The XX Factor

Two Pop Icons Lived in Opposite Ways

The Los Angeles Times confirms that Michael Jackson has died of cardiac arrest . Two pop icons down in a day, and to me their lives moved in opposite directions. After her flash appearance as a sex symbol, Fawcett spent the rest of her years backing away from that image , playing (and looking like) a battered spouse in the Apostle , making a video about her anal cancer, generally reminding us that body beautiful is fleeting, and we all go to dust in the end. Michael Jackson did the reverse. He started out as a beautiful innocent, and then slowly alienated himself from his audience, his family and himself, mostly by destroying his body with hair straightener, nose jobs, skin bleach and who knows what else.

Photograph of Michael Jackson by Dave Hogan/Getty Images.