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“Speaking of vitiligo…” …and the double standard in Michael Jackson’s case

March 24, 2016

The recent discovery of a blog post of a vitiligo expert on the vitiligo blog of UMASS Medical School gives us the opportunity to once again clarify a few things regarding the skin disease Michael Jackson had and to explain why this is still necessary.


On January 18, 2016, Dr. John E. Harris apparently still felt the need to ask: „Did Michael Jackson have vitiligo?“ I don’t know what prompted him to write this post, but it seems he still saw the doubt around him and felt he needed to set the record straight. And he did!
Dr. Harris is a board certified dermatologist who specializes in vitiligo and in diagnosing and offering treatment for patients in the Vitiligo Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Hospital, Division of Dermatology.
In this post he clearly and in easy words explained once again that Jackson indeed did have vitiligo, he explained the apparent development process of the disease as well as the treatment with Benoquin = Monobenzone in Jackson’s case. 

Here is the text:

novafotkaDid Michael Jackson have vitiligo?

Believe it or not, among the most commonly searched terms with vitiligo on Google Search is Michael Jackson. That’s probably because he is the most famous person to have claimed to suffer from vitiligo, and the disease is rumored to be responsible for a number of his well-known quirks, like wearing a single white glove. But possibly the most controversial discussion about Michael Jackson is the fact that his skin seemed to get lighter over time, and he was accused of using a bleaching treatment on his skin. That, combined with multiple plastic surgeries that changed a number of his features (nose, chin, etc), suggested that he wanted to look less like himself, and more like someone else – some have said he “wanted to look white”. The discussion is complicated, as was his life, but I think there are a few things that I can clear up in this post.
Michael Jackson was undoubtedly an incredibly talented performer, maybe one of the best in history. I remember seeing his music video Thriller, and being utterly amazed at just how innovative he was, not to mention a great singer, songwriter, and dancer. His fame began as a young child (6 years old) when he sang with his brothers in the Jackson Five, and so he spent almost his entire life in the public eye. That is not easy for anyone, but imagine him as a young man, maybe the most famous person on earth, when white spots started to appear on his skin, including his hands and face. He was likely embarrassed and ashamed (like many people with vitiligo who AREN’T constantly on camera for the world to see), and probably did not know exactly what was happening. And if he did get diagnosed early, his doctor wouldn’t be able to tell him how extensive it would become, or whether he would be able to successfully hide it with clothing and makeup.
First, we know that Michael Jackson stated that he had vitiligo, although this was not until many years after rumors were flying about his “turning white” and his many surgeries. The best-known occasion on which he addressed his vitiligo was during an interview with Oprah on her show in 1993. He said that his skin started to change sometime after Thriller, which was released in 1982, so he was about 24 years old when it started, and he had progressed for about 10 years at the point of the interview. He was a 24-year old man, one of the most famous people on earth for his music, dancing, and music videos, and he acquired a disease that started to change his appearance and was very difficult to hide. I have met and treated many patients with vitiligo, and I can tell you that for many, even those who are not public icons, it is devastating. They often become the focus of attention in any public place, getting stared at, stopped and asked questions (“did you get burned?” is a common one), and cashiers even refuse to take money from their hands. Michael Jackson, the self-proclaimed perfectionist who was never happy with his music or his appearance (he said he hated to look in the mirror and tried not to), must have been very self-conscious about the white spots appearing on his skin.
The single white glove made its appearance in 1983 (along with his signature “moonwalk” dance move), which was right after Thriller was released and when he said his vitiligo started. His new onset vitiligo may have been the reason for starting to wear the glove – while the disease typically affects both sides of the body, it can begin in a small area on one side, like the hand. But the single glove was switched between hands over time, and his costumer said that it was used so the audience could track his quick hand moves. He wore makeup to help cover up the spots, a point that he made in the Oprah interview. But over time and certainly by the time of the interview, he did not have the telltale white spots of vitiligo, he just appeared completely white, which was a big difference from earlier photos in which he had black skin. Could vitiligo do THAT? What about the bleaching cream that many accused him of using in order to “look more white”?
Yes, vitiligo can remove most, if not all, of the pigment in someone’s skin, such that they have no skin color. However that is very rare, and it usually takes many years to do this, with spots appearing during the process. So it’s not likely that vitiligo alone was responsible for his significant transformation in skin color. There is a treatment, though, that can remove the remaining pigment in someone’s skin if they have vitiligo. The treatment is a skin cream called monobenzyl ether of hydroquinone (monobenzone, or Benoquin), and it is, in fact, the only FDA-approved treatment for vitiligo. But in most cases, using this cream doesn’t work unless you have vitiligo, so it is not as simple as someone “wanting to look white” and using the cream. It is a bona-fide vitiligo treatment, approved by the FDA, for people who would rather remove their remaining pigment than continue to look spotted. I have prescribed this for vitiligo patients, and they have always been happy with the results. So it is not too surprising that Michael Jackson would use Benoquin to treat his vitiligo, and this is why he went from having clearly black skin to very white skin. In fact, Oprah commented in an interview after Michael Jackson’s death that he had no pigment in the skin of his hands, that they were essentially translucent. Benoquin would do that, and could do it relatively quickly, after about 12 months of use. From available pictures of Michael Jackson, his skin color seemed to change significantly sometime in the late 1980’s, which would make sense if he was diagnosed in the early 80’s, tried to treat it for a while, and then decided to go the other way and use Benoquin.
Did Michael Jackson have vitiligo? After his death, his autopsy report stated that there were “patches of light and dark pigmented areas” on examination of his skin, and vitiligo was listed as a diagnosis in his medical history. In addition, a tube of Benoquin 20% cream was noted among his medications, revealing that he did use this FDA-approved treatment for vitiligo. He also had a tube of BQ/KA/RA (Benoquin 8%, Kojic acid 1%, and retinoic acid 0.025%), another effective formulation for Benoquin, as well as hydroquinone 8% lotion (which would help to lighten any remaining pigment), and UVA Anthelios XL sunscreen, a good idea for anyone with vitiligo, especially if they had depigmented their skin. Microscopic examination of his skin revealed a lack of pigment and reduced number of melanocytes, which is most consistent with vitiligo, with or without the use of Benoquin, and vitiligo was the official diagnosis on the report. Rare photos of him when his skin was exposed appear to show his depigmented skin, and one (above) shows his largely depigmented arms with some remaining spots of pigment.
So there is no question that Michael Jackson had vitiligo, by his own admission and according to his autopsy after his death. He did appear to use Benoquin to help depigment his skin, but not because he “wanted to be white”, but as an FDA-approved treatment for his vitiligo. He was a remarkable man who was a self-proclaimed perfectionist who was undoubtedly stressed by his vitiligo and visibility, and this may have been an important factor in his avoidance of the public later in life, his use of drugs (which was ultimately the cause of his death), and his frustration about the press’s invasion into his private life. Did he have vitiligo? Yes, but he’s probably not a great example of what it looks like to have the disease, since he was very good at covering it up and, eventually, treated his condition with the skin depigmenting cream Benoquin. As with many of my patients with vitiligo, I hurt for him, and hope that someday people will recognize the disease, its effect on those who suffer from it, and have sympathy for them. I also hope that someday we will have better treatments and, eventually a cure, for patients who seek my help.


In July 2009, after Michael Jackson had died, a lot of articles appeared about his “self-hatred” and “self-loathing”, his “numerous plastic surgeries” and his “skin-bleaching” because he “didn’t want to be black” etc. – written by people who had no idea of the person and of his health conditions. They just judged him without knowing anything – as it was customary with his person.

Winnie Harlow, model with vitiligo

Then, by the end of 2009, when the autopsy report confirmed his vitiligo, this kind of articles may have become less, but many still ignored this fact. The troubling thing is that today – after 6 years of much more available information – we still can find articles, posts, comments and insinuations about Jackson’s vitiligo which clearly show the double standard many people still look at this matter. Meanwhile the disease has become more known and the affected persons are much more open about it. We all have seen the photos of the model Winnie Harlow who became famous by her participation in „America’s next top model“.

Other vitiligo cases are well accepted in public and even admired and appreciated by many people.
This website made a great contribution to raise the level of awareness for the disease.

But when it comes to Michael Jackson the disease is still not regarded as a serious condition which has severe effects and needs treatment, especially in his extraordinary case as a celebrity. Meanwhile most journalists acknowledge that he had the disease. But now they often either reduce the disease to a minor condition – a harmless „skin condition that produces blotches“, or they claim he nevertheless bleached – unnecessarily – the rest of his skin or even induced the disease himself.

I am talking of articles that were written after the autopsy report was made public. You would think that writers do some research for their writings and especially about vitiligo, when the autopsy report became available to everybody. But apparently some authors still don’t regard this as a fact worth to be examined or even mentioned.

In March 2010 a certain Professor Gershom Williams wrote an article in “The Journal of Pan African Studies” (to read the whole text please open the pdf) in which he talked about “Color complex and the politics of white supremacy” and for which he used Michael Jackson as an example. Mr. Williams is a historian and lecturer and I am sure he is a very knowledgeable expert on African American and United States history as well as the enslavement heritage and the impact of white supremacy, but he is certainly not an expert on Michael Jackson. Here some quotes from his article:

“The so-called ‘King of Pop’ Michael Jackson (MJ), as we all know, later in his adult life, underwent numerous cosmetic facial surgeries and skin lightening procedures that literally transformed and altered his appearance.”

And he goes on:

“What were the root causes for MJ’s seemingly anti-Black attitude and apparent acceptance of pro-White aesthetics and standards of attractiveness?
With all of his personal success, fame, fortune and power of influence across our global village, why would he reject and sacrifice his beautiful Black skin and features and surrender his Black racial identity?”

As the “most visible symptoms” for a “Post Trauma Slavery Disorder” Williams mentions among others the use of skin lightening/bleaching creams.

And at the end of his article he says:

“Black self-determination, Black pride, identity and self esteem were seemingly repressed in Michael Jackson’s life experiences. It is unfortunate for too many of us, that when we think that we have finally overcome and transcended racial oppression, we foolishly reject and abandon our cultural roots. And as soon as we become rich and famous, we think that it’s ok to not sustain and maintain Afrocentric art, culture and information in our lives.
I firmly believe that a Black person, even one born and nurtured in Gary, Indiana like Michael Jackson, who does not read, study and analyze the critical writings of W.E.B. Dubois, Marcus Garvey, Carter G. Woodson, Malcolm X (El Hajj Malik El Shabazz), Frantz Fanon, bell hooks, Frances Cress Welsing and other anti-hegemonic authors will always be in the dangerous position of being intellectually colonized by the political philosophy of White supremacy.”
Williams G. Michael Jackson: Color Complex and the Politics of White Supremacy
The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol.3, no.7, March 2010, p. 106-112

Perhaps there is some truth in Prof. Williams’ claim that white supremacy caused some blacks to “surrender their racial identity”, but I don’t think this is true for Michael Jackson – on the contrary: I think Williams’ assessment of Jackson is gravely mistaken. And I would expect from an author that he researches the object of his “study” to learn the basic facts about him – which include that the man had vitiligo which he treated with a prescribed FDA-approved medication that evened out his skin color, and not with a “bleaching cream” some colored people may use for cosmetic skin lightening.
Not to mention that he would have learned that Michael was an avid reader and actually may have read some of the writings Williams mentions.
It is significant that the References at the end of this article do not include any source about Michael Jackson himself.

There is another example of an awful and disrespectful statement that a writer with the name Bill Wyman made in his highly biased article in The New Yorker in December 2012:

„In 1986, however, when Jackson learned that he had vitiligo, a skin condition that produces blotches on the body, his response was to bleach his skin and pancake his face with white makeup. His infantile voice, androgynous manner, ever-whitening skin, and de-Africanized features and hair became a grotesque literalization of the crossover aesthetic.“

The article as a whole is appalling and full of lies, but right now we are focused on the vitiligo statement. The author could have researched the disease and the possible therapies, he could have examined the development in Michael’s case, but it’s obvious he didn’t care for it, and I wonder if he had written in the same disrespectful way about another person suffering from Vitiligo. What is not recognized by the author, is that “skin-bleaching” in a vitiligo case is something completely different than in a case of someone who just wants to obtain a lighter skin. It is actually not “skin-bleaching”, but “depigmentation”. We will see this later in this post.

On February 4, 2016, three weeks after the blog post of Dr. John E. Harris was written, an article of a certain Mr. Anthony L. Hall (“a Bahamian native with an international law practice in Washington, D.C.”, who BTW has a long list of biased articles on MJ) was published as a response to the widely discussed “road trip story” that would be made into a film comedy with a white actor playing Michael Jackson. This disgusting and completely untruthful post still talks about MJ’s “self-hate” and is based on old allegations without proof. He even goes as far as to talk about “psychological defects” of MJ and a “psychological impact” on his children. I want to spare our readers all of the disgusting outpourings of this writer, just post a few quotes to illustrate the ignorance still existing today:

“‘Black and proud’?
By contrast, Michael maintained the charade of saying, “I’m Black and I’m proud.” He never looked more dishonest, if not delusional, than when he said that during a famous 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Oprah questioned him about reports that he wanted a White child to play his younger self in a Pepsi commercial. Michael protested that the very thought of this was “stupid … ridiculous … horrifying … crazy.”
He protested too much, methinks. Not least because those words unwittingly described the racial metamorphosis Michael was undergoing at the time, which would soon see him get “Whiter than White” and even produce White children to play his own in real life.
Sociologists have proffered the notion of “complex personhood” to explain the psychopathology of Blacks bleaching themselves White. But, no matter how nuanced or complicated the psychology that causes this pathology, there’s no denying the racial abnegation involved.”

He goes on:

“Meanwhile, MLK famously preached that people should “not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Michael famously sang that “it don’t matter if you’re Black or White.”
It mattered to him
He practically compelled us to judge him not by the content of his character, but by the color of his (bleached) skin. Whether you’re Black or White has always mattered. And we did not need #BlackLivesMatter or #OscarsSoWhite to throw this into stark relief.”

Nowhere in his article Mr. Hall mentions vitiligo and the autopsy report – and this almost 7 years after Jackson’s death.
It is shocking to see this kind of dumb, unfounded writings still today. What do these authors think? Do they think it is legitimate to write something about a person without any research and proof? That accusations and allegations don’t need to be substantiated? Or do they regard it legitimate only in Michael Jackson’s case? Because it was done to him almost his entire life?

I would encourage our readers to leave comments on the site of Hall’s article.


Now let’s go back to Dr. Harris’ post. Two aspects in it stood out for me especially in this paragraph:

„There is a treatment, though, that can remove the remaining pigment in someone’s skin if they have vitiligo. The treatment is a skin cream called monobenzyl ether of hydroquinone (monobenzone, or Benoquin), and it is, in fact, the only FDA-approved treatment for vitiligo. But in most cases, using this cream doesn’t work unless you have vitiligo, so it is not as simple as someone “wanting to look white” and using the cream. It is a bona-fide vitiligo treatment, approved by the FDA, for people who would rather remove their remaining pigment than continue to look spotted. I have prescribed this for vitiligo patients, and they have always been happy with the results. So it is not too surprising that Michael Jackson would use Benoquin to treat his vitiligo, and this is why he went from having clearly black skin to very white skin.“


Ball-and-stick model of the monobenzone molecule, the monobenzyl ether of hydroquinone, used to treat medical depigmentation. Source: Wikipedia

So he says that
1. Benoquin or MBEH (monobenzyl ether of hydroquinone) is „the only FDA-approved treatment for vitiligo“, and
2. „the cream doesn’t work unless you have vitiligo“

To say it in plain words:
Michael used the only FDA-approved treatment for vitiligo (for cases with more than 50% coverage) which means he didn’t use any illegal or unsuitable or inadequate substance for his vitiligo.
And at the same time he used medication that can only be used by vitiligo patients and not by someone who just wants to get a lighter skin.


To back up that statement I did some further research into the Monobenzone treatment as well as the justification for this treatment, and I looked for scientific publications in medical journals to see what is written by experts. I found numerous case studies as well as articles on this subject that also could have been found by any author writing about Michael Jackson.
Some of the publications are not available for free, but my work at a university hospital helped me to get access to these publications without payment.
One thing became clear from these articles: Vitiligo is regarded as a serious disease with far-reaching emotional effects which needs individual treatment to improve the patient’s quality of life.


Extensive Vitiligo awareness in schools across Ghana by the Vitiligo Support and Awareness Foundation – Vitsaf

This free article of 2012 with the title “Successful treatment of extensive Vitiligo with Monobenzone” is a case report by an expert team at St. Olav’s Hospital in Trondheim, Norway, and explains the impact of vitiligo on patients as follows:

“The undesirable aesthetic properties of vitiligo, especially facial, may result in significant negative psychological effects, notably a rate of depression twice that of the general population. In some cultures, vitiligo is not well understood. The depigmentation of vitiligo is thought to result from sexually transmitted infections, or of leprosy, and can have a damaging effect on educational, social, and employment opportunities. Patients may feel embarrassed or ashamed of such a visible disorder. Studies have shown that vitiligo is associated with a greater burden of disease to patients, especially those in populations with darker skin. Therefore, treatment, although not medically necessary, provides large psychological gains for the patient, increasing their quality of life.”

They go on:

“Due to the difficulties with repigmentation, it is often easier to achieve depigmentation, especially when vitiligo affects more than 50 percent of the body. It is, however, a more aggressive approach and its use is considered on an individual basis because of the irreversible changes and increased sensitivity to sunburn of the treated areas. […] Monobenzone (monobenzyl ether of hydroquinone, MBEH) is usually the treatment of choice of depigmentation therapy for severe cases of vitiligo, and MBEH is usually used in concentrations of 20 to 40 percent to achieve the desired permanent depigmentation.”

Regarding side effects of the MBEH (= Benoquin) treatment they say:

“Side effects of MBEH include skin irritation, contact dermatitis, ocular side effects, exogenous ochronosis, and difficulties in predicting response. There can be repigmentation because of sun exposure or rarely as a reaction to the drug. Due to these side effects, MBEH treatment can be somewhat controversial, and its use has been limited in some countries, such as the Netherlands, which has restricted it since 1990. MBEH has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration since 1952 for permanent depigmentation of extensive vitiligo.”

The conclusion of the specialist team is:

“This case highlights the importance of timely aggressive treatment of vitiligo and its effect on the patient’s quality of life. Physicians should not have to shy away from prescribing the more potent treatments, due to the significant negative psychosocial impact vitiligo can have. A generally accepted psychosocial questionnaire and a modern study investigating the rates of side effects of MBEH would allow the development of a patient benefit-risk index, which could help both patients and physicians determine if MBEH treatment is appropriate for their individual cases.”
Rordam OM et al. Successful Treatment of Extensive Vitiligo with Monobenzone.
J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2012 Dec; 5(12): 36–39.

fig.4 Italian article

Fig. 4 of the Italian article: “The patient hides the skin really or presumed imperfect”. Doesn’t this picture remind us of Michael’s surgical masks?

There is another interesting article of 1997, which goes much more into detail about the emotional impact of vitiligo. It was published by doctors of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Florence, Italy, and they called the premise of their article: “The skin as a mirror”. Unfortunately it is not available for free, but I can provide a few quotes.

According to the Italian dermatologists vitiligo can be accompanied by the following conditions:

“Sometimes there are associated eye abnormalities, autoantibodies, and a high incidence of associated disorders, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, diabetes mellitus, , pernicious anemia, Addison’s disease, myasthenia gravis, lupus erythematosus, Crohn’s disease, scleroderma, alopecia areata, atopic dermatitis, and biliary cirrhosis. Many of these disorders have been reported to be associated with psychological problems.”

As to the pathogenesis of the disease, the authors say:

“To date, the etiology and pathogenesis are still unknown, although there have been reports of several precipitating factors, such as severe sunburn, repeated trauma, and emotional stress (vitiligo has been reported to be more frequent during wars, after bombing attacks). […] Other workers calculated that 33% of their cases of vitiligo could be considered emotionally triggered […].”

…and they tell this interesting case of a young woman:

“A case was reported by an investigator concerning a pretty 22-year-old young woman, married with a child, who was admitted to hospital because she was afraid that her skin lesions would enlarge. She presented vitiligo localized on her right hand and three little spots on her breast and abdomen. A psychologically oriented interview provided evidence (not noted by her previously) that her lesions were localized in the same points where her father presented war wounds, making evident a process of identification.”


The glaring difference between black skin and white vitiligo patches

They go on:

“While vitiligo occurs worldwide and affects all races, it is particularly a problem in persons whose normal skin color is dark (skin phototypes V and VI), because of the strong contrast of brown and black skin with the chalk-white color of the vitiligo macules. White persons who can acquire a deep tan (skin type IV) also have a more serious problem of disfigurement. For these people, vitiligo can be a major medical tragedy, and not simply a cosmetic disorder. Therefore, although vitiligo is painless and not associated with shedding scales of skin, such as occurs in psoriasis, it can be a devastating disease. The contrast of the normally colored skin and the white spots gives these affected people a harlequin or leopard-like appearance that can limit their potential for leading normal lives in terms of marriage, family, friendship, and even work. It is no wonder that patients with vitiligo have been found to suffer from feelings of inferiority, to become aggressive, to feel a sense of shame, and sometimes to become secluded and resentful.”
Hautmann G, Panconesi E. Vitiligo: A psychologically influenced and influencing disease.
Clinics in Dermatology, Volume 15, Issue 6, November–December 1997, Pages 879–890

The authors present another example of a female vitiligo patient who wrote a letter in which she described the effects of vitiligo on her life with words like these:

“I feel as though life stopped somewhere around age 23 or so for me.”
“I am not enjoying life the way it was meant to be. I am simply existing.”
“I feel like I should join the circus as one of their freak acts. They have the snake man, an albino lady, a fat lady, now what they need is the bleach lady.”
“I feel like a mistake.”
“At least fully dressed, with long pants and long-sleeved shirts, I look almost like one of you humans. To be rid of vitiligo would be like being reborn for me, to be normal and happy.”

The authors recommend a “close collaboration between the nonpsychiatric medical staff and the psychiatrist. The purpose is to teach the nonpsychiatric physician to include psychosocial variables in patient-care programs and enable the physician to deal with patients directly in making an integrative diagnosis.”
Their last sentence is: “Never abandon the patient or refer him or her coldly, never ‘wash your hands’ of the patient.” (I remember similar words said by doctors in the Murray trial.)

fig.5 Yale article

Fig. 5 of the Yale article: Numerous perifollicular macules of repigmentation following unprotected exposure to the sun.

This article of 2001 of dermatologists at Yale Medical School in the US gives similar information:

“Eventually it became clear that application of MBEH to one site, for example, the face, could be associated with a loss of pigment at a distant site, for example, the arms.”

“As with other treatment modalities, the first step in depigmentation therapy is to choose the right patient. An individual with widespread extensive vitiligo where the probability of cosmetically significant repigmentation is nonexistent represents an excellent candidate.”

“Strict limitation of sun exposure via physical barriers and high-SPF sunscreens is essential following depigmentation therapy, not only to avoid burns but to avoid areas of perifollicular repigmentation.”

“For the patient with widespread vitiligo, depigmentation therapy represents a viable treatment option. The most commonly used therapy is topical MBEH, and currently it is the only medication that is FDA-approved for this indication.”
Bolognia JL et al. Depigmentation therapy.
Dermatologic Therapy, Volume 14, Issue 1, pages 29–34, January 2001


As we saw from these case studies that Vitiligo patients deserve adequate care and treatment which sometimes requires depigmentation, let’s look once more into the monobenzone/Benoquin = MBEH treatment. Dr. Harris clearly said that Benoquin is only approved for Vitiligo patients and is of no help to people who want to lighten their skin for cosmetic reasons. I think this is the main factor many writers or commenters don’t (want to) understand in Jackson’s case. The Norwegian doctors above already explained some of the side effects of administering Benoquin which are already serious enough for persons with normal skin when they use the cream (skin irritation, contact dermatitis, ocular side effects, exogenous ochronosis, difficulties in predicting response).
But I think the biggest danger for using MBEH on normal skin is its radical and permanent effect of destroying the melanocytes completely and permanently, making the skin not lighter, but snow-white, and making its effects irreversible and erratic. Therefore Benoquin is contraindicated for all skin conditions or cosmetic procedures except Vitiligo.

Whichever information site you go to, they all warn explicitly of using Monobenzone for anything other than vitiligo:

„Monobenzone is used to treat the uneven appearance of the skin due to a loss of skin color (vitiligo). It works by permanently removing color from normal skin located around skin with vitiligo. This will help to make the appearance of the skin more even.
Do not use this drug to treat other skin discoloration problems (“sun spots,” “age spots,” freckles, skin discoloration caused by hormone medicine, perfumes, pregnancy, or skin trauma). Monobenzone is not a mild cosmetic bleach. Because it causes a permanent discoloration of the skin, it may not be the right treatment for these other skin conditions.”

monobenzone-benoquin“Benoquin Cream 20% contains a potent depigmenting agent and is not a cosmetic skin bleach. Use of Benoquin Cream 20% is contraindicated in any conditions other than disseminated vitiligo. Benoquin Cream 20% frequently produces irreversible depigmentation, and it must not be used as a substitute for hydroquinone.”

There are more dangers from depigmentation by Benoquin, like ultraviolet damage and sunburns, unpredictable effects like repigmentation, risks from skin-to-skin contact, dry skin, itching, rash etc.

“The entire monobenzone therapy usually takes 1 – 2 years and may even take longer. The general advice is not to apply monobenzone to every part of the body at once. This is because it is usual for depigmentation to occur in another part of the body different from where monobenzone is applied.
Other precautions to take including avoiding skin-to-skin contact for at least 2 hours after application. Contact with the eyes and mucosal surfaces should be avoided. Therefore, bed time application of monobenzone is not recommended.
When the 20% strength produces unsatisfactory results, 30% and 40% monobenzone should be used.
Lastly, since depigmentation stops the production of melanin, the skin is placed at greater risks of ultraviolet damage including sunburns. Therefore, sunscreens should always be worn over depigmented areas of the skin.”

“Potential side effects are dry skin, itching, or a rash. Because of the possibility of these side effects, it is not recommended to use monobenzone on the face. This medication has a systemic effect, so even areas where it is not applied will still depigment. Since no pigment will be left in the skin, people who have depigmented must be very cautious about sun exposure due to the risk of burning.”

This site is obviously an information site for people interested in “objective info on safe & effective skin lightening”. Even this site is very serious and detailed with the advice to NOT use Monobenzone for skin-bleaching:

“If you’re considering using monobenzone to achieve a lighter complexion – stop. If you have already started using monobenzone and you do not have vitiligo, stop immediately.
(Did that grab your attention? I hope it did!)
Of all the chemicals that bleach the skin, monobenzone is the worst thing anyone with normal skin can use. And by ‘normal skin’, I mean the skin of someone without vitiligo.”

“In vitiligo sufferers, monobenzone use may lead to pigment-free skin within 1 to 2 years. However, monobenzone has unpredictable effects, and even vitiligo sufferers being treated with monobenzone by their doctors have difficulty maintaining their even and white color. Spots of pigmentation may reappear after several years because of the follicular reservoirs that can produce melanin.
Michael Jackson (rest in peace), was the world’s most famous person with vitiligo. Yet, even after what was probably years of intense monobenzone treatment with the best doctors available to him and all the resources he had available, he still had to live under a veil of make-up and gloves. It is important to realize that even for vitiligo sufferers being treated with monobenzone by their doctors, make-up and other ways of camouflaging the skin often become a way of life, as patches of color may remain resistant to depigmentation.”

“Unlike skin lightening creams which only lighten the areas it is applied to, monobenzone applied anywhere on the body will lead to white patches at different areas. For example, if you applied monobenzone on your face, you could develop permanent white patches and streaks on your arms, legs and torso as well.”

And this describes the danger for people who use Benoquin without having vitiligo:

• Within one to two years, the skin may start to repigment itself
While this repigmentation may happen to vitiligo sufferers as well, it occurs sooner and more aggressively in people with normal skin. This is because vitiligo sufferers’ immune systems are constantly attacking their own pigment cells. There is no such action in people with normal skin. With a fully-functioning immune system, melanocytes will become active again. Spots and patches of pigmentation will start to appear over previously white skin, leading to a patchy appearance.
• If the skin does not repigment, expect a lifetime of zero sun protection
Because melanin offers sun protection, completely depigmented skin which has no melanin offers zero sun protection. Vitiligo sufferers who have successfully depigmented wear hats, long sleeves and long pants outdoors all the time to protect themselves from sun damage. Even on cloudy days, sunscreens with broad coverage are a must.

I think from all this information it became clear why Monobenzone or Benoquin is not usable by healthy people who just intend to lighten their skin. There are too many serious risks, and the effects of MBEH application are different for people without vitiligo than for vitiligo sufferers. The use of MBEH has to take place under the supervision of a doctor. With all the unpredictability of the side effects and risks and dangers by using MBEH, it is implausible that Michael would have used the cream to just whiten his skin on a whim. He would have risked his health and his whole appearance because his look would have been unpredictable. The use of MBEH is incalculable, or “bona fide”, as Dr. Harris called it.

Darcel de VlugSNF13GIRL2_682_865770a

Darcel de Vlugt – once a black girl with vitiligo patches, now a white-skinned woman after depigmentation

But as for vitiligo sufferers we need to understand:

“Despite these negative side effects, its [the cream’s] potential cosmetic and psychosocial benefits are significant and should always be taken into consideration when treating these patients, who may feel distressed and stigmatized by it. A quick and effective treatment is important to ease the burden of disease from these patients and increase their quality of life.”


Michael’s right arm full of vitiligo macules

So in summary, Michael Jackson had a documented vitiligo and used approved medication for the treatment of it. The disease has serious effects which impair the quality of life for the patients, so in serious cases a treatment in form of depigmentation can be necessary. For this depigmentation (not skin-bleaching) scientists found a depigmentation agent (Monobenzone = MBEH = Benoquin) which became the only FDA-approved depigmentation cream for vitiligo patients – and for nobody else. Now can anybody tell me what’s so inappropriate about Michael Jackson using this medication for his disfiguring disease? Especially when he was the most famous person on earth, an entertainer, who was permanently in the public eye?
Furthermore, do these people who accuse Michael Jackson of “hating his race” want to say that the depigmentation therapy is reserved for whites? Because black people “deny their race” when using the therapy? Hence, they seem to be the ones who deny a black man the right to use the same medication as a white person and thus make a therapy a privilege for whites! Instead of accusing the black person suffering from vitiligo of “self-hate” and “racial abnegation” they should leave him the same right to choose the same medication that white patients can use with much less attention, just because the difference is not so apparent. Did they ever think about that?

Finally, I would like to say thank you to Dr. Harris who with his post became a voice for Michael and an authority for us to refer to.



32 Comments leave one →
  1. March 24, 2016 1:32 pm

    Excellent post!


  2. vulcan permalink
    March 25, 2016 12:29 am

    That picture is from Frank Cascio’s book. It was taken in or around 1995 and it clearly gives you an idea what Jordan Chandler should have seen in May-June 1993 if he had indeed seen MJ naked.

    Brown patches were all over MJ’s body, legs, arms, torso, back. Any accurate description of his body should have involved many many dark spots. Not just one on an otherwise fully white penis as Tom Sneddon and Diane Dimond wrote.

    Given that MJ tried his best to hide his skin from pretty much everyone but his doctors
    it’s also safe to assume that if Jordan Chandler or any other kid had seen him naked he would have died of embarrassment right then and there, just like he almost fainted when grown men were strip searching and photographing him.

    And if Jordan Chandler who never saw a black vitiligo patient in his life suddenly had seen
    on in Monaco he would have been absolutely shocked and most likely disgusted.
    But when he describes the Monaco scene in his interview he doesn’t mention any surprise or shock. He just says this was the first time we saw each other naked. This is totally unrealistic! Everybody would note that this was the first time I saw him naked and was shocked how his skin looked he looked like a dalmatian — or something like that.

    Chandler’s failure to note how seeing MJ naked for the first time affected him itself proves that he actually never had that experience at all!

    This is what Chandler told Dr. Gardner:

    “What happened?”
    “I don’t know. I think when he convinced me to
    take a bath with him or something. See, my mom and Kelly were gone, they were having fun and we were stuck in with colds. And my mom, I remember, she offered to stay in and help us and take care of us, and Michael insisted that our colds shouldn’t detract from them having fun. So we were alone and we took a bath together. That was the first time we ever saw each other naked. And during that time when we were alone in the room and they were gone, he talked about how all of his children friends masturbate in front of him.”

    Click to access j-chandler-gardner-interview.pdf

    This is not him recalling something that he really experienced. It sounds like someone reciting a story without having the actual emotional experiences attached to those events.


  3. PETRA permalink
    March 25, 2016 9:04 am

    Thank you


  4. March 25, 2016 11:18 am

    People who still don’t know that Michael Jackson had vitiligo or just don’t admit it to others are simply laughable. With all the information available, his autopsy report and everything, someone who doesn’t know Michael had that diseases must be from another planet. What is more outrageous is the fact that these people still don’t double-check their stories before
    sharing them with the public, but that is no surprise. When it comes to Michael Jackson, exept for the very few decent journalists and writers out there, everyone else is going to throw mud at him, like always.

    By the way, I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but the girl called Darcel de Vlugt, mentioned in here as vitiligo patient, can be seen here in this interview. She will show you how hard it was for her to go through that change in her appearance and I can’t imagine what it was for Michael Jackson who was in the eyes and the bad mouths of everyone,being very aware of what people were saying about him. What pisses me off in this interview is that the interviewr, who mentions Michael Jackson says: “He claimed he suffered from that disease.” He DID suffer from it. God help us with the ignorants. Thanks for the post:


  5. Dess permalink
    March 26, 2016 5:36 am

    He had to put up with all this rubbish all his life,how he survived as long as he did i will never understand.I know people like me that i don’t like crowded places they had the smallest birth mark and removed it straight away.It is ridiculous to expect someone any one in his place not to do anything about it. Every single person on this planet what are they doing when they suffering from something;they should asked themselves don’t they look for a cure;don’t we all seen a sexy sexy movie you all know what am talking about don’t we all own in some stage of our life,s a dirty book;why is it okay for every one of us to do those thinks why is it normal for us but not for him!Look at Kenny Rogers witch i like you cant recognized him,what about Sher i read somewhere she had more than fifty plastic surgeries and so many others poor and rich why he had to give us an explanation for every thing he did! Is it possible to please millions and millions of people when in our house hold of four like mine we have four different opinions for a car that i want to by.And still with everything that was happening in his life he never stop giving and have a smile on his face. Many people have opinions and they don’t know anything about Michael except the rumors,if they only take a little bit of time to find out the truth!Don’t judge the book of his cover.There are some good people around we cant deny that but they will never ever be another one like him. whoever opens himself up to the river of love loses his home:he exists in the Universe.Love reaches from the body to the last star,it is a bond which endures.One can never forsake love.Love is omnipresent,it is all consuming,it is all knowing.Where there is a lack of awareness,love is destroyed.Thank you for all that you do i visit you every day.LOVE AND PEACE.


  6. nannorris permalink
    March 27, 2016 1:42 am

    From Vulcan post regarding J Chandler

    This is not him recalling something that he really experienced. It sounds like someone reciting a story without having the actual emotional experiences attached to those events.
    I completely agree..Feldman send JC and his Mom to this Dr,( who is supposed to be an expert in false allegations ) but didnt use this mans findings,and instead , went to Katz , who is a dime store Dr Phil , and someone who would just do feldmans bidding, just as he did in 2005
    Imo, Feldman suspected Jordan Chandler , and crew, were not a truthful group, but needed an interview with a well respected expert .
    So my guess, is he hired/used this doctor ,to prevent the defense from hiring him ,as an expert, to assess Chandlers truthfulness, , with no real intention of getting this mans opinion, and went to his pal Katz, where he could be sure , he would get the opinion he needed , if necessary.
    .So the interview is out there, but no assessment from someone who was actually looking and listening to the kid in person.

    Kinda the same with the infamous photos..We never get the actual opinion, of the people who viewed the photos and drawing either.

    If the doctor asks him a question,, he wont answer him., if it isnt in the order of the story.
    Instead , he will say ” Im getting to that ” because he is saying this stuff, as if he was reading a script put out for him.
    He cant effectively answer anything , unless, it is in the order he had already learned it.
    But I think he actually asks , the doctor , if he would like him to describe the room.
    Not a detail a child would think of , but one an adult , might want to slip in , for credibility
    Contradicts his emotional state , a few sentences later ..
    His wording , is not that , of a teenage boy.
    Talks of patterns , by MJ of “dropping ” people , that he should have no familiarity of whatsoever , because it came from adults ( I would guess VG and his father)
    Cant recall amounts of times supposed events happened , need to refer the doctor to speak to his mother for specifics., Doesnt mention standout events , like his vital ago, his scalp, his belly. ..Any of those things would have been, not only memorable but an astounding surprise to a teenage child..
    I dont think MJ took his hat off in front of any of the Chandlers, much less anything else .
    Really horrible people


  7. susannerb permalink
    March 27, 2016 3:03 am

    @Vulcan and nannorris: I agree. This is an important additional dimension of the vitiligo process Michael had to go through: The fact that his accusers should have seen the effects of the disease if their accusation was true, but obviously didn’t. Not only Jordan Chandler and the Arvizo boys, but also the two new accusers Safechuck and Robson. Safechuck even claimed now to have been molested before J. Chandler (around 1988) which was during a time when Michael was in the midst of the depigmentation procedure. As Dr. Harris also stated, at the Oprah interview (1993) Michael looked already completely white, but on the photos with Safechuck in Hawaii he still had a brown skin, even on the hands:
    We know from the medical literature that the depigmentation process goes back and forth, with patches changing and emerging at different places and repigmentation sometimes occurring. It was a time when Michael very likely didn’t want to show his body to anybody. It was too embarrassing.
    The whole vitiligo facts prove in addition that his accusers are liars.


  8. susannerb permalink
    March 27, 2016 3:26 am

    Esmeralda Rokaj:

    By the way, I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but the girl called Darcel de Vlugt, mentioned in here as vitiligo patient, can be seen here in this interview. She will show you how hard it was for her to go through that change in her appearance and I can’t imagine what it was for Michael Jackson who was in the eyes and the bad mouths of everyone, being very aware of what people were saying about him.

    Thank you for posting this video. I think I saw it once, but didn’t remember it.

    What pisses me off in this interview is that the interviewer, who mentions Michael Jackson says: “He claimed he suffered from that disease.”

    That’s exactly what I mean with the double standard. In Michael’s case the media is always casting some doubt. They still don’t want to accept the fact because they would have to admit their mistakes!
    I am glad Darcel says at the end of the video that there is a lot of evidence to back it up and that she doesn’t see why anybody should not believe it, and that his case was a support for herself because she knew nobody else with the disease. But the media people never were so empathic towards Michael as this interviewer was towards Darcel.


  9. susannerb permalink
    March 27, 2016 3:30 am

    Thank you for all that you do i visit you every day.LOVE AND PEACE.

    Thank you also for being here. We appreciate it.


  10. Hammertonhal permalink
    March 29, 2016 8:47 pm

    Good article susannerb but I was hoping you would address the other two factors that haters point to as evidence of Mike turning his back on his racial heritage, the adoption of other white features such as the thin nose, straight hair and cleft chin; and his very, very light coloured older children and his almost Latino looking son. Will you be doing another companion post on those.


  11. susannerb permalink
    March 30, 2016 10:23 am

    No, I won’t do a post on those “other two factors” you mentioned because they do not exclusively apply to Michael Jackson. It’s ridiculous for haters using them “as evidence of Mike turning his back on his racial heritage”. Then I would also have to talk about hundreds or thousands of other black people with the same traits.
    How many black people, above all celebrities, have done their nose, and how many have straight hair? A cleft in the chin is even done by white people! Do they all turn their backs on their race?

    Michael is no exception here. He is quite an exception with vitiligo, but he is no exception with plastic surgery, straight hair or mixed-race children. So why should I talk about that in particular?
    His children are not lighter coloured than many other mixed race children. In addition, we have statements of doctors that Michael’s nose needed later surgeries for reconstruction because of lupus.
    We have talked about this numerous times here and Helena has written a post on it:


  12. April 13, 2016 8:14 pm

    What’s up, I check your blog daily. Your story-telling style is awesome, keep it


  13. susannerb permalink
    April 14, 2016 11:35 am

    I just found an article of Feb 21, 2016, drawing attention on vitiligo with a great video made by the “Vitiligo working group”. I was pleased to hear Dr. Harris speaking in the video:

    Nowadays many vitiligo groups try to inform the public about the skin condition which is a great thing. It’s about time that people understand the disease and those who suffer from it.

    The article includes a part about Michael:

    “It’s likely the disease first received the most wide range attention when Michael Jackson announced that he had the skin disorder on the Oprah Show back in 1993. At the time, the public had noticed a change in his appearance-in particular his skin tone, which seemed to be lightening. For certain Michael had undergone some skin therapies to lighten his skin, but what many didn’t realize is that these changes were likely first acted on due to a large amount of patches on his skin losing their pigment or colour due to the vitiligo skin disorder rather than just a desire to have lighter skin. As will be outlined later in this article, when the skin has a large amount of patches on the skin that are losing pigment and lightening, one treatment recommendation is to lighten all the skin to even out the skin tone. This however, is a long drawn out and extreme process that is usually only recommended for extreme cases of vitiligo. Following Michael Jackson’s death in 2009 an autopsy report did confirm that Michael Jackson did suffer from the Vitiligo skin disorder.”


  14. April 15, 2016 8:07 am

    Hi Vindicate MJ.
    I’m commenting again because I have a proposal for you:

    While reading the posts about the parallels between Michael Jackson and Arthur Wright, I got an idea about something similar. In the comment section of one post, someone mentioned the movie “The Hunt” with actor Mads Mikkelsen, which is about Lucas,a kindergarten teacher being wrongfully accused of child molestation.

    Klara, the little daughter of his best friend Teo, was the first one who claimed Lucas had shown her private parts of his body. She did it out of anger, because she had a crush on him but he didn’t pay her that kind of attention.Then, she is asked leading questions by the police and the same happens with other kids whose parents are concerned. Various of them claim molestation. Lucas is found innocent but his life is turned into a living hell. The people of his city start to become violent; they kill his dog, beat him, refuse to sell him food and all of them give him judgmental looks. One night, Teo listens to his daughter apologizing to Lucas in her sleep and that assures him that Lucas is innocent. After about 1 year, things go better for Lucas, but however, it can be felt that people still judge him.

    I just watched the movie and it’s amazing. I felt sad and angry many times and cried through it. As I watched, I noticed many things that the character of Lucas and Michael have in common: They both enjoy children’s presence, love them innocently, are really playful with them and the children are naturally crazy about them. They are both wrongfully accused and the case in the movie is much more ridiculous than Michael’s.They both suffer from people judging them and calling them criminals. The movie gives you an understanding of how easily lies can be built and also shows how concerned parents act when they think their children have been molested. They don’t see a lawyer and go ‘according to a certain plan’ and surely don’t wait to make the claims, very different from a parent we already know.

    If you are interested, maybe you can write a post regarding the parallels between “The Hunt” and Michael Jackson’s allegations. I think it would make a lot of people understand Michael more in depth, mostly about what he must have been through and especially, will make people see how a case can arise from nothing, let alone when money interests are involved.

    I hope you like the idea. Here’s the trailer of the movie:

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Carmen permalink
    April 27, 2016 4:38 am

    Hi all
    My comment is way out of topic here, but nevertheless I thought it’s worth posting.
    As most of you probably know already, almost a week ago Prince (the singer) died.
    and for some reason, when you google his name, a lot of articles come up containing the name Michael Jackson. Why? Because even to this day, the media and the tabloids still think that only an association with this man’s name will sell their story, IMO.
    And although the majority of them are just that, tabloid stories, full of lies and non-senses, as always (no surprise here at all), one of them really disturbed me, or at least part of it. The name of the article is” Prince vs Michael Jackson – 80’s pop rivalry”.
    And the part that disturbed me is below:

    “As musical entities, they were quite different. While both were showy dancers, Prince was always in front of a guitar or keyboards, while MJ in front of a mic. While Michael Jackson focused only on more sweet pop, Prince ventured into jazzier, funkier music, always changing his band and testing his style. Prince was the consummate musician, pushing boundaries of race and androgyny, while Jackson was very focused on doing what he had always done, create hits and dancing.”

    Even to this day, everybody else was a great artist bla-bla-bla, whilst MJ was only a dancer and a hit maker, implying here that all he cared about was making money out of selling his albums and singles. In their opinion, Prince was the consummate musician, pushing boundaries of race etc….and Michael was a singer and a dancer. Talk about injustice done to him….Well, I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did and a lot. I would have thought that after almost 7 years since his death, they would start focusing on him as a true artist and a genius, but hey, we can still dare to hope, right? What’s left for us if we lose our hope?
    Same with the recent death of David Guest. Most of the articles focusing on his plastic surgeries. And because it couldn’t have been avoided, MJ and David Guest being friends, of course they started talking about MJ’s plastic surgeries instead of focusing on David’s death and that’s it.
    I cannot help wondering when will this stop? I will probably not live to see it.:(


  16. des permalink
    April 29, 2016 5:25 am

    Hi everybody i wish everyone that celebrates Easter with the orthodox community happy Easter peace and love for everybody and amen everybody.And i just want to say something about Prince and Michael Jackson.Two different people two different personalities forget the artist,Michael was leaving his religion from a child all his life till the day he died. Prince change the later years of his life and i do believe that their respected each other, but Michael was an artist for everybody young and old, all ages all races, but most of all he was a special human been with a lot of love in his heart and he used this love and his fame and his money to promote love and unity and not sex and if he was still alive today even if had no money at all he will still fight for the children of the world especially these days with all the refugees. In my opinion all these famous people they understand each other so much more then us, and don’t get me wrong i like Prince but i love Michael.When am watching him talk or perform every emotion in me comes alive.Love and more love i feel like i want to get up and do something good for somebody and these days when the media still bashing Michael i get this smile on my face like there they go again trying to divide fans and turn them against each other because a lot of Michaels fans are also Prince fans their not stupid they know whats going on.Rest in peace Prince.LOVE AND PEACE.Miss you Helena i hope you well.


  17. susannerb permalink
    May 7, 2016 12:42 pm

    Finally a fair article which I’d like to add to this post:


  18. May 19, 2016 4:13 pm

    Thanks for the nice words about my blog post, and for this nice, in-depth exploration!


  19. susannerb permalink
    May 21, 2016 3:21 am

    Dr. Harris, thank you very much for your response. And thank you for your work and the awareness you are raising for vitiligo. I like your video very much!


  20. May 24, 2016 11:51 am

    Helena, I have a question about Michael Jackson’s Dangerous album cover. Paris, MJ’s daughter just recently got a tattoo of MJ’s Dangerous album cover as seen here: in which she said “Never forget your roots. Always be proud of where you came from”. What does a person’s roots has to do with MJ’s Dangerous album cover? To me it seems like some type of insult.

    Also, when I searched for the meaning of MJ’s ‘Dangerous’ album cover, this is what one person said about some of the meanings on his ‘Dangerous’ cover:

    “”It is clear that Ben the Rat and Bubbles the Chimp are also being featured- you see them at the start of the ride. Mirror opposite to Bubbles is young MJ who is being followed by a traumatized looking white boy ( possibly Macaulay Culkin from Home Alone and also starred in Back and White Video). Also at the exit can be see the skeletons of animals who have been killed and consumed during the ride. I get the feeling that Bubbles and MJ being mirror opposite each other, one going into the ride, one leaving- there is something being hinted at- did MJ see himself as a Monkey? At the top of the Album, there is a Monkey being crowned and MJ is well-known as the King of Pop. I don’t think MJ would have thought comparing himself to a Chimp was racist or insulting, he loved animals- maybe he was suggesting the TPTB saw him as a Monkey, THEIR monkey, the star of the Circus they started”. Here’s the link to that comment:

    And from reading that comment, it does seem to be true about MJ’s Dangerous album cover, where he’s wearing a mask in the shape of monkey eyes, and he has a monkey being crowned on top of his head as of saying he’s the King of Pop being considered a monkey, etc. Here’s the cover of the Dangerous album

    Why would MJ consider himself as a monkey or think others saw him as a monkey? This is not good at all. Please answer my question Helena. Thanks <3.


  21. carlos permalink
    August 20, 2016 6:44 pm

    people…I understand you love MJ,who doesnt? But you should feel more compassion towards him,it his desire to mantain that perfect Michael Jackson image for you what led him to do so many things.Listen,MJ loved afroamerican culture,and he was not racist at all and its not that he didnt like african features,its just that he hated the way he looked.Why?because josephmade him that way.Listen to the Glenda tapes.Joe not only told him he had a big nose,he also told him he was too black,an dhe also told him things about him becoming overweight thats why He was anorexic. Joseph destroyed his selfsteem and he spent his like trying not to look like joseph and looking slim and white.He really needed help.He didnt even kept the curly hair,his childhoo was a nightmare and he wanted to rase everything that reminded him of that time in his life.
    so yes Mj tried everything he could to have white skin.He told himsel f he had vitiligo,and probabl y ended up belieivng his own dfans did too.Mj life was complex,as much as he was proud of beng blakc and his acomplishments,he also needed to marry elvis daughter to validate himself.And he hated joe an dhimself so much that he didnt want his kids to look like Joe or himself.Feel compasion for the man,he was talented and a wonderful human being but traumatized as child.You keep wanting him to fill your afroamerican expectations,give him a brake.He dealt with his life the best he could.I know he bleached his skin to look whiter,and slimmed his nose and became anorexic.I know why he did it and where that pain comes from.He begged in that song before you judge me try hard to love me…you should love him even if he bleached his skin.He had an abuse father that taught him to dislike his looks and he tried everything to look the opositte to him.Its quite obvious he didnt hate his race,he did hate JOE! and didnt want to look like him at all.Loving Michael is not lie to yourself and deny the obvious.Love Michael is undertand and forgive him,thats what he longed for.People to understand his childhood and why he was acting that way.


  22. paulo permalink
    August 20, 2016 9:51 pm


    His autopsy confirmed he had vitiligo. so yes he did indeed have the disease. There’s no doubt that he wanted to be white. sorry but a proud black man doesnt have white kids and tries to pass them off as his own. when he got the vitiligo im sure he was very happy. his wish of being white finally came true. he wanted to be white and got lucky when he developed vitiligo.


  23. carlos permalink
    August 21, 2016 4:19 am

    Listen,recently I found an article where it said hidroguinone(the main ingredient in the the cream he used) can cause vitiligo. He used those creams since the late 70s,just like many other celebs like Diana Ross. He tried peelings and lot of stuff. Why did he went lighter and lighter?I mean in the 2000s he was even whiter than the dangerous album,and he had already gone depicmentation for the dangerous album.Look at him at the trial or bashir interview…he just wanted to look lighter and lighter. what about the hair?. he didnt want to see in the mirror anything that reminded him of his past and Joe jackson. When the autopsy say he has vitiligo,it was cause he had been using for years consistently hydroquinone so it apppeard to be vitiligo.All they could see was depigmentation all over his body. They said vitiligo cause the look and test of it was like a vitiligo sufferer,they did not satet the cause and htey didnt know he had dozens of hidroquinone tubes at home and been using it for years.It just appeard to be vitiligo.People just go to youtube search for teh Glenda tapes,there you will listen to Michael himself telling a friend that Joe used to tell him he was tooo black and a big nose. I dont think you need more proof than that. he also says he used to tell him:oh you put on a few pounds…and thats why MJ was anorexic,when he died he came from rehearsal and didnt even had dinner he had his stomach empty with only pills.Thats the only truth Joe destroyed this man and caused him to hate his physical appereance forever,he never got over it. And he deserves compassion. and yes even if he really ahd vitiligo…he did like the caucasian look.He could have kept his curly hair,try to use drker make up…just a few shades darker like the BAD era.but no he craved that porcelaine look cause he ahd deep scars. It was never light enough for him,and the nose was never small enough…show compassion people


  24. Daphne permalink
    July 1, 2017 4:22 pm

    Great article and shame on those stil commenting insisting that MJ wanted to be White or those aren’t his bio kids. I finally saw MJ’s daughter Paris on the cover of Rolling Stones. I can’t imagine my children dealing with people trying to claim that they are not my flesh and blood. I was disappointed to see that a magazine I thought was above the clickbait tabloid FAKE NEWS questions/lies asked her about being MJ’s biological daughter. I hope that NONE of my friends and family fell for that ignorant topic by tabloids etc. Do people have the ability to research anymore, examine how genetics work… NOT to mention MJ already stated that he had SEX with Debbie R because he wanted HIS OWN CHILDREN in an interview. Had he adopted them, he would have proudly shared that. However, he wanted his own children like most of us.

    I posted earlier this week that color genetics aren’t complicated whether that’s with people or animals, yet most people are just ignorant about it. For example with MJs biological children. This isn’t complicated… Joe Jackson has GREEN eyes (that’s MJ’s Dad). Joe’s Mom Crystal is biracial (MJs Grandma had a WHITE MOM). Laytoya has always been very light skinned. It was already in MJs DNA to produce biracial children. Mix that DNA with Debbie Rowe and you get the two older kids and then the youngest.

    It’s called credible research. Google Crystal Jackson (she is pictured), MJ looks a lot like her. Google Joe Jackson has green eyes and it’s easy to see. Biracial DNA means you can get very light to very dark skin. Multiple eye color options too. Paris Jackson also has naturally dark hair. It’s absurd how ignorant people are regarding how DNA works. Not to mention how totally retarded people are when it comes to credible research. THE JACKSONS were already mixed with White people! Prince has the same skin disease as MJ… Good fecking grief! Reading comments to his children on their posts and in idiot articles has me annoyed. I loathe ignorance and MJ would not lie about such a ridiculous thing. #michaeljackson #michaeljacksonchildren

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Ananta permalink
    October 29, 2017 9:02 am

    “When the autopsy say he has vitiligo,it was cause he had been using for years consistently hydroquinone so it apppeard to be vitiligo.”

    I don’t think this was the case. He got the disease from his grandfather.


  26. Asma permalink
    October 29, 2017 2:53 pm

    “When the autopsy say he has vitiligo,it was cause he had been using for years consistently hydroquinone so it apppeard to be vitiligo.”

    Umm…Vitiligo is genetic. It is strongly suspected to be an autoimmune disease and an external stimulus such as bleach is not going to change an organism’s DNA causing them to lose pigment from head to toe and continue to lose. Michael Jackson was genetically a Black man, and bleaching was not going to turn him into the color he turned into the way he did literally from scalp to feet. There isn’t that much bleach or *time* to bleach in the world to cause that kind of change without consequences such as skin burning and or possibly even skin cancer. He was allergic to the sun as well. A man who loved to play by jumping in the pool and climbing trees, why would he *induce* that allergy? Because he wanted to “be white”? Not hardly. Especially since he could have stopped at any time and reversed the sensitivity.

    I am not an expert in science or genetics, but I *am* a student of science and my father was a doctor. However, it should *not* take an expert to understand these very basic natures of biological law. If anyone has every taken middle school Biology or Life Science they will know that something such as DNA and genetics is what decides your phenotype (which and how genes are expressed to affect one’s appearance) such as your height and overall skin pigmentation. You can change your color in variation but you *cannot* go from ethnically being Black to being White from scalp to toe all due to bleach. Same way pulling on my legs and hanging from bars 16 hours a day will not make my short self taller either.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. December 7, 2017 1:35 am

    Thank you for explaining to the medically uneducated folks whom are so quick to judge sentence and execute their opinions as truth. It’s obvious MJ had patches appearing in different photos even on arms and face in early 20’s. Of course he was very upset because scrutinized by his Father and the public over everything! He used the treatment to DEPIGMENTIZE darker patches left as admitted to Oprah and in later interviews, which if I studied correctly, won’t work on a person who doesn’t have the disease. Also It can be or may not be genetic. His father has it on his side of the family. His Fathers eyes are a green bluish color. Its statically proven people with blue ir green eyes are not as likely to inherit the vitiligo as a brown eyed person. Also, I personally believe in his case he had to wear contacts possibly due to the chamged it can cause in the eyes because his eyes are considerably blacker in later life than in earlier life. Tour hair also cam change colors hence the makeup eyeliner, color on the eyebrows and lashes and the dark hair was probable result of both the burn scaring scalp damage from the accident and also color stripped by disease.. I have to add another.. the The Oxygen chamber picture that went viral in the icky tabloids was actually one used in a burn unit for children. He was burned in cimmercial. While there he donated time there to visit those worse off than he was by visitinf with other burned patients while there, donated so much money and time to help all sorts of medical charities for the rest of his life. This was state of the art at time. MJ having and innocent childlike nature was naturally curious so he got in and checked out, as any curious person might do, Thank to the awful person who snaooed a photo and made it a terrible gossip falsehood like thet did with so many other things, that man was so lonely and suffered from so many greedy people trying to make a buck no matter how much it hurt others. I must further say he was so very underweight. His face shape and lips look just like his father’s has he aged. Bother Father and Mother have simple in chin and Michael always did but became more noticablenthe thinner he got. His lower cheek jaw area is kind of sunken due to weight loss and simple aging in my opinion. His Fathers did it too if he weren’t as large a man. I just don’t feel we should jump to judge and share bad opinions when we have no idea of truth knowing that opinion is full of jealousy, and hate instead of love. His children are beautiful and his eldest Son has vitiligo too. I haven’t seen proof of the youngest having it yet. RIP MJ you didn’t deserve the treatment you received after sharing your music and entertaining us your whole life. Shame to those who taunted and stalked you.


  28. Shannon Lawson permalink
    December 7, 2017 1:43 am

    Folks who are posting strange question about this disease please Google it and look at every photo. If you were self conscious as he was….remember his daddy made fun of his nose and his teen acne… and started getting huge white patches all over…wouldnt you want your skin to match better? Rememeber it can happen anywhere and everywhere. Check out photos on the web. Would you not lighten the rest to match? You definiteltncant darken the white again to match. Self tanners won’t cut it. Unless very small spots, in my opinion and study of this disease. It was showing on his finger tips at an early age if you can find right pics untouched and look at them.


  29. August 5, 2018 2:13 pm

    This post is so on point that I wanna print it and stamp it everywhere, I swear. Unbelievable. Thanks for the research💗

    Liked by 1 person

  30. susannerb permalink
    August 6, 2018 6:48 am

    Thank you very much, alivetodance1!



  1. “Speaking of vitiligo…” …and the double standard in Michael Jackson’s case | A. K. Staggers
  2. Zanieczyszczeń, natomiast dymem torfiastym z nich zjeżdż – motormarka382

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