great to see that Jackson has a desire to help people. She recently expanded on this saying that she planned to use her fame to create awareness. She’s a smart, driven girl and instead of living off her inheritance, she clearly wants to make her own way in the world.
4. She’s Inspired By Strong Women
Paris Jackson is inspired by strong women, one in particular: Michelle Obama.
Jackson was seen wearing a T-shirt with the former First Lady’s likeness (in cartoon form) on the red carpet of the 2017 MTV Movies and TV Awards — which she wore with a pair of ripped jeans, a checkered shirt, and Chucks. The T-shirt was designed by California-based studio, The Spiders From Arts, and has the words “Michelle my belle,” emblazoned across it.
Apart from the fact that this shows off Jackson’s quirky and youthful style, it’s also fantastic to see her showing love for a woman like Michelle Obama; a lawyer, writer, and advocate for women’s rights, as well as education, and the pursuit of international women’s higher education. For such a young lady, Paris has her head on straight.
3. She Cares About The Environment
Paris Jackson is environmentally focused and has shared her views on Instagram. She posted a photo of a woman holding up a sign with the famous quote about not being able to eat money (when all the trees and animals are dead, and the waters and air have been polluted).
But Jackson also practices what she preaches, and according to an E! News source, she is very conscious about what she eats. It’s important to her to eat “organic and cruelty-free.” The source added, “She is very conscious about animals and won’t wear a lot of leather. She will not wear fur. She’s not materialistic and is just as comfortable in inexpensive clothing as she is in designer labels. She cares deeply about the environment.”
2. She’s Proud Of Her Heritage
Paris Jackson is proud of her heritage and considers herself a black woman. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, she stated that she has no doubt that Michael Jackson is her father and that he “will always be my father.” Her appearance has created speculation regarding her hereditary line—which if you ask me—is f*cked up.
She also commented on her mixed race heritage, something which she is very proud of. “I consider myself black,” she explained during the interview, and she has her father to thank for these views.
1. She Strives To Be Independent
Being the daughter of the late Michael Jackson comes with a lot of pressure, but Paris Jackson is determined to make a name for herself (rather than ride on the coattails of her father’s fame). During an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, for which she was the April cover girl, Jackson said, “I’ve always wanted to kind of break off and do my own thing, just ’cause I feel I enjoy independence very much.”
While many people still want to know about her father, and most interviewers still manage to include one or two questions about him, Jackson is determined to pursue her own dreams, and she has her own opinions she wants to discuss. And I, for one, love that she is striving to be independent.