Michael Jackson’s untimely death had an unpredictable influence in our house.
Ainsley is now the late Michael Jackson’s biggest fan.
When his death became news wallpaper on the television, internet and radio she heard a lot more of his music and saw his smooth dance moves. Now she can’t get enough.
We’ve been careful to filter what kinds of information she gets about Michael Jackson, for instance, she’s unaware of the child molestation charges. We didn’t allow her to watch Barbara Walters’ interview with Michael’s sister LaToya, though I am sorry I missed it.
This fascination with who she calls, the best pop star in the whole world, has led to some great conversations about plastic surgery.
(Image from Gonzo)
Obviously there is a major difference between what Michael looked like as a young boy on the Thriller album and what he looked like as a 50 year old man.
Ainsley, as well as anyone else, can tell that Michael was a beautiful boy before he had plastic surgery on his nose.
It’s let to quite a number of open discussions about the impact of other people’s words about our looks, how God knows more about what is beautiful than plastic surgeons do, how self-acceptance is better than surgery, whether looks are really important or not, whether someone is great because of their singing and dancing talent or if they are black or white or big nosed or small.
It’s also led to a few awkward discussions about why Michael was looking more like a woman and less like a man as he aged and had surgeries. There’s an inexplicability about Michael Jackson that parents can’t really gloss over. He was undeniably eccentric, weird, mysterious.
Lucky for me, he was a very talented singer and a gifted dancer, because Ainsley is playing the CD over and over. She has asked for a concert on DVD for her birthday, so she can learn his dance moves. She’s also asked for a Michael Jackson birthday cake, which we’ve spent hours designing (thanks Cake Boss).
If you love him so much, why don’t you be Michael Jackson for Halloween? I asked.
I don’t want people to think I’m a boy, she said.