The Man in the Mirror

Hailey Dunker

Henry David Thoreau once said, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined,” Growing up with an abusive father, a dysfunctional family, and many individuals who judged, calling names like weirdo, drug addict, misunderstood, and a child molester, had made it difficult in fulfilling the dream, the dream of being King of Pop. Others saw Michael Jackson as an icon, a role model, which validated his dream to be King of Pop. Jackson success was attributed by his willingness to take risk in choice of music and being original. Michael Jackson was a transcendentalist because he had the qualities of nonconformity, free thought, and confidence that gave him the fame he is known for today.

Being himself.

Michael Jackson was looked upon as a nonconformist. Born as an African American, Jackson did not like his appearance. In the mid-1980s, his skin gradually grew paler through what was widely considered to be skin bleaching and changing of his features to appear European (Michael Jackson Biography). Jackson was born with a disease called Vitiligo, a chronic disorder that causes depigmentation in patches of skin. Jackson was treated with a pill called Monobenzone, which gave his skin a bleach look. Jackson became addicted to the pill and continued to take it, allowing his skin to be white (Bleaching Skin: Jackson). “I don’t care what people say. I look better white,” Michael Jackson said. What people had to say about Jackson didn’t change his mindset from bleaching his skin, to getting plastic surgery, making him look more feminine. As a thirty seven year old man, people would look at him as an adult. For Jackson, that was a different story. Jackson was known as “childish.” With an amusement park for a backyard and penchant for entertaining young friends, Jackson is just a big kid himself. From having exotic animals such Bubbles the chimp, snakes, tigers, an elephant, giraffes, and two lamas, Jackson’s lifestyle was not ordinary, it was extraordinary (Big kid Jackson). Many people were envious of his lifestyle, but Jackson didn’t flaunt it. Michael Jackson was not only original his lifestyle, but also towards his free thought in his music.

Being different.

Michael Jackson had a unique way of not only living the lifestyle as a child in a gown ups body, but also in his music career. Many people found Jackson as a free thought person by the way he created his music. Jackson released the album Thriller on November 30, 1982. He set visions as high as possible and dreamed of reaching the best selling album in the world. With the unique quality Thriller had, Jackson achieved his success in having the best selling album in the world. Jackson had put his own thought in creating something that no one could imagine. Michael Jackson creations in Thriller made him original from everyone else. Thriller was almost a fourteen minute long video that consists of fairy tale creatures, such as ware wolves dancing (Thriller: Jackson). After Thriller, many people had a different outlook and a better appreciation for his talent. Jackson referred to his music videos as a short story. He wanted people to be amazed and dumbfounded by his vision’s he saw and how he made them come true. After using his creativity and making his music big from it, people then looked at him as the “Master of Music” (Michael Jackson Biography). Michael Jackson’s free thought towards his music allowed him to have confidence. Jackson Was taking risk on whether or not his unique ideas would be a failure, or have a whole new outlook on music.

Knowing I am the best.

“I’m really very self-confident when it comes to my work. When I take on a project, I believe in it 100%. I really put my soul into it. I’d die for it. That’s how I am” (Michael Jackson Quotes). Michael Jackson had the confidence to put his unique style in music out there for everyone to see. Jackson wanted to be a big time artist and be known for creating something new in music. Without the confidence of branching out and being distinctive from the other artist, Jackson wouldn’t be known as the “Master of Music” today. “Confidence was hard to gain in the beginning of my music career. I wouldn’t have done it without my family and fans,” said Michael Jackson. After Jackson saw how big of a hit Thriller was, his confidence was stronger than ever. He never second guessed himself about the style of his music and videos he created because he had the confidence that it was the best. The confidence of his unique style of music, Jackson was an innovator in music.

Michael Jackson: Transcendentalist.

The qualities of a transcendentalist Michael Jackson had are still present in our society today. By Jackson being a nonconformist, influenced artist today to be themselves and not someone else. Just because people are different race, culture, or live differently from everyone else, doesn’t mean they need to change. After seeing what Michael Jackson did and how people judged him, he gave a great example of how he still made a big name out of his music. The free thought Jackson put in towards his music allowed artist today have unique styles towards their music. For example Justin Bieber had cutting edge music like Michael Jackson, along with Miley Cyrus. Michael Jackson influenced artist today by branching out and having the confidence to make unique styles in music. Many artists today have the confidence to try different styles in music. This shows artists have confidence to try new things and not scared of failure. The transcendentalist qualities of nonconformity, free thought, and confidence that Michael Jackson showed are still with artists today.


Henry David Thoreau once said, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”

This shows confidence and nonconformity. Thoreau is stating that you should believe in yourself and be confident in the person you want to be. Don't imagine being someone else. Only depend on yourself.

“I’m really very self-confident when it comes to my work. When I take on a project, I believe in it 100%. I really put my soul into it. I’d die for it. That’s how I am.”

-Michael Jackson

This quote by Michael Jackson shows conconformity, free thought, and confidence. Michael Jackson believes in himself and knows his work is the best. He believe in each piece of music and trys to make it the best he can. He is very passionate in his work when he states, "I really put my soul into it. I'd die for it. That's how I am." The free thought he shows is in his music. That is what makes him so unique from all the other artists.

Works Cited.

"12 Thrilling Facts About Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' Video." Thriller: Jackson. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.

Bleaching Skin Jackson. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.

"Lil' Cease Says The Notorious B.I.G. Distrusted Michael Jackson Around Kids." Big Kid

Jackson. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.

"Michael Jackson Biography." A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2013.

"Michael Jackson Quotes." BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.

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