Jackson. It’s a name that for a long time has been associated with an earlier generation, but there’s a new Jackson in town. Paris Jackson is a 19-year-old musician, model and actress. Once known specifically as Michael Jackson’s daughter, Paris has grown up the last few years and is making a name for herself. So let’s take a look at her transformation over the years, becoming another famous Jackson along the way.

She lived a sheltered childhood

Growing up with an extremely famous dad, Jackson had an unusual and quiet childhood. She described these years to Harper’s Bazaar, saying, “The first 12 years of my life I was homeschooled… Which means that the only interactions I’d ever had were with family members or other adults.”

Not being around other kids, Jackson wasn’t much of a kid herself. Once she was no longer home-schooled at 12 years old in 2010, she had to readjust to a new life. She continued on to the tell the magazine, she, “didn’t have social skills. I had to force myself to learn so fast…. For the past six years, I’ve been learning how to communicate. And I think I’ve gotten pretty good at it.”

She has fond memories of being a kid

Even though Jackson had an unusual childhood and an extremely famous father, she still felt she had certain normal elements of life while growing up. Did she grow up in a house that also had an amusement park? Yes, but she couldn’t go on rides whenever she wanted. She told Rolling Stone, “We couldn’t just go on the rides whenever we wanted to…. We actually had a pretty normal life. Like, we had school every single day, and we had to be good. And if we were good, every other weekend or so, we could choose whether we were gonna go to the movie theater or see the animals or whatever. But if you were on bad behavior, then you wouldn’t get to go do all those things.”

And as for her dad, she has never doubted his love for her. She continued on to say, “His number-one focus for us… besides loving us, was education.”

Her teen years were a struggle

After Jackson’s father passed away in 2009, she went through a few tough years. As she described to Rolling Stone in 2017, back in June of 2013, the then-15-year-old tried to kill herself, already struggling with depression and drug addiction. She later was able to verbalize what was happening at the time, saying, “It was just self-hatred… low self-esteem, thinking that I couldn’t do anything right, not thinking I was worthy of living anymore.”

Jackson attempted to commit suicide multiple times, but eventually was sent to a therapeutic school in Utah during her high school years. These years had a big impact on Jackson. She said, “It was great for me… I’m a completely different person… I was crazy. I was actually crazy. I was going through a lot of, like, teen angst. And I was also dealing with my depression and my anxiety without any help.”

From astronaut to actress

Although we know she’s a talented artist, Jackson’s original career goals were more science-focused. As she told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show (via CNN), “I originally wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid…. Then I had this huge fear of black holes because my brother learned a bunch of stuff about it, and he’s like, ‘Oh, yeah, if you go into one you’re never coming back.'”

So she scratched that plan, and luckily it worked out for her. She found acting and never looked back. She continued on to say, “I’ve been taking classes since I was 13, and I enjoy it a lot…. Now that I’m actually doing it I got bit by the bug.”

Feeling comfortable in front of the camera

While acting is important to Jackson, it’s actually modeling that has had a bigger effect on her life thus far. She opened up to Rolling Stone about her struggle in the past with self-image and how being in front of a camera helps. She said, “I’ve had self-esteem issues for a really, really long time…. Plenty of people think I’m ugly, and plenty of people don’t.”

Jackson admitted that being in front of the camera and modeling is a huge help to her self-esteem. She continued, “But there’s a moment when I’m modeling where I forget about my self-esteem issues and focus on what the photographer’s telling me — and I feel pretty. And in that sense, it’s selfish.”

She bares it all to express herself

Jackson has also overcome her self-esteem issues by expressing herself through nudity. As ET Online reported, the star posted on Instagram a photo of herself along with a caption addressing the topic. She said, “Nudity started as a movement for ‘going back to nature’, ‘expressing freedom’, ‘being healthier’ and was even called a philosophy. Being naked is part of what makes us human…. It’s actually a beautiful thing and you don’t have to make it sexual the way many Hollywood stars (and the media) do.”

She continued on to encourage those who follower her to not focus on flaws, saying, “The human body is a beautiful thing and no matter what ‘flaws’ you have, whether it be scars, or extra weight, stretch marks, freckles, whatever, it is beautiful and you should express yourself however you feel comfortable.”

Her fashion choices have a purpose

Jackson has continued to express herself through fashion. Stylist Sonia Young, who has worked with Jackson in the past, spoke with The Los Angeles Times in 2017 about the young star’s looks and how their meaning goes deeper than the material.

Young said, “The biggest thing with Paris is that she wants to use her platform for good. She wants to bring awareness to situations, so if we can do, say, the Alison Lou Planned Parenthood earring that she wears all the time, or even something as simple as a peace sign on the back of her dress that she designed with Jeremy Scott. She always likes to be heard and we like to reflect that in her clothing.”

Music makes her happy

To create the perfect trifecta, aside from acting and modeling, music is Jackson’s other love that makes her feel better. As she told Teen Vogue, “Music is my number-one favorite form of expression; it’s gotten me through the toughest of times and the best of times. It’s brought me comfort when I was alone and has brought even more joy when I’m in good company. Music is everything to me.”

So who are Jackson’s favorite artists? She’s all about the classics; from the Beatles, to the Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac. She does like a certain current selection too. She said, “I’ve formed a new obsession for the Hamilton soundtrack after seeing it in NYC two weeks ago. It was one of the greatest live performances I have ever seen.”

Giving her voice to important causes

Even though Jackson loves performing, she definitely considered not being in the spotlight. But as the then-18-year-old told Harper’s Bazaar in early 2017, she wanted to bring a voice to those who don’t have the same means as her. She said, “Plenty of times I’ve thought about not doing anything in the public eye and having my own private life. Then I started seeing how everything in the world is going. And I feel like each year it’s getting worse.”

She also discussed the topic with Teen Vogue and talked about what she views as her responsibility, saying, “after a long time of thinking, I started to really see the kind of impact I already have on people, how I was born with a platform, and I didn’t want to waste it. There are so many people who work their entire lives to create a platform and mine was just handed to me…. Why not use it for something important?”

She wants to be a positive influence

With a platform that can reach many people, Jackson is aware of the responsibility this creates for her and wants to live up to the expectations placed on her. She spoke with Vogue Australia (via Billboard) about this idea in 2017 and what she hopes will come of her fame. She said, “I already have many young girls looking up to me and I want to be something their parents are OK with them looking up to.”

When it comes to the fashion world, she wants to leave a “positive imprint.”

She continues to miss her father

It has now been about eight years since Michael Jackson passed away. Since then, a lot has changed, but Jackson is the first one to say the loss of her father still affects her. She told Rolling Stone, “They always say, ‘Time heals…But it really doesn’t. You just get used to it. I live life with the mentality of OK, I lost the only thing that has ever been important to me. So going forward, anything bad that happens can’t be nearly as bad as what happened before. So I can handle it.”

And throughout this time, Jackson has continued to make her father an important focus her in life. During the interview she shared that nine of her tattoos are devoted to Michael. She also sees him in her dreams. She said, “I feel him with me all the time.”

She stands up for herself

In January 2017, after the Rolling Stones article was published, she received some criticism for her statements. In particular, Wendy Williams spoke on her talk show (via People) about Jackson’s fame, saying, “You can not be on the cover of one of the most prestigious entertainment and influential magazines in the world and just be the daughter of and tell your story inside.”

Jackson did not sit back and do nothing — instead, she addressed the comments in a tweet, saying, “she seems to think about the family a lot considering she makes all these claims about us. why [sic] are we on her mind so often.”

She addressed the article as well, and made her thoughts crystal clear. She tweeted, “will not be answering any press regarding the rolling stone [sic] article whatsoever. if [sic] you have questions then read it, it’s crystal clear.”

Her advice for herself and others

At just 19 years old, Jackson is beyond her years. When Teen Vogue asked her what advice she would have given herself when she was younger, she showed the wisdom she has gained through all of her life experience. She said, “Probs that it’s OK to not be OK. Don’t be so hard on yourself. And stop comparing everyone else’s ‘highlight reel’ to your ‘behind the scenes.’ Please don’t give up, because it gets better, and it gets beautiful.”

And her advice for her fans? Keep on keeping on. She said, “We are all warriors in our own way, but it’s up to you whether you decide to fight or sit idly, whether you’re a part of the right cause or not. And don’t just follow everything that comes up on your phone or computer screen. Look up to something honest, strong, brave, loving, and worthwhile.” Wise words from a wise woman.

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