My dance with Michael Jackson
I grew up with MJ. In my eyes he was divine and I even went as far as begging my mum to get me a sparkly glove. At a young age I got his strong lyrical message and connected to his amazing beat structure and musicality.
I felt his message and I felt connected to his individuality and that as a famous person in the eyes of millions he too felt alone and misunderstood.
Having had three children now and truly getting new life lessons and the appreciation of advocacy as a parent I have learned and shown my self an inner strength I believe we get as you become a parent. Maybe I was not the strongest in my voice for myself yet when it came to my kids I could embrace the lioness within.
In your children you have a second chance to go through any struggles or issues you may have had as a child yourself. It is also the time you get to help set out a path of understanding and compassion for your children so they can make their own ways, feelings, connections and so forth.
One of the big lessons we have had to experience in our family is acceptance by others, treating others as you would wish to be treated and simply appreciating others for whom they are and not what they look like.
Four years ago we moved away from a city centre where we were seen as pretty regular people with a thriving business we were known in our area and respected. We moved across the Province to a farming community where our world was literally turned upside down. We are now the outcasts, the freaks and for this the children endured the harshest criticisms and the like from people that preach their love of a higher power and goodness of all.
My tattoos and personal style seem to have stirred controversy amongst the community and for anyone that has tattoos will understand there comes a time when you simply no longer see them.
I do not see myself as others see me and that’s life, really isn’t life just about perspective?
Looking different has been an opportunity for my children to learn and at the end of the day they do not see me any differently. This I know as they know me no other way.
2 summers ago I started developing random spots on my body where all pigment was absent and I was left with splotches. It was not until this summer that is dawned on me what was going on.
At first it was a bit of a running joke and as the amount of spots increased as well as their locations funny turned into insecurity. As odd as that may sound as I am heavily tattooed on my upper body, now my body was making it’s own art.
At first my insecurities got the best of me and then knowing my family saw me no differently I moved into researching Vitiligo which ended up being ridiculous. It seems there is not much information or understanding of the condition other than it being an auto-immune disease.
I would read there could be a connection to the Type one Diabetes I live with as I am Insulin dependent which basically means I give myself injections.
During my research simply out of curiosity and absent of all fear I decided to google images of Vitiligo to see where this could go and all of my thoughts came to a stand still when “His” image came up first.
I was flooded with an over whelming sense of compassion and a little taste that would have my mind boggled in appreciation for Michael Jackson.
My whole life I have gone out of my way to make myself different through tattooing, hair colouring and clothing style and yet when my body decided to join in, this caught ME off guard.
I then could barely get my mind around how “He” did it.
Michael Jackson’s career in front of the public eye started very young in his life. He was younger than my children are now in age and what do we all know about being famous or known, well it’s that you have to look the part. Image is everything and with image comes pressure in order to succeed.
What have I learned about Vitiligo, you cannot control it, there is no cure and there is no way of knowing how fast and large or even where on your body the spots of absent pigment will show up on you.
For me the Vitiligo is only very noticeable in the summer months because I tan. I am naturally a fair skinned person so the spots are barely there yet for any person with a darker pigment skin this jig saw puzzle of sorts, the un-uniform pattern that the Vitiligo paints on it’s canvasses becomes even more present on they.
So being that Michael Jackson was of a darker pigment skin, young in age being prepared for a huge career in front of the public eye and now discovering these odd spots upon his skin, I cannot imagine.
In hopes of trying to camouflage himself for acceptance as the pressure would increase as his fame escalated he would receive backlash as his looks changed. He would be persecuted for trying to be as one. It makes me feel for his message even more.
For this and that moment I connected to MJ and from his own personal strength and integrity I let go of what ever my mind wanted to conjure up. I was great full for this dance with Michael Jackson.
We have always heard or been told to never judge a book by the cover and there is a lot of truth in those words. As a human one of the greatest gifts is our ability to self express and be individuals.
This coming year I have decided to home school my children because I want them to embrace who they are and to grow and excel in their own beautifulness. I think the things we might feel are different or awkward about ourselves are indeed what make us unique and beautiful.
Some of us are not so lucky to choose what makes us look different than others yet we need to embrace each others choices, there is beauty in us all.
This is not for a selected few.