Paris Jackson on Why She Decided to Step Into the Spotlight: 'I Was Born with a Platform, and I Didn't Want to Waste It'

Michael Jackson's 19-year-old daughter opens up to Teen Vogue for the cover story in its upcoming music issue

Paris Jackson Teen VogueCredit: Hedi Slimane for Teen Vogue
Photo: Hedi Slimane for Teen Vogue

Although she grew up as the daughter of late music icon, Michael Jackson, 19-year-old Paris Jackson is explaining why she’s just now stepping into the spotlight.

“I honestly used to have no motivation whatsoever to be in the public eye; it scared me,” Paris tells Teen Vogue in the cover story for its June music issue. “I’ve seen what it can do to people, [and] plenty get hurt.”

“But 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,” she continues. “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?”

For Paris, she’s focused her efforts on making “a difference” in today’s world.

“So many people right now are so focused on what kind of shoes this person has, the designer purse they carry, what car they drive, [or] whether they wear the same outfit more than once,” says Paris.

“I want to use my platform for something other than that,” she notes. “I want to actually make a difference. So everything that I’m doing — the acting, the modeling — it’s all just to grow my platform so I can use my voice for things that matter.”

Paris Jackson Teen VogueCredit: Hedi Slimane for Teen Vogue
Hedi Slimane for Teen Vogue

On the flip side, however, as the Star actress continues to be in the public eye, she admits she “of course” has had to deal with challenges that come with it.

“The bigger the spotlight, the bigger the target,” says Paris, who made her first red carpet debut as an adult at the InStyle Golden Globes after party last December.

“People can be really cruel. I’ve learned that no matter what you do, you will always receive some kind of ridicule for it,” she explains. “It doesn’t matter if your heart is in the right place — someone will always have a reason to hate you.”

She adds: “But that being said, I’ve also learned that it really doesn’t matter and that as long as I follow my heart and continue trying to do what’s right, I’m on the right path.”

And regardless of what she’s going through in life, Paris turns to music.

“Music is my number-one favorite form of expression; it’s gotten me through the toughest of times and the best of times,” she shares. “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.”

As far as her favorites, Paris admits she’s “still stuck on listening to the classics,” including, “the Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Rolling Stones.” Although, there is one exception.

“But recently, I’ve formed a new obsession for the Hamilton soundtrack after seeing it in NYC two weeks ago,” says Paris. “It was one of the greatest live performances I have ever seen.”

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When it comes to her own musical ambitions, the King of Pop’s daughter would like “just to get better at writing” — and maybe one day write music for one certain Beatle.

“Definitely Paul McCartney; he’s the love of my life,” she shares. “I actually already wrote a song I’d like him to sing, but it probs won’t happen.”

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