“When I was a kid, I was with my dad and my two brothers,” she told the fashion tome. “Growing up, I was treated as the favorite because I was the only girl. I was the princess; I was perfect in my dad’s eyes.”
Michael was also the father of sons Prince, 20, and Blanket, 15, both of whom have largely lived their lives out of the spotlight since the music icon’s tragic death in 2009.
Paris, 18, explained that coming into her own in the public eye hasn’t been easy, but that she has chosen to do so because she feels she has a responsibility to use her platform for good.
“Plenty of times I’ve thought about not doing anything in the public eye and having my own private life,” she said. “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. I have a couple of ideas. I have a lot of ideas, but I’m still trying to figure out the right way to do it. I mean, I’m 18. I can’t have it all together, but I do have a plan.”
Part of being in the spotlight, she explained, has been learning how to deal with haters.
“You’re on their mind — how is that a bad thing?” she told the mag. “Doesn’t matter if they’re saying good or bad things about you. They’re thinking about you enough to write about you. You just can’t care …. Not everybody is going to be happy with what you do. If you’re not happy with what you’re doing, that’s a problem. If you’re happy, who gives a f–k?”
Besides, Paris added, all of this growing up and speaking up has been a process, not to mention a big departure from the life that she was used to as a kid. “I didn’t have social skills,” she said of being raised in such a sheltered environment. “I had to force myself to learn so fast. For the past six years, I’ve been learning how to communicate.”
In her Harper’s Bazaar interview, Paris pointed out that because her father shielded the three of them from the real world for so long, being allowed to enter it in recent years has taken some getting used to.
“Once I got introduced into the real world, I was shocked. It blew me away,” she said. “Not just because it was sexist, but misogynist and racist and cruel. It was scary as hell. And it still is really scary.”
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