The doctors who performed Michael Jackson’s autopsy have revealed some pretty interesting information. For one, it turns out that he had his lips and eyebrows and hairline tattooed on, and also that he did suffer from skin disease vitiligo universalis.
I don’t actually know why everyone assumed that Michael Jackson was lying about having a skin disease and actually just bleaching his skin white. I mean, I definitely kind of thought it might be the case, but I’m not really sure why. Probably because it was just a thing that everyone said, and Michael Jackson did crazy things on the regular, so anything seemed possible.
Also, when I’d seen vitiligo in person (or, rather, noticed that I had seen it in person), it didn’t cover the whole body, but rather came out sort of marbled looking, like this:
However, what I didn’t understand was that there’s that kind of vitiligo and then the kind Jackson had, which was vitiligo universalis, which does in fact turn your whole body white.
But even for a man who clearly had some problems, lying about a skin disease while secretly bleaching your skin so you can look like a white person is a weird thing to do. It’s not like he wasn’t already on record as being black. He certainly wasn’t trying to “pass,” as it were.
I’m now concerned about whatever was going on in my head that made me consider that as a possibility. Or in the heads of others who thought it was a definite. Some kind of internalized racism? Or just a simple “Michael Jackson is a weird man who does weird things” shrug-off?
Who knows? Either way, we now have an answer to one of the great mysteries of our time.