The Amazing Morphing Man
This man says so much about what we value as a culture. He began as a little black boy, then transformed himself into what appears to be a white woman, now in a recent incarnation he seems to be headed into a japanese look (straight jet black hair cut short). He is culturally plastic, transforming himself with a naive innocence, seemingly unaware of the irony of his adjustments, with none of the savvy and market know-how of another pop icon 'shape shifter', Madonna (Blonde Ambition? from a dark haired Italian woman?). He sings the lyrics, 'It doesn't matter if you're black or white', yet, given his appearance, it seems to matter a great deal. The song's message is lost.
No surprise, then, that the technique of "morphing" first made it big in a Michael Jackson video, the same "Black or White" song, in which people's faces smoothly transform into the face of someone of a completely different race or nationality. At the end of the video, Michael Jackson himself morphs into a black panther (the animal, not the political figure).
Michael Jackson paints himself as a monster in Thriller, as a gang banger in "Bad", and as a black panther, all things he definitely is not. Underlying his highly processed image one suspects there is a deep lack of identity, looking for an anchor in a sea of possible faces.