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Paris Jackson’s Harper’s Bazaar Singapore cover is hypocritical

Written by gaytourism

Paris on the new cover of Harper’s Bazaar Singapore | Photo: Instagram/parisjackson

Speaking at last year’s Fashion Los Angeles Daily Awards, Paris Jackson made clear her desire to advocate on behalf of LGBTI people worldwide.

Oh, and plants, too.

‘I will use my voice to speak for the voiceless, and fight for the rights that every one of us deserve,’ she gushed. ‘Every woman that walks this earth, every mother, every sister, every daughter and every lover. Every member of my fellow LGBTQ community, every immigrant, every animal and every plant…’

Yeah, she went there.

I tease. The truth is I find Paris’s words charming. I also felt that way in July, when she addressed her sexuality during a fan Q&A (asked if that’s what she was, she replied: ‘That’s what you guys call it so i guess but who needs labels’).

Keep in mind, she’s 20. Her desire to be herself and to leverage her global fame as an actress and model (and yes, as the daughter of the late Michael Jackson) at such an age is to be applauded.

‘It was self-hatred, low self-esteem’

Similarly, I’m in awe of her bravery when it comes to talking about her mental health.

‘It was self-hatred, low self-esteem, thinking that I couldn’t do anything right, not thinking I was worthy of living anymore,’ she told Rolling Stone of her struggles, explaining how cyberbullying and feelings of self-loathing led to multiple suicide attempts as a teenager. Her openness has surely reduced the shame and stigma in others

As such, it’s with great respect and caution that I’m now going to call Paris’s LGBTI advocacy into question.

Yesterday, she posted her latest magazine cover, the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar Singapore, on Instagram. The hypocrisy is absurd.

‘Honoured and grateful’

She shared the image alongside the caption: ‘honoured and grateful.’ The post promptly garnered 91,600 likes. This shows the influence she has.

Paris makes no reference to the fact that same-sex sex is illegal in Singapore, and punishable by up to two years in prison. Nor does the magazine in its Instagram post, but that doesn’t surprise me.

At the time of writing, I can’t verify whether Paris addresses LGBTI equality in the magazine’s accompanying interview, by Vogue Paris editor Carine Roitfeld. The cover line suggests a story about Paris’s famous family, and she’s quoted on the subject by Harper’s Bazaar Spain, alongside pictures in which she looks similarly styled to Harper’s Singapore, suggesting the features could be duplicates.

Perhaps Paris does address the problematic nature of her magazine appearance; perhaps she uses it an an opportunity to draw attention to sexual inequality in Singapore and around the world.

But even if she has, that’s immaterial. What matters the most is the missed opportunity of that Instagram post; of the sorely lacking caption.

After all, how many of Paris’s 4.62 million social followers (most of whom fall into a 20-24 age bracket, according to Celebrity Intelligence) are going to have access to a copy of Harper’s Bazaar Singapore? How many of them would have the slightest desire to actually pick it up and read it if they did?

‘This should have been a hard pass’

Paris’s misfire follows Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness calling out Nicki Minaj for her recent Harper’s Bazaar Russia cover.

‘Russia has anti LGBTQIA propaganda laws, Chechnya supported by Russia tortures it’s LGBTQIA citizens, & w your LGBTQ+ fans you can’t even speak to that in this interview bc it’s illegal in Russia,’ he tweeted. ‘What’s good @NICKIMINAJ , this should’ve been a hard pass.’

Of course, in Paris’s case, as a member of the community, her decision is all the more disappointing.

On the one hand, I consider her possible immaturity. I wonder if this is the fault of moronic people around her.

On the other, I respect her enough to hold her accountable for her decisions. She may be a very young woman with a lot to learn, but she’s also, definitely, an adult.

Put simply, I don’t believe LGBTI allies or LGBTIs should be granting exclusive interviews to publications in such countries. I’m sure Paris couldn’t give a damn what I think. But for the record, I’m not trying to trash her. I just want her to know if she considers consenting to this cover a mistake. If she doesn’t, I respect her right to that opinion. But in future, instead of advocating on my behalf, I’d rather she stuck with plants.

Gay Star News has approached Harper’s Bazaar Singapore and a representative for Paris Jackson for comment

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