When Paris Jackson received criticism for posting a topless photo of herself on Instagram, her response was to then publish another semi-nude picture of herself and to include an accompanying wall of text defending her decision to do so.
In that lengthy passage, Jackson described nudity as a “beautiful thing,” and also as a means for self-expression.
“Not only is your body a temple and should be worshipped [sic] as so, but also part of feminism is being able to express yourself in your own way, whether it’s being conservative and wearing lots of clothes or showing yourself,” Jackson wrote on the site.
Her recent post on Instagram is not the only time Jackson has publicly stood up for her beliefs – or even her body, for that matter.
A previous photo she published to Instagram, in which she proudly displayed a small patch of budding armpit hair, likewise aroused the fury of a few angry commentators. And again, Paris defended herself by encouraging people to give up their fear and revulsion of the human body. In regards to armpit hair, she explained, “Some people think that it’s like super disgusting, especially on girls, but every human body does it. It’s natural. Get over it.”
And then, early last month, when a Twitter user stated that she had “put on a little weight,” Paris demonstrated her sense of comfort and self-acceptance by tweeting back an enthusiastic, “f*ck yeah I have.”
— MSN Ireland (@msnireland) May 14, 2017
Jackson has also served as an activist for other concerns, including those more political in nature. At the height of the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline, Jackson drew some attention to the cause while appearing at the Grammy’s. She has also used her platform to criticize Trump, defend animal rights, and advocate for environmental conservation, among other things.
In an interview with Harpers Bazaar, Paris pointed out the source of her motivation to use this platform for the greater good.
“It’s a feeling of doing something important, that actually matters, that’s going to impact people,” she explained. “Plenty of times I’ve thought about not doing anything in the public eye and having my own private life. Then I started seeing how everything in the world is going. And I feel like each year it’s getting worse.”
“I know there are a lot of people who would feel very blessed to be in my position, so I want to use it for important things,” Jackson went on.
And indeed she has. Her latest post on Instagram, in which she defends her decision to submit topless pictures, serves as a testament to that fact. She used the Instagram post as an opportunity to try to inspire people to feel more confident about their own bodies, while also snubbing the tendency towards body-shaming that she has often found herself the target of.
— NME (@NME) May 14, 2017
As Jackson writes in that post, “the human body is a beautiful thing and no matter what ‘flaws’ you have, whether it be scars, or extra weight, stretch marks, freckles, whatever, it is beautiful and you should express yourself however you feel comfortable.”
Paris goes on to state that if her photos make anyone uncomfortable, she understands their sentiment, but nonetheless encourages them to unfollow her, for she refuses to “shy away” from expressing herself and her beliefs.
The statement ends with a final reflection on our need to tolerate and respect one another’s differences. As she writes, “every one [has] an opinion and every one has their beliefs. We don’t always agree with one another and that’s okay. But again, we are all human, and to appreciate the things that other people do that make us human helps us feel connected. How can that be a bad thing?”
[Featured Image by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images]