Beautiful Photo


I have to thank my lovely friends on Facebook, who routinely keep me supplied with so many gorgeous (and sometimes rare!) photos of Michael. It’s not often, however, that one catches my eye to the point that I feel compelled to create an entire new post just for the excuse of showing it off. I usually wait until I can at least think of some way to work them into my posts. But the minute I saw this beauty, I knew I would have to make an exception! You all know by now that I have a weakness for mature Michael. But I have rarely seen any mature photo of him with this much natural detail. Looking at photos like this makes me all the sadder to realize that this was during the same era that Aphrodite Jones described actually seeing paparazzi photographers going out of their way to get the worst angles of him possible. Photos like this should serve as further reminders that “Wacko Jacko, the self-mutilated freak” was a tabloid myth created by the media.

I’m reminded of the famous tag line from the movie American Beauty. “Look closer.” Why do we feel compelled to seek out ugliness, when there is so much beauty in the world?  How is it that as simple a thing as a camera angle, or a shaft of light, can make such a difference in what our eyes perceive? Why is it that the same subject can be so grotesque, yet so beautiful through different lenses and different eyes? When I looked at Michael as the media saw him in his later years, I saw a “freak.” When I began to see him as his fans saw him, I saw someone beautiful.

Perception is a strange thing. But I’m glad I am now on the side that seeks what is beautiful, rather than what is ugly.

And for those of you who love mature Michael as much as I (now) do, please check out this post:


24 thoughts on “Beautiful Photo”

  1. Thanks for sharing this gorgeous photo! Hope you don’t mind if I clicked and saved!! Michael was beautiful inside and out at every age and throughout everything that he dealt with so graciously and with such dignity!
    I appreciated going back to re-read your informative post from earlier this year regarding Michael’s appearance through the years and all of the very thoughtful comments.
    Thanks again.

    1. No, Joyce, not at all! Feel free to click away. None of these photos are my exclusive property (unless it is a photo I personally took or acquired by special permission, but those will almost always be marked as such). Share the beauty!

  2. The soft, introspective image you just find yourself looking at, longingly, wishing you could have whispered to him–A penny for your thoughts? By the way the song, Free, on the Anniversary disc, is worth the price of the whole box set! When he laughs and says, “Oh Ronnie, you’re so silly”, I just melt inside. How I love his laugh. The Wembley concert DVD is out of the ballpark! Of course, I LOVE the mature Michael but you have to admit he was hotter than a matchhead in that performance. Smokin’ hot! I forget what artist said that when God was giving out talent, He gave it all to Michael…well when it comes to sex appeal, She gave it all to Michael, too. Perhaps God is really a She, afterall! Ha! Thanks for sharing this photo. It made my day!

  3. @Susan T–I thought the same thing when I listened to FREE. It’s my favorite piece. That’s the way I want to remember him, especially with the laugh at the end. I loved the Wembley concert DVD. Seeing him move non-stop through the whole show, using his entire store of energy, and noticing how drenched in sweat he was, it’s no wonder that he lost so much weight and grew severely dehydrated each time he performed. He gave the fans his all.

  4. OMG! Just woke up and saw this “Beautiful photo” (the best title for the post I think, so simple and clear! Haha!) and immediatly saved! What a good way to start the day!
    Raven, “Why I love the mature face of Michael” has been one of the first thread I read on your blog and you don’t know how much I like it. It’s so true what you said there. I do love his maturity. There’s something so fascinating that I can’t explain, and I wonder why most people think that during that period he was a freak with a ugly face destroyed by plastic surgery because I simply don’t see that! I’m surprised to know how the same thing can be so different for people. As said, I love him in that period, he’s got the fascinating aspect of a mature man. I know that fans usually have theìr favorite physical era, and obviosly there’s nothing wrong in that, so I started thinking what could be mine. Well, I don’t know! Haha! So I think I can use what you said to explain: “He was sexy in every era, but just in different ways”.
    Another point. Few days ago I was watching the Wembley DVD and…wow. How gorgeous is he during that period (can I say that I like that shots of his backside…? I do love his shoulders underlined by that jacket! Ok, stop!)? So, I was looking at him and I focused on his face. Sometimes, when I see pictures or shots of him where he seems to be so “different”, I make a sort of game juxtaposing his face during different eras (like comparing pictures in your thread about mature Michael) so I mentally did the same thing watching the DVD. Well, it’s incredible to understand that there aren’t all these changes as others want make us to believe, during the Bad era or expecially the eras came after. Sure, there is something different but not so different as they say. I’m wondering if it may depend on his color skin, I mean, people watching him black and then white automatically see two different persons in him. I don’t know. I don’t see these huge differences. It only occurs attention and the will to go beyond the surface (and I can say that this can apply to all MJ’s aspects).
    @Nicoletta: I’m Italian too! È bellissimo sì!
    Thanks Raven, have a nice day!

    1. Oh yeah, the backside shots (blush). Anyone who ever said Michael didn’t have a tush has never watched him do a performance during the Bad era (or HIStory era either, for that matter!). A long time ago I started a series on “Michael Head to Toe” that was intended to cover in every detail every part of him from…well, head to toe. The idea, however, was that along the way, I would also try to clear up a lot of myths and misconceptions about that particular area (such as, for example, myths about surgeries, or perhaps what actual procedures were done to that area, if any). I got as far as his hair, eyes, and ears before the old site went down. His nose, obviously, was going to be an extensive post, and I have a lot of good info that I have saved for that purpose, but am waiting for the right time to resume that series again. Unfortunately, we’ve had another recent computer issue that has forced the “old” AFLB offline again temporarily, so those articles aren’t accessible at the moment. But I think you would like that series. As soon as they are accessible again, I will let you know. I did struggle with the idea of scrutinizing Michael’s physical “aspects” so closely (Michael was shy, lol!) but I think, given that his entire physical form has been thoroughly scrutinized (often in very misleading and erroneous ways) in the media for years, the series was perfectly justified. Not to mention, if you go on any MJ fan forum, those are usually the most popular threads, lol! But I often find that, while the media got a lot of things wrong (about surgeries, a “fake” nose, etc) there are also a lot of things that some fans remain in denial about, as well. So the idea was to try to settle a lot of those questions for once and all, or at least as close to once and for all as it gets, lol.

      However, with so much emphasis on mature Michael, I am going to do something soon to celebrate the beauty of youthful Michael, as well. Stay tuned; that will be a fun post!

      1. Raven, I had in fact tried some of your articles and I thought I had problems!
        Although I understand your reticence to your sensitivity to Michael, I can not wait to read the series “Michael from head to toe.”

        It will surely be swept away rubbish and many mystifications.

    2. JoyMJ, as I read your comment, I felt a certain affinity! Especially when you said: “the backside shots” and “I do love his shoulders Underlined by That jacket!” :-))) ….

      However, I completely agree, I strongly believe that the most obvious changes in his face should be attributed to his physical ailments and much Pepsi accident in 1984. I believe that Michael himself has decided not to clarify many of these things, to focus on marketing, for a natural reserve and shyness, for modesty against disease.

  5. Raven, I was about to ask you the link for “Michael Head to Toe”…so these posts are not available for the moment? I think this is a typical female topic lol! Not to mention the leather pants-gold pants querelle haha!
    Oh my gosh, sometimes it’s good talking about this arguments: they aren’t so heavy as others. Funny, you made me laugh and relax today. Thank you very much.

    1. Not available for the moment. It’s a long story. We used to host Allforloveblog ourselves, up until February of 2011. But the server computer kept going down and was not very reliable. For instance, if anything happened that disrupted OUR home internet service, such as bad weather or whatever, then the entire site would be down. Last November, we got a paid hosting service and I started a “new” version of the website (because it was not possible to simply move all of those files, that is, with all of the images, links, videos, etc-it would have been a nightmare!). So everything you see here from November to present is on the paid server. But the old archives are still reliant on our old system of hosting, and thus still subject to the same problems. Too many old and overloaded computers with not enough memory; they keep crashing. We’ve got a new computer now that we are going to use to run the old archives, so everything should be back up soon.

  6. @JoyMJ and Raven, what a coincidence, I just finished watching the Wembley concert for the fourth time and had the same reaction as Joy about Michael’s physical appearance from approx 1986 through 1998, Bad through History tours. During Wembley up til 1990, I believe he was using darker makeup to cover the spreading vitiligo, and then, sometime before Dangerous, he had to switch to the lighter makeup as vitiligo had really taken its toll. Is his facial structure really that much different from the Bad tour through the History tour? Maybe just my opinion, but I think the only significant change through all those years was caused by the encroachment of vitiligo and the efforts to even out his skin color. And I’ve also thought his face 2000 and after was affected by various treatments for the vitiligo and lupus, along with his weight gains and losses. Remember his puffy face in the “home movies”? Honestly, he was really a warrior to perform so magnificently in huge stadiums all those years while carrying such a debilitating illness.

    1. It is during this period (roughly about 1987-1991) that we start to see a lot of inconsistency in his skin color. Or at least that has been my impression. In some photos and performances, he looks very dark; in others, very light. I think this all had to do with the experimentation with makeup that he was doing at that time (of course, sometimes it is nothing more than just the lighting of a particular photo). Interestingly enough, I have seen a few photos made during the Bad era where he appears almost as dark as the Thriller era; in others, he is almost as light as the Dangerous era. It makes it really hard to know what was going on, but KF has said they were trying to cover his vitligo for years. I would imagine there was still a very small window of time in the late 80’s when perhaps he still thought this was something he would be able to hide, via the right combination of makeup. But the results weren’t always natural. To me, it was most glaringly obvious in the Thriller video .That video, frankly, has always bugged me because his skin looks so unnaturally dark. That was NOT his natural skin tone; Michael had always had a sort of medium, coppery brown tone to his skin. But in Thriller he is so dark that it looks almost like pancake makeup plastered on. I’ve always wondered if this wasn’t an over compensation at the time for his condition.

  7. @June Hi June, nice to meet you here! I’m glad to know that this isn’t only my impression!
    You know, I had it especially in a particular moment of the DVD, if I remember well in the passage from I’ll be there to Rock with you. There is a very close shot of his face that immediately made me think “Hey wait, am I watching the HIStory tour or the Bad tour?”. I simply got this impression and still have it everytime I watch especially this specific part. I agree with you with everything you said. Vitiligo plays a significant role in people’s perception, I think. They see him black and then white and just this is enough to see him “different”, automatically adding other “changes” that I don’t really think exist. We of course find some changes, but in my opinion they aren’t so “huge”.
    He was a warrior for sure! Think about all he has been through: you must have an incredible strenght to bear all of that and I really admire him for this.

  8. @Raven About the Thriller video, maybe because of the nocturne ambientation, I haven’t noticed that. Instead, I’ve noticed the dark makeup in the Say Say Say video when they shave: there his color skin is so uniform and so brown that the final result is a bit unnatural to me. On the other side, I do love the 2006 World Music Awards appearence because I think that with that Cavalli outfit he was amazing, but at the same time he seems too white to me. I don’t know, sometimes it only may actually depend on makeup, angles, lights and stuff like that. But at very end of this issue, Michael is Michael anyway lol!
    I apologize to fulfill this post with all these comments of mine!

    1. I believe what you’re saying about Say, Say Say is the same thing that my eyes were picking up on in the Thriller video. It was almost as if his skin tone was TOO even. Something just seemed a little “off” to me, almost like in movies you see where a white person is being made up in blackface to “look” black. Too much makeup, for sure. I believe it’s possible he was already showing the effects of vitiligo and was overcompensating to hide it.

  9. @Nicoletta Ciao Nicoletta, nice to meet you here! Haha thanks that you agree with me.
    Ok, greetings done, I don’t want to fulfill this Raven’s post with my comments so I’ll be quite lol! Sorry!

  10. Michael from head to toe! Every part of him is beautiful. But has anyone else ever noticed how exquistite his long, lovely fingers are?

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