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Life Span Development Essay

Michael Joseph Jackson was born August 29, 1958-June 25, 2009. He was well known for being an recording artist, dancer, singer-songwriter and philanthropist. He was a famous icon for over four decades. Michael was the eighth child of the Jackson’s family and shared his fame as being one of the Jackson 5’s along with his brothers. He began his solo career in 1971 and was a music icon by the early 80’s. Looking at the story of his life I feel that his environment had more influence on his psychological development than heredity.

The family dwelling was normal as to be expected with the exception of what I would call living as a star in the spotlight. Heredity had little to do with Michael’s development and personality. I can say that his father was a person that may have had a compulsive personality disorder because he was really demanding thinking that would make the group achieve success better. In the end result the father hindered the group more than he helped. He took away their childhood because they were forced to practice or rehearse during times they should have been having fun as kids.

Michael developed many personality issues with his success. First of all, there were several aspects of Michael personal life that was a controversy. To begin with changing his personal appearances was greatly publicized. Michael Jackson suffered from this disorder called Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). With this condition a person suffers with shame and embarrassment and even disgust with their physical appearance. 75% of those with BDD seek out either plastic surgery or dermatological treatments in order to change their appearance. (Shepphird, 2006-2009).

Michael Jackson had a total of 13 plastic surgeries’ where he tried to resemble Peter Pan’s image. This was also characterized by an Erotic Identity Disorder. His face was very unnatural looking. The most erotic behavior was when Michael decided to bleach his skin. Michael also was known for having a eating disorder. He admitted this himself when he admitted the pain from his father’s abuse. He suffered from bulimia at age seven. This followed him to adulthood where he was a very frail and weak adult. (Lauren, 2011). His stressful life and deprived childhood could be a cause for this disorder.

There was a child molestation case against Jackson with a 13 year old boy in which resulted in a drug addiction caused the bulimia to get worse. Michael’s body was skeletal and his body was extremely pail. It is not known as of yet if this disorder contributed to his death. The last disorder known to have been suffered by Michael is a sleep disorder. Some research has shown that a person that one with less than sufficient sleep is more prone to cause accidents. I can also be related to affecting relationships and mental prowess; it makes you feel “disconnected” from the world.

When your lack of sleep is caused by a tough deadline or a common cold, one normally does not have any problems recovering a normal pattern, but if you have trouble sleeping on a regular basis, this guide to managing common sleep problems and disorders can help you be well on your way to experiencing healthy, restorative sleep. (Barston, 2010). Michael Jackson didn’t have much of a child hood at the age of 5 he was applauded for his voice at a recital performed at his school during Christmas. At the young age of 11, he got to sing on lead vocals on the band formed by him and his brothers.

The band, ‘The Jackson 5’ released a number of singles before being signed by Motown Records label in 1968. The magazine the Rolling Stone described young Jackson as a child prodigy, as he used to sing famous numbers of Sam Cooke, James Brown, Ray Charles, and Stevie Wonder like a grown up. (iloveindia. com, 2010). This was a huge impact on the social development of the pop star. Many may argue that the other siblings were not affected therefore Michael should have been the same but it is well documented that Joe Jackson the pop stars father was harder on Michael than any other child.

Joe Jackson feels that he was hard to make Michael who he was a famous singer/dancer. As Michael got older he relied on support from friend in which he considered his family like Diana Ross, Elizabeth Taylor, Brooke Shields, and Oprah Winfery. Jackson’s bizarre assortment of friends and acquaintances only added to the weirdness that characterized his life. Macaulay Culkin, the actor who was well know in the movie Home Alone was a good friend of Michael whom took extra measures to defend him saying he had shared a bed with the pop star and never been molested.

The comment may have helped in the defense end but really made American look at the star in disgust. Macaulay Culkin felt as though the accusations were insane. While listening to the Larry King interview in 2004 I thought it was strange that Michael Jackson a grown man had invited Culkin to his house at age 11. Macaulay Culkin even appeared in Jackson’s video Black or White. In Culkin’s opinion Jackson related to children because they didn’t care who he was or what his past looked like. But indeed this was the opinion of a child.

The relationship was very child like whereas Culkin talked to Michael like he was a normal human being, played video games together and lived out his childhood fantasies. (Guardian. co. uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2011, 2013). The two different Theories of personality I can relate Michael to would be the Psychodynamic Theory and the Humanist Theory. The Psychodynamic Theory is heavenly influenced by childhood experiences. According to psychodynamic theories, factors which contribute to child abuse include being abused as a child, immaturity, social isolation, a personal history of a family crisis, and drug or alcohol problems.

Looking at the direction Michael’s life took it seems that his responses were influenced by the abused he was adhered to in his childhood. Joe Jackson indeed was really abusive to Michael and those childhood experiences hindered his for life. In an interview with Martin Bashir, Michael stated “I never look at myself in the mirror, I had very bad pimples and acne and it was very difficult for me to face the public looking so ugly. ” According to the Humanists Theory the focus of the humanistic perspective is on the self.

Michael Jackson was not satisfied with himself no matter what surgery he had. He was powerful with lots of money but needed to get help with buliding self regard or their self concept. The theoretical approach I feel that should have been acted on is the psychodynamic psychotherapy which should have been started when Michael was a child. His father should have gotten help when the kids were stripped of their childhood but instead they were forced like slaves. When I look at all the childhood celebrities they are always in the spot like because they re forced to be adults to perform, sing, and dance when they should be children. This in my opinion is a sort of rebellion. In conclusion, I feel that money is not everything you have to weigh the pros and con’s when making choices especially if it strips away childhood. Many people say Michael Jackson was an accident waiting to happen but yet no one could help him get the psychological help he needed to save his life. He was very talented and no one on this earth will be able to fill his shoes. So with that being said I can say rest in peace Michael Jackson.


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