Did Michael Jackson want to be white?
Short answer: No.
Long answer: Michael Jackson had a disease called Vitiligo for the majority of his life, beginning in the late 70’s to early 80’s. Vitiligo causes the victim to lose the pigment in their skin, and is more visible on those with darker skin tones. The effect is one that is likened to a smattering of paint - the pigment randomly disappears in spots on the patient’s skin, leaving them with a translucently that is far lighter than a person with naturally fair tones. By the late 80’s Michael Jackson had lost the majority of his dark pigments, but because of the nature of his job - being visible in advertising, packaging and on the screen/stage - he couldn’t successfully cover the lighter patches with dark make up, instead electing to use lighter tones and thus causing his overall appearance to appear “white”. This also contributed to what many believe was a sudden switch from “black” to “white”; he simply changed tact to cover up the mismatched tones.
Vitiligo is a disease that a person cannot control. Skin pigment may randomly regenerate in certain parts of the body, but it will never return to it’s original tone or color. There is no way of stopping it, no cure and no way of bringing back pigment.
- More info and a timeline of his appearance
- Vitiligo and MJ Trolls
- Michael speaks to Oprah about his disorder, 1993. (video)
Some various photos from over the years where the spots were visible:
Screen cap from Michael’s autopsy report: