After parting ways with his brothers and their family band, The Jackson 5, Michael Jackson embarked on an impressive solo career that peaked when his 1982 album, Thriller, became the best-selling album of all time. He declared himself the King of Pop, and through the decades, he continued to perform top-grossing concerts, smash music records, and dominate the charts. His sudden and controversial death in 2009 has not dimmed his notoriety.
Despite his success as an international music icon, it was Jackson’s private life and odd behavior that frequently made headlines. There were rumors and allegations about Jackson suffering emotional and physical abuse as a child, and he also became embroiled in a child molestation lawsuit that cast him as the perpetrator. The superstar’s admitted shyness hindered his personal relationships and left others to seemingly tell his story for him. Though he became one of the most famous celebrities in the world with legions of adoring fans, his life was far from ideal. This is the tragic real-life story of Michael Jackson.
Is this the reason he got numerous nose jobs?
Michael Jackson’s appearance drastically changed over the years. He suffered from vitiligo — a skin pigmentation disease that cause areas of the skin to be lighter than others — and he was rumored to have gone under the knife multiple times. At one point, his nose appeared to be “crumbling” after one too many rhinoplasty procedures. The performer admitted to two nose jobs in his 1988 autobiography, Moonwalk (via the Telegraph), but what many people didn’t realize was that Jackson may have been undergoing procedures to change his looks after years of being bullied about his appearance.
According to The Washington Post, a 9-year-old Jackson’s father and brothers taunted him by giving him the nickname “Big Nose.” Is it possible that he turned to cosmetic surgery to erase painful memories of being allegedly tormented by his family? We wouldn’t doubt it.
Rumors of child abuse
Prior to his death, Michael Jackson was vocal about his relationship with his father, Joseph Jackson, alleging his dad physically disciplined him and his siblings. “He would throw you and hit you as hard as he can,” Michael said (via Today).
Michael’s brother, Jermaine Jackson, shed even more light on the alleged child abuse in an interview with ABC News. He recalled hearing Michael screaming as their dad doled out punishment and the conflicted feelings he had about their father’s methods. “He wanted to show us, ‘I care about you. Even if I have to whip your butt, I care about you,'” Jermaine said.
In 2013, Joseph defended his heavy-handed approach to child rearing during an interview with Piers Morgan Tonight (via CNN): “I had to be like that way because during those times, it was hard, and you have a lot of gangs there, you know, in the area where we were living.” Joseph apparently believed his strict disciplinary actions would prevent his kids from partaking in a life of crime. However, while Michael stayed off the streets, it seems to have come at the cost of his mental, physical, and psychological well-being.
He missed out on his childhood
Michael Jackson missed out on his childhood due to work obligations. In an interview with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, he described how desperately he wanted to play outside like a normal kid, but he was too busy recording music. “I could see the park, right across the street,” he said. “But I had to go in the other building and work until late at night making the albums. I sat there looking at the kids with tears running down my face and I would say, ‘I am trapped and I have to do this for the rest of my life.'”
This same sentiment has been shared by other child stars. However, Jackson’s inability to maintain a sense of normalcy during his childhood reportedly damaged him beyond belief. He told Boteach that he felt “so lonely” at times. With no friends and no one to talk to, he would sit in his room and cry.
He surrounded himself with dummies
It was a well-known fact that Michael Jackson suffered from extreme shyness, but many aren’t aware of the unique way in which he reportedly combated this bashfulness as an adult. The singer claimed he was so shy around people that he would surround himself with life-size mannequins because they made him feel like he wasn’t entirely alone. “Because I felt I needed people, someone, and I didn’t have,” he told Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. “I was too shy to be around real people.”
The Sun posted photos from inside Jackson’s Neverland Ranch that were taken during a 2003 raid following child molestation allegations. The images showed some of the singer’s childlike mannequins. The dummies were scattered around a cluttered memorabilia room, lying on top of boxes and sitting on chairs. According to The Sun, they were dressed in “denim jackets and sneakers,” and “some of the dolls were positioned as if they were talking to each other.”