Paris Jackson’s name has been known ever since she was born. She’s the daughter of the King of Pop Michael Jackson, after all, but the young scion has become much more recognizable as her own person in recent months. Jackson has taken to the spotlight over the past year—and the spotlight has taken to her—as she’s made appearances at events like the recent MTV Movie and TV Awards and at the Met Gala. Now, in a brand new Teen Vogue cover story, Jackson is revealing what inspired her to become more vocal and visible, and more of an activist.
Spoiler: Those things are all related.
It was recognizing her reach that prompted Jackson to reenter the public eye. “I honestly used to have no motivation whatsoever to be in the public eye; it scared me,” she tells Teen Vogue. “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 added that “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? 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. I want to use my platform for something other than that. 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.”
Currently, that includes raising awareness about the political crisis in Venezuela, which, at the moment, is suffering from a near-civil war with political unrest, food shortages, and violence. “What’s happening in Venezuela has been heavy on my mind recently, mostly because of the how the citizens are really, really struggling right now,” Jackson says. “Do you know how much most of them get paid, like, hourly? It’s outrageous, not to mention [many of them] can barely afford food, and when they can, there’s hardly any food for them to buy.”
Her advice to those who want to help? “We have to stay educated, stay informed, and use our voices. Change can’t happen with ignorance. If we stay quiet, it’s easier for the Man to ignore us. We have to push the government to listen. I think right now social media is a good place to start, to create a movement.”
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Paris Jackson Can Wear T-Shirts, Couture, and Everything In Between
Paris Jackson wore an orange blouse under an ivory vest at the Jackson Family Donation Event for Children on August 8th, 2011.
Jackson posed with Justin Bieber at the Michael Jackson Hand and Footprint ceremony wearing a white graphic t-shirt, in honor of her father, on January 26th, 2012.
Jackson pays homage to her father, pairing a Michael Jackson graphic t-shirt with blue jeans to the Goin’ Back To Indiana: Can You Feel It press conference on August 29th, 2012.
Paris Jackson attends the Mr. Pink Ginseng Drink launch party with family wearing a one-shoulder, navy dress, black belt, simple silver jewelry and a black cross body bag on October 11th, 2012.
Paris Jackson posed with Chester Castellaw at the opening night of Deaf West Theatre’s ‘Spring Awakening’ in a grey dress, grey lace up boots, and a black fringe bag on May 28th, 2015.
Jackson wears ripped jeans, a white t-shirt and black converse for the Fourth of July out in Los Angeles with Michael Snoddy in 2016.
Paris Jackson makes her red carpet debut in a cutout, floral Tadashi Shoji gown at the InStyle and Warner Bros. Golden Globes after-party on January 8th, 2017.
Paris visited her namesake city for the Givenchy Menswear Fall/Winter 2017-2018 show dressed in head-to-toe black; a black Givenchy knit sweater that says, “I Feel Love,” black pants, leather bag, and combat boots on January 20th, 2017.
Paris Jackson attended the Dior Homme Menswear Fall/Winter 2017-2018 the following day wearing a white Dior ensemble under black leather jacket and paired with combat boots.
Paris wowed the red carpet in a v-neck, black lace gown to the Pre-Grammy Gala and Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Debra Lee on February 11th, 2017.
Jackson wore a glittery, multi-colored Balmain number and black strappy heels at the 59th Grammy Awards on February 12th, 2017.
Paris Jackson did a quick change into a multi-colored, cut-out gown and floral hair accessories to present at the 59th Grammy Awards on February 12th, 2017.
The young star opted for a black and white polka-dot dress, keeping the rest simple, for her visit to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on March 20th, 2017.
Staying true to her casual yet edgy style, Paris accessorized light-wash jeans a leather jacket with a colorful bag and peace-sign necklace on a visit to IMG Modeling Agency on March 21st, 2017.
The model stunned in a colorful Yanina Couture dress and Edie Parker clutch at the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards on April 1st, 2017.
Paris Jackson attends the Daily Front Row’s 3rd Annual Fashion Los Angeles Awards – Arrivals at Sunset Tower Hotel on April 2, 2017 in West Hollywood, California.
Paris Jackson wore Calvin Klein by Appointment to the Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between” Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City.