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: