Michael Jackson and Vitiligo

November 24, 2009





  1. Good post. Thank you for the quotes from Cicely Tyson and Tom Chiarella. Who is Tom Chiarella? I tried to find info about him but there isn’t much on Wiki lol.

    • It was a quote in the tribute issue of Esquire, I thought it was kind of beautiful so I added it.

      I think he’s just an Esquire writer, I don’t think he’s ever met Michael personally.

  2. Thank you so much for this blog….!
    It is so well written, so many excellent information!! Awesome!! You’ve put so much work in it!!! Great!!! Bravo!
    I’m reding… reading… reading….

  3. You know, I always believed MJ developed the Vitiligo in his late teens, probably at 19 or so? I always used to dismiss the pics that people put up to show he had some spotting as a young kid. but thinking about it more, the fact that Vitiligo was hereditary & a Jackson auto-immune disease, & the fact that his son Prince has it, I’m rethinking now if he could’ve had these spots as a child. Hmm….

  4. I was thinking of a vitiligo image you might want to add. It’s one that’s been highly pubicized — MJ is holding his snake, Muscles, and the background is red. I know I saw this photo back in the 80s but didn’t notice the variation in skin tone at the time, but looking at it later after being aware of MJ’s vitiligo I think it shows evidence of vitiligo on his forehead.

    You can find the photo here (as well as many other places on the web):

    Even under his makeup you can see that his skin tone is darker near his eyebrow and hairline but lighter through the center of his forehead. I’ve had trouble with melasma (where one can get slightly darker patches on the skin), and MJ’s forehead here looks much like what melasma patches can look like after they’ve been covered with makeup: a subtle difference in skin tone is still visible (but probably not noticeable to most people unless you’re specifically looking for it).

    This photo’s interesting to me because it’s clearly a studio shot intended for publicity, but they didn’t completely mask his vitiligo.

  5. Hello !
    I wrote a book about Michael Jackson and I need to use pictures of vitiligo to justify his illness.
    Do you authorize me to use these photos? or if it is not you, thank you for sending me the contact person.
    I need your help, it is very urgent… thank you
    Best regards
    God bless you.
    Sonia Jurin

  6. I forgot… my email is : sonia.jurin@sfr.fr
    Thank you !

  7. I just wanna give him a hug….poor baby

  8. This must have been a terrifying experience for him, but saying that he bleached his skin is ridiculous.
    As my BFF said “HOW THE DO YOU BLEACH YOUR SKIN? DO YOU BATHE IN IT?” but seriously Vitiligo is a real skin problem, Top Gear UK’s Richard Hammond has Vitiligo. So Yeeh… You can’t say he bleached his skin, it’s so stupid.
    Beth xx

  9. Noone knows the pain he suffered because of this illness. And here we, the public accused MJ as being a sellout and wanting to be white. When MJ couldn’t stop his vitalago. I, wonder if it was MJ managers. public relations, etc, that didn’t want to address this issue sooner or was it by personal choice? This is sad.

  10. Those “Beautiful Black Boy Turning White” historic pictures/cartoons are great pics, can you post a link.

    Joe and Katherine shouldn’t blame Conrad Murray for MJ’s death, a few months of trying to weaned someone off drugs didn’t cause MJ death, whatever happened in MJ childhood caused his death. Those kids had fame, but that’s not what they needed.

  11. Thank you for posting a very educational and detailed blog about Michael and Vitiligo.

    Michael suffered a lot. It pains me to think how much he must have anguish over his dilemma being under the scrutiny of paparazzi as they captured every inch of him. But Michael never showed his worries and always had smile for every opportunity he had. His smile, his music made the world a happier place.

    Michael was an angel and it is written in the bible (IS 52:13-15).

  12. Some more vitiligo pictures. Tel Aviv, September 1993:

  13. Wow that picture from the Bad Era where he’s sitting on the bed with his legs criss-crossed shocked me I’ve never seen that one before….

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