Paris Jackson’s childhood was anything but ordinary. Being Michael Jackson’s daughter sets you apart enough from your peers — but the situation was only made more complicated because she was homeschooled and kept hidden when out in the public with her famous father.
“Once I got introduced into the real world, I was shocked. It blew me away,” she says in the new issue of Harper’s Bazaar, which features the 18-year-old on the cover. “Not just because it was sexist, but [misogynistic] and racist and cruel. It was scary as hell. And it still is really scary.”
MJ famously concealed his children’s faces when out in public. In a 2003 interview, he defended his decision to parade Paris and her two brothers — Prince and Blanket — in masks.
“I love and adore my children,” he said at the time. “They mean everything to me. When they’re in public, though, I conceal their faces, ‘cause I want my children protected. At home, they have a normal life, they play with other kids and they have a good time, they’re laughing a lot. They run around, they even go to school. It’s a normal life for them. But in the public, I must protect them. I love my children very much, and I’m proud to be their dad.”
In reality, Paris remembers it a little differently; she says she didn’t go to school or interact with her peers — making her upbringing anything but normal.
She explains to Harper’s Bazaar, “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.”
Naturally, this impacted her interpersonal skills quite a bit.
“[I] didn’t have social skills. I had to force myself to learn so fast,” she says. “For the past six years, I’ve been learning how to communicate. And I think I’ve gotten pretty good at it.”