Lipkin also said Jackson's lips appeared to have been thinned out, and noted that a cleft had appeared in his chin that was not there before. "That's not a natural cleft," she said. "You can tell." She said she knew of a technique for creating a cleft chin, but that it was not popular because "it never looks real."
Black and White
By 1991, when Jackson's song "Black and White" was a huge hit internationally, people were beginning to wonder whether he was lightening his skin. On the song, he sang, "I'm not gonna spend my life being a color"
In 1993, Jackson told Oprah Winfrey that his skin color was indeed changing — because of a skin disorder called vitiligo, which causes white blotches to appear on the face and other parts of the body. "It is something that I cannot help, OK?," he said on Winfrey's show. "But when people make up stories that I don't want to be who I am, it hurts me."
When studying a photograph of Jackson taken at the time, Lipkin's initial reaction was to call it "the most unusual case of vitiligo I've ever seen."
Although she said it was possible that Jackson started bleaching his skin because of the disease — in order to blend his natural darker tone with the lighter blotches that were appearing — she also said that a lighter skin seemed consistent with other changes that she believes Jackson made to his features.
"When you look at the other features, the skin bleaching sort of goes along with what I think was his quest for beauty," she said. "So I have to wonder what came first? Vitiligo or lighter skin?"
Jackson Says Face 'Squared Out' During Puberty
In 1995, at the age of 36, Jackson released HIStory: Past, Present And Future — Book 1. In the video for the song "Childhood," his appearance was strangely wide-eyed, square-jawed, narrow-cheeked, and his skin was like porcelain.
"Probably he's trying to look Caucasian," was Lipkin's reaction. "His skin is whiter. His nose is getting thinner every six months. His lips are getting thinner. His eyebrows are getting higher. His eyes are getting wider every time. His cheekbones are getting bigger."
In a 1999 interview with ABCNEWS, Dr. Stephen Hoefflin, a plastic surgeon who operated on Jackson's nose, said he did not believe the singer was trying to appear less African-American. "I think he wanted a feature that bothered him to be made smaller, more sculptured. And certainly not to erase the ethnicity," Hoefflin said, adding that Jackson had more surgery than he recommended.
In the British documentary, Jackson said that when he was growing up his father used to tease him about the size of his nose, but he rejected any suggestion that he was trying to change his appearance or to appear more white. "I don't control puberty and I don't control the fact that I have vitiligo," he said.
He said his face had "squared out" in adolescence, and that he had never done anything to change it. "I have had no plastic surgery on my face — just my nose," he said.