How Paris Jackson Officially Became the New It Girl

Michael Jackson's 19-year-old daughter is poised to become the defining Paris of her generation

By Natalie Finn May 03, 2017 9:44 PMTags

Paris Jackson is about to be everywhere.

To be sure, the 19-year-old is almost everywhere already. She kicked off 2017 with a revealing, clear-the-cobwebs-of-youth, turn-the-page interview with Rolling Stone, and it's been one It Girl endeavor after another ever since.

Covers of Harper's Bazaar and the CR Fashion Book. Booking a guest appearance on Fox's Star. Palling around with Kendall Jenner and assorted other established It Girls. Oh yes, and Vanity Fair actually labeled her an It Girl.

Paris further padded her credentials this week with her first-ever appearance at the Met Gala, the anyone-who's-anybody, invitation-only annual benefit in New York where stars from all walks of artistic life converge to celebrate fashion.

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images For Entertainment Weekly

Paris wore Calvin Klein, her tattoos and rather awe-inspiring beauty serving as her most noticeable accessories; she took group selfies in the bathroom; she wore '90s-era grunge to the after-party.

The defining Paris of this generation has arrived.

Furthermore, now she's going to be in a movie, playing an edgy 20-year-old named Penny who's in some way affiliated with criminals (how very Blake Lively in The Town!). The Amazon Studios film doesn't have a title yet but it does have an impressive cast that includes David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron and Amanda Seyfried.

Best Social Media Pics From Inside the 2017 Met Gala

Paris' trajectory actually reminds us of model-turned-actress Cara Delevingne, only set at lightning speed.

"If you had to put her priorities in order, it would probably be acting, activism and modeling," a source recently shared with E! News. "She's passionate about all of them. Her modeling career is really taking off and you can expect some big announcements coming in the next month or so."

Well, that assurance certainly came to pass.

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We could go on forever about what a modern "It Girl" is, and we're fairly certain that hotness and envy-inducing street style has something to do with it. Not to mention that certain je ne sais quoi.

But what sets Paris apart from the pack is more definite. For starters, rare is it that a famous family has so far preceded an aspiring actor/model/artist into the spotlight (no wonder Paris and Kendall were fast friends), making it all the more imperative for the kid to distinguish herself on her own.

Inside the Private World of Paris Jackson: How She Copes With the Spotlight, Determined to Make Her Famous Name Her Own

And Paris' family tree is more rooted in pop culture lore than most, her late father, Michael Jackson, and aunt Janet Jackson being two of the most iconic performers of all time and the very phrase "Jackson family" bringing to mind all sorts of history and headlines.

Even beyond all of that, Paris was harshly schooled in the pitfalls of public life early on—first when she lost her dad, and then when her suicide attempt at 15 and subsequent hospitalization seemed to prove that the specter of tragedy was still haunting the Jackson family.

Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for GLAAD

But with a healing combination of family, distance and time, Paris secured the space to regroup and gain some perspective—all while also becoming increasingly aware of just how cold and unforgiving a place the Internet could be, both to her and her family.

That was only a few short years ago, and now it's as if she burst out of a cocoon and can't wait to experience everything the good life has to offer.

And why shouldn't she?

Unlike a lot of the starlets lighting up Instagram, she comes to It Girl status as a longtime celebrity, one whose personal struggles already played out publicly at a tender age, one who's experienced heartbreaking loss, one who's had to grow up before her time, one who never had the chance to just be "Girl."

But Paris isn't sitting around lamenting her lack of anonymity. Instead, she's ready to get to work, utilizing every weapon—name included—in her considerable arsenal.

"I was born with this platform," she acknowledged to Rolling Stone. "Am I gonna waste it and hide away? Or am I going to make it bigger and use it for more important things?"

We already know the answer.