Michael Joseph Jackson was more than a child star; his music career carried into his adulthood. From his greatest hits with the Jackson Five like “ABC” and “I Want You Back” he left his legacy playing in many people’s heads. The story behind such great performances, remains a mystery to some, and surprise to others. Unfortunately, this success did not come without its sacrifices. Due to an overachieving father, isolation of a carefree childhood, Michael Jackson was forced to skip his own. As a result, his actions as an adult all reflect a deep desire to claim that childhood that was never his.
To begin with, Michael’s father had very high expectations of his kids in which he enforced very strongly. As manager and father, responsibility of being a manager often clashed with responsibility of being a father. In an interview by Martin Bashir titled, “Living with Michael Jackson,” Michael stated, “He didn’t allow us to call him daddy, and I wanted to call him daddy so bad. He said ‘I’m not daddy, I’m Joseph to you.’” (Michael Jackson) Due to the parenting, Michael grew up to slowly lose his relationship with his father. The relationship between Michael and his father was more on professional terms than personal. In the interview, Michael also went on to say how he was scared of his dad, and how he would faint or vomit due to his presence.In result of the constant beatings to discipline him, Michael suffered from anxiety.
Consequently, Michael Jackson did not have the time on his hands to do what the other children did at his age. Being in the studios all the time, he couldn't play with other kids. He was always in the spotlight, so he couldn't go anywhere that he wanted to due to the common issue of paparazzi. Girls fell over him, and the world slowly did too. In Michael’s words, "I wasn't aware that the world thought I was so weird and bizarre. But when you grow up, like I did, in front of 100 million people since the age of 5, you're automatically different." (Michael Jackson - Grammy Legend Award speech, 35th Annual Grammy Awards, 1993). He grew up as a hollywood pop star which prevented him from being a normal kid. His life was constantly publicized to the world in which he had zero privacy provided. As child music star, he was going on many tours, which resulted in cameras constantly on him and the world watching his every move.As he got older, papparrazi only increased more, putting Michael into the position to seek more privacy.
Furthermore, as his life went on the issues he dealt with not having a childhood began to come to light. He went on to buy 19.5 million dollars worth of land located in Santa Barbara County, California, and named it the “Neverland Ranch.” Neverland consisted of the same characteristics of an amusement park. It had a ferris wheel, merry go around, and other rides found in places like amusement parks. After he built his dream home, his life began to derail. Neverland was Michael’s way of giving children the childhood experiences that he was prevented from having.
Above all, many factors including his father, Neverland Ranch, and life in front cameras shaped the man that Michael Jackson grew up to be. His adulthood was an attempted reflection of how he wanted his childhood to look like. Failing to do so, resulted in many issues that led up to the death of the King of Pop. As a pop star that made well over a million dollars in record sales, he was loved by many and hated by many. His legacy will continue to live on, and the issues he faced growing up as a kid will be forgotten.
Woods, Raven. "The Truth About What Michael Jackson Had (And Didn’t Have) In His Bedroom." The Huffington Post. N.p., 14 July 2016. Web. 16 Oct. 2016. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/no-child-porn-found-at-neverland-thenor-now-the_us_577fdfbce4b0f06648f4a3f8>.
Michael Jackson Documentary "living with Michael Jackson" Dir. Padronlful. Perf. Michael Jackson and Martin Bashir. YouTube. YouTube, 27 May 2013. Web. 17 Oct. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqqipytDeuM>.
"Michael Jackson Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2016. <http://www.biography.com/people/michael-jackson-38211#early-life (Links to an external site.)>.
"Childhood." :: True Michael Jackson. N.p., 2012. Web. 17 Oct. 2016. <http://www.truemichaeljackson.com/childhood/>.