In Memoriam: The Hands of Michael Jackson!
JUNE 27, 2009 + UPDATES: (1) MADAME TUSSAUDS HAND CASTS - (2) AUTOPSY - (3) PHOTO ESSAY: 'NAILS IN TIME'
In Memoriam: 'Michael Jackson's Hands!'
In february 2009 various media published 'shocking' photos reports about the state of Michael Jackson's hands. Only 4 months later - june 25, 2009 - Michael Jackson suffered a cardiac arrest and suddenly died. Could one have foreseen his death by the state of his hands? This question will be answered in the final part of this article.
Author: Martijn van Mensvoort
• 1 - MICHAEL JACKSON'S FAMOUS DANCE MOVES & HIS 'HAND WAVE'!
• 2 - MICHAEL JACKSON'S HAND ART!
• 3 - MICHAEL JACKSON'S FAMOUS HAND GLOVE! + UPDATE: TRUTH BEHIND GLOVE!
• 4 - MICHAEL JACKSON'S HAND & FACE TRANSFORMATIONS!
• 5 - 2009: MICHAEL JACKSON'S HAND DETERIORATION!
• 6 - WHAT WERE MICHAEL JACKSON'S MOST REMARKABLE HAND CHARACTERISTICS?
The first part of this article is a tribute to the hands of the 'King of Pop' & his famous hand-glove icon! The second part focusses on the 'health' of Michael's hands: a rapid deterioration was seen during the last year of his life.
1 - MICHAEL JACKSON'S FAMOUS DANCE MOVES & HIS 'HAND WAVE'!
The self-proclaimed 'King of Pop' had an extraordinary dance talent. He developed his own dance style which could be described as a modern twist on the Motown moves he witnessed as a child.
Michael Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques. Most well-known are his famous 'moonwalk', the 'worm', the 'robot' AND the 'hand wave' which were all copied by many people around the world.
His dance style if also featured with many 'dramatic' hand & finger gestures: some examples are presented in the picture below - NOTICE: Michael's white hand glove & finger tape will be discussed in chapter 3.
2 - MICHAEL JACKSON'S HAND ART!
In 2008 Michael Jackson planned an 2000 item auction for April 22-25, 2009. One of the more creepy (and of course amazing) items that was found in the auction item list (which was canceled only a few days before the auction began) were the cast plaster hands - see the picture below - one painted silver, and the other with "flesh tone", complete "with Jackson's signature white taped fingertips."
Between 1991 and 1993 L.A.'s muralist Kent Twitchell made a 100' tall mural of Michael Jackson's left hand - was originally slated to be shown on the side of the Barker Bros. Building (now the El Capitan Theatre) on Hollywood Boulevard. ON april 2 to 24, 2009, the Jackson hand mural was presented at LOOK Gallery, at Broadway (Los Angeles, CA).
3 - MICHAEL JACKSON'S FAMOUS HAND GLOVE!
Michael Jackson's single white glove became one of his trademarks. The single white glove (later covered in silver sequins) made its television debut on Michael's left hand during his stunning performance of "Billy Jean" at Motown's 25th anniversary TV special in 1983 - and it was also featured in the "Billy Jean" videoclip.
Michael seemed to regard the glove as a symbol of his 'onstage life' - the "magic" that he so frequently spoke about, the "escapism," as he put it, that he felt was his mission to "give to" an audience. The glove seemed to go hand in hand (excuse the pun) with the magical white light always seen streaming through the films of director Steven Spielberg, Michael's good friend.
"I wish we could all spend some time in his world," Spielberg says of his friend, but for Spielberg and most members of his audience, it would only be a tourist venture. Michael Jackson lives in that world all the time and the glove is a connection between that world and his audience on the outside. It beckons them to cross over, at least for a time. Jackson was once asked why he was wearing the piece of stage clothing offstage (actually in a hospital burn unit) and in a most innappropriate circumstance and he replied, "this way I am never offstage."
Michael Jackson's glove, then, is a symbol of the profound estrangement of the contemporary pop star from his audience and as a failed and convoluted attempt to bridge the gap.
Later in his career, Michael no longer wore the glove during his performances for quite a few years. But more recently he began wearing 'his single white glove' again in photo shoots. At that time the custom-designed right-hand glove was made of white spandex and covered in Swarovski crystal loch rosen crystals.
What about Michael Jackson's white finger tape?
There are various theories about how Michael started using the white finger tape - beyond the association that the white finger tape can be related with the white hand glove:
- In 'The making of Moonwalker' making describes about the tape: "it helps my character" - which could be related to the other theories;
- Another theory says that the use of the fingertape is related to his skin disease, called: vitiligo (= the loss of skin tone/color, which is often featured on the hands & fingers).
ACTRESS CICELY TYSON REVEALS TO CNN:
"The glove was to cover the vitiligo"!
On july 9, 2009, actress Cicely Tyson, a friend of Jackson's, said the two [Cicely & Michael] shared a fashion designer in the 1980s.
"All of a sudden, he said, 'I'm doing this glove for Michael,'" she said. "Michael was beginning to develop the vitiligo and it started on his hand. The glove was to cover the vitiligo; that's how that glove came into being." The glove design and reason for it were not just hearsay for Tyson, she said. "I was there when he was creating it," she told CNN's Don Lemon.
4 - MICHAEL JACKSON'S HAND & FACE TRANSFORMATIONS!
Besides his talent for music and dance, Michael Jackson was famous for his multiple face transformations. His father reportedly nicknamed him "Big Nose", which appears to be the 'cause' of what is generally assumed as Michael Jackson's 'body dysmorphic disorder' (BDD).
Until recently his hands look pretty normal. Over the years no major changes have been noticed in his hands - so, Michael Jackson's BDD was likely only focussed on his face.
But in the beginning of 2009 that situation appeared suddenly to have changed dramatically: his hands began to look like the hands of a very old man and according the BBC "his fingernails could only be described as a manicurist's worst nightmare." (see: chapter 5).
5 - 2009: MICHAEL JACKSON'S HAND DETERIORATION!
In november 2006 Michael Jackson droped by at Guinness World Records in London in order to collect his official certificates for '8 Guinness World Records' [including e.g.: 'the most successful video' (Thriller sold over 1 million units), and 'the most successful entertainer of all time').
Far less flathering were the photos that were made during the session - including a photo of Michael Jackson's left hand: see the picture on the RIGHT. His hand was described as: "... his brown, cracked nails were desperately in need of a little attention."
About 27 months later - in february of 2009 - a much more worrisome 'Showbiz-report' arrived about the state of Michael Jackson's hands (see the photos BELOW) - titled 'Hand of time'.
The MainOnline report described: "The singer's fingers and nails appeared to be in a terrible state when he stepped out this week. ... His hands looked very discoloured and skin looked like it was dangling from his fingers. His fingernails could only be described as a manicurist's worst nightmare."
Michael's puffy reddened skin and prominent veins can be associated with a sudden but 'normal' process of aging.
However, a more specific characteristic of Michael Jackson's fingernails - his lunula - provide an indication that the sudden deterioration of his hands was caused by medical problems.
For, the photos BELOW indicate that the colour of Michael Jackson's lunula (= his 'nail moons', which are usually white) had become 'brown' - a manicurist's worst nightmare! 'Brown lunula' are known as a very unusual nail disorder which have been associated with the use of medical drugs ('antineoplastic agents' - drugs that inhibit and combat the development of neoplasms, which cause lumps and tumors; 'zidovudine' - an antiretroviral drug).
PHOTO: Snapshot of Michael Jackson's finger nails in 2005 (left) & 2006 (right):
So, the state of Michael's fingernails indicates that new rumours that arrived only a few weeks ago saying 'Michael Jackson 'secretly fighting skin cancer'', may have been very close to the truth.
Despite that these rumours were answered by a spokesman for the King of Pop, who insisted that the star was in 'perfect health' and the show will go on.
Michael Jackson's fingernails indicated that it was not very likely that 'the show would go on'... even when Michael had still been alive.
This is also indicated by the fact that Michael Jackson's family was very worrisome about Michael's health - quote:
"As far back as 2006, members of Michael Jackson's family were terrified that his escalating dependence on prescription drugs had become a danger to his life - and attempted an intervention in Las Vegas. "The family believes Michael is addicted," a family insider told PEOPLE. "There was an intervention in Las Vegas. Janet was on the phone, but Randy, Jackie and Rebbie were there in person," the source said, referring to several of Michael's eight siblings. "Michael got p-s-ed off. He said he wasn't on drugs. But they didn't believe him.". At the time of the Vegas intervention, another source close to the family blamed a Jackson aide for supplying the superstar with drugs from prescriptions acquired from multiple doctors. "[The aide] has contacts wherever they are," said the source. In addition to consuming alcohol, Jackson takes "straight morphine, Demerol and opiates like Oxycontin. He also takes Valium and Xanax," said the insider."
PHOTO: Snapshot of Michael Jackson's finger nails in 2009:
• Examining fingernails in elderly patients!
6 - WHAT WERE MICHAEL JACKSON'S MOST REMARKABLE HAND CHARACTERISTICS?
One of the fascinating aspects of Michael Jackson's hand is the presence of a 'double line of head' in both hands (in medical jargon the 'line of head' or 'headline' is known as: the 'proximal transverse crease'). However, only in Michael's right hand (see the left hand in the picture BELOW) can this hand characteristic be described as an 'unusual' hand feature. For, in his right hand: none of both headlines can be described as a complete headline (one could also describe his headline variant as featured with a large overlapping interruption); while in the left hand: the upper headline can be described as a complete head line, featured with an additional secondary (incomplete) headline below the complete headline (which concerns a much more normal hand line variant).
A little bit of palmistry!
The famous Irish palmist Cheiro was known for having a 'double line of head'. Cheiro described this hand characteristic as follows:
"A double line of head is very rarely found, but when found it is a sure sign of brain power and mentality. Such people have a perfectly double nature - one side sensitive and gentle, the other confident, cold, and cruel. They have enormous versatility, great command of language, a peculiar power of playing and toying with human nature, and generally great will and determination."
Could this description be related to the excentric, sometimes crazy, but often sweet, self-proclaimed 'King of Pop' (which was later confirmed as 'correct' by Guinness World Records - see: chapter 5)?
You can pick the answer yourself - but it's at least an interesting issue for consideration.
A FEW MICHAEL JACKSON PALMISTRY READINGS:
• Peter John (Canada) about Michael Jackson's hand (6 YouTube videos) • Magda van Dijk (The Netherlands) about Michael Jackson's hand [Dutch language, but via Google also available in ENGLISH LANGUAGE]
Did Michael Jackson's hands provide any signals for a sudden cardiac arrest?
In this perspective one of the most stricking aspects in his hands is likely the enormous island-like formation below the LEFT little finger in the 'line of heart' [in medial jargon the 'line of heart' or 'heartline' is known as: the 'upper transverse crease'] - see the RIGHT picture above). Combined with earlier described unusual line formations in the 'line of head' (chapter 6), and the horrible conditions of his fingernails (chapter 5) this could be described as a formation of 'abnormal' hand features that might be related to his heart problem.
In this perspective one should also notice that his 'low digit ratio' (Michael had especially in his right hand a much longer ringfinger compared to the length of his pointer finger) - which according the 'finger professor' John T. Manning provide males some protection against a heart attack - might have provided some initial protaction against an early heart attack.
On june 26, 2009 - one day after Michael passed away - Michael's former wife Lisa Marie Presley revealed that for quite a few years the 'King of Pop' feared that he would die like another superstar... Lisa Marie's dad: Elvis Presley [who died on a heart attack (cardiac arrhythmia), after an overdose of prescription drugs].
On august 25, 2009 court documents revealed that the Los Angeles coroner has Michael Jackson had died of an overdose of propofol - which the singer called his 'milk' - a powerful sedative he was given to help him sleep. The document also said:
a single night and/or a single doctor, or the grossly negligent treatment
of several doctors over an extended period of time."
NOTICE: This implicates that Jackson's death might also be related to the gradual deterioration of his health - which was clearly indicated by his hands & fingernails since 2006! (more details in chapter 5)
MICHAEL JACKSON'S RIGHT HAND WAX CAST
AT "MADAME TUSSAUDS" IN LONDON!
The 'fame' of Michael Jackson before his death was also indicated by his presence of his body cast at 6 out of the 9 'Madame Tussauds' locations in the world (Amsterdam, Berlin, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, London, and Shanghai).
In at least 2 locations (London & Las Vegas) wax casts of Michael Jackson's hand(s) are presented; the hand cast below is presented in London.
NOTICE: The wax cast of Michael Jackson's right hand confirms the presence of a 'double line of head' much more clearly than the earlier presented photo (see: chapter 6).
Another Michael Jackson hand cast at Madame Tussauds (Berlin):
'MICHAEL JACKSON'S FINGERNAILS IN TIME'!
- A PHOTO ESSAY -
During the past months the author received quite a few responses from people who have been wondering about Michael Jackson's fingernails condition:
'Were his dark fingernails & nail moons caused by a health condition?',
or 'Was his nail condition the result of his medication/drugs?' (Jackson officially died on a overdosis of propofol and lorazepam - the first drug was once described by him as 'his milk'),
or: 'Did the color of his fingernails looked 'weird' merely because the color of his skin had become lighter over the years - due to his 'vitiligo' skin disease?'
In order find an exclusive answer the author presents a collection of impressions from Michael Jackson's fingernails between 1983 and 2009.
The 1983 picture below shows that Michael Jackson at his younger age (25) had 'perfectly normal' nails. His fingernails demonstrated the normal fingernail condition of a dark coloured, young man: looking bright, light & shinny.
Between 1989 and 1999 his skin had become lighter, and the condition of his fingernails became a bit more 'pink'. But at the Michael Jackson meeting with Nelson Mandela the color of his fingernails appeared as quite 'balanced' and 'normal' (possibly only a bit 'faint' in the center of the nail plate).
In the last period of his life (2006 - 2009) his skin had become a bit whiter, however his fingernails had become darker and appeared to have 'brownish' look: the condition of his fingernails could no longer be described as 'normal' (see the high resolution pictures in chapter 5).
In the 2009 picture his 'nail moons' had become darker than the other parts of his nails, which illustrates the 'dramatic' deterioration of his fingernails - while in 1999 his 'nail moon' still had a lighter (normal) appearance compared to the other parts of his nails!
[included in the Youtube top 50]
GREAT VIDEOS IN MEMORIUM:
'I Want You Back' - featuring The Jackson 5 (1969)
'Can You Feel It' - featuring The Jacksons (1981)
'Say, Say, Say' - featuring Paul McCartney (1983)
'Pretty Young Thing' - featuring backvocals by Janet & La Toya Jackson (1983)
'Leave Me Alone' (1987)
'Black Or White' (1991)
'Gone Too Soon' (1993)
'Scream' - featuring Janet Jackson (1995)
'You Rock My World' (2001)
Michael Jackson's best dance moves (compilation)
Michael Jackson featuring Akon - 'Hold my Hand'
[An unofficial release: in 2008 this song leaked to the internet]
Related hand news sources:
Famous hands: 'the hand of celebrities'
USA Celebrities lending a Hand for charity
UK 'Celebrity Handprints' book
Elvis Presley's fingerprints
Elvis Presley's prints
Benazir Bhutto - PalmPrint of Destiny
In memoriam: the hands of Michael Jackson