Wednesday's news of Paris Jackson's suicide attempt was reported by, well, nearly everyone, including us. But now that the media has confirmed that Michael Jackson's 15-year-old daughter is clearly going through an difficult time, it seems far too willing to gleefully publish every detail it can uncover. Both TMZ and People discuss the type of knife she used, as well as specifics about the medication she ingested. It's the type of attention that's paid to a celebrity... but, unlike Hollywood stars who force their way into the spotlight, Jackson is not a celebrity.
Instead, she's a teenager whose father happened to be famous. And even the King of Pop hoped to keep her out of the public eye in order to give her a normal life. (Well, as much of a normal life you can have as a Jackson.) The famous photos of Jackson and her brother Prince wearing masks in public, her youngest brother with a blanket over his head — these might be examples of their late father's eccentricities, but it was also his way of keeping them shielded from the media.
But since his death, the media has focused even more on the singer's children — especially Paris. Whether outlets are focusing on her late father, family drama, or her own career hopes (she flirted with a possible acting career as a pre-teen, as many pre-teens do), media has managed to disregard her father's wishes.
News sites might be posting her tweets and Vine videos, but using social media doesn't make her a public figure — it makes her a 15-year-old. Perhaps we should give what we never gave her father: privacy during a difficult time.
As Katherine Jackson's lawyer Sandra Ribera said following Jackson's hospitalization, "Being a sensitive 15-year-old is difficult no matter who you are. It is especially difficult when you lose the person closest to you." And even more difficult when the whole world is watching.
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