...It was not until after “Thriller” became the soundtrack for a global decade that Mr. Jackson set out on the road to his more strenuous physical transformations. His Jheri curl was replaced by a silken hair weave that framed and softened a face eventually so much altered by the surgeon’s scalpel that it began to seem as if what was being sought by the singer was not some unattainable ideal of beauty but the limits of medical technology.
In this, as in his music, he anticipated the growing cultural unease with categories and their strictures (decades into the Jackson Five’s career, record stores still racked their albums in segregated soul music sections). Was he black or white; old or young; gay or straight or something in between? Long before Thomas Beatie, the female-to-male transsexual, announced his fatherhood on “Oprah,” or before a closet door was opened to public dialogue about transgender people, Mr. Jackson became the literal embodiment of identity in flux...
June 27, 2009
The New York Times presents, in my not-so-very-humble opinion, one of the most compelling articles written about MJ. Read it here.