Paris Jackson, daughter of the ‘King of Pop’ Michael Jackson, recently shared her struggles with body image, depression and suicide during her Facebook Watch show “Unfiltered: Paris Jackson and Gabriel Glenn”.
Paris said growing up, her blonde hair and light-coloured eyes made her stand apart from the rest of her family members, who she said made an effort to ensure she never felt different.
Despite these attempts, things took a turn for the worse following the death of her father in 2009, when Paris was just 11. She would move from a lifestyle which she described as relatively healthy, to live with her grandmother, Katherine Jackson, where she had access to unhealthy foods including “soda and cake all the time”.
The 22-year-old musician and model said a cousin called her fat after she gained weight, which led to her start self-harming. “I would cut and burn myself. I never thought I would die from it because I was the one that was in control of the razor. I knew how deep I was going.”
The rush that came with harming herself served as a distraction from her emotional pain, she said, later adding, “Yes, I tried to kill myself many times.”
She was sent to a therapeutic boarding school, after a suicide attempt, as she would have otherwise been put into state care for being underage. While the school helped to address many of the issues she had when she arrived, Jackson said “I left with way more than I came in with.”
Despite being on anti-depressants and mood stabilisers, Jackson said her depression still “comes in waves”.
“I want to influence self-acceptance and courage and being comfortable in your own skin. I’m just working on content, just trying to be content. Baby steps. Self-love is hard.”