The Real Reason Michael Jackson Made His Kids Wear Masks
Who would have guessed that the eccentricities of Michael Jackson’s parenting style are actually what has kept his three children grounded in adulthood?
Prince Jackson has remained largely out of the spotlight since his father passed away seven years ago, but the aspiring director and producer recently opened up about his childhood in a candid interview with The Los Angeles Times.
From the outside looking in, a lot of Prince's childhood could be filed under 'unconventional' but there are elements of Michael Jackson's parenting style that Prince greatly appreciated.
While we all judged and criticized the King of Pop for putting masks on his children in public, there was a sentimental reason behind it.
Michael wanted above all else to ensure that his children had anonymity in their formative years.
Living in an era where paparazzi were cashing in more than ever and the internet resulted in a 24-hour news cycle, it’s not hard to sympathise with Michael’s desire to protect his children.
"My dad spoke to me like an adult,” Jackson began.
"He told us the reason for the masks was he wanted us to have our own life without him."
Jackson recalls that growing up, he and his siblings could often be seen in public without being recognised and he is thankful for those moments of normalcy.
"I don't think I ever thought about if other kids lived like that when I was younger. But once I knew who he was, I realised it wasn't normal," he said.
"I remember being in Disneyland and I went to the window and there were all these fans waving and taking pictures of me. I thought it was normal, so I just waved back.
"It wasn't until I saw a video of him performing and people were fainting and passing out, when I realised the work he did meant a lot to people."
Prince does plan on forging a career in the entertainment industry, but it isn’t the glitz and glamour that he is seeking.
Today we celebrate the birthday of a legend, but don't forget to celebrate the Man. Here is a sonnet written for him pic.twitter.com/5t7k11qAzl— Prince Jackson (@princemjjjaxon) August 29, 2016
While he dabbled in acting with several small cameos in recent years, it is the technical side of film and music that inspires him most.
And there’s one piece of advice that his father imparted on him that will resonate with him always.
"Trust no one," Michael allegedly told his son.
"It sounds bad, but...a lot of people are motivated by themselves," Prince explains.
"He said don't trust someone just because it sounds like a good idea—do your research. There are a lot of people who want to interact with [me and my siblings] just because of who we are."
While Prince isn’t looking to follow in his father’s footsteps per se, he does want to walk alongside them, drawing on the inspiration and wisdom that is Michael’s lasting legacy.
"I can never be separated from my father — he set that big of an example. And I don’t really have a problem with that," Prince said.
"I'm proud to have his name and to be his son."