Pop cultural research
I’ve been looking with great interest at a bunch of photos of Michael Jackson from over the decades in a special Michael Jackson section in yesterday’s New York Post. Commenter Markus is indeed correct and I have to modify my remark in yesterday’s entry that Jackson’s freakish appearance was inseparable from his superstardom. In 1982-1984, the period that includes his greatest success, Thriller, there had obviously been some major cosmetic work done: his nose was not the very wide African nose he started life with, it’s narrower and straighter, and there was probably some other plastic surgery work there as well. But the nose was not excessively reduced, and his skin was still a normal medium Negro pigment. So, while his appearance in 1984 was somewhat artificial, it was ok overall. He wasn’t freakish looking, as he came to be later.
Yet millions of fans continued to idolize him, notwithstanding the freakishness that made others, including me, instinctively recoil from the sight of him.