Michael From Head To Toe: What About Those "Oratory Ears?" (Reprinted From Oct 2010)

This will be the last reprinted installment from the series. From here on out, “Michael From Head To Toe” will be new entries all the way!

it Seems Strange To Have To Defend An Ear As Looking...Perfectly Normal. But Alas, Not In The World Of Michael Jackson!
it Seems Strange To Have To Defend An Ear As Looking…Perfectly Normal. But Alas, Not In The World Of Michael Jackson!

I actually hadn’t thought much about Michael’s ears, but they are the next logical step on our journey and…well, why not? Without the ears that enabled him to hear the beautiful sounds of music, he would never have been able to create his own. Maybe because he spent so many years hiding his ears behind all those long, luscious locks; maybe because they never appeared to be a particular stand out feature; for whatever reason, I simply hadn’t given them much thought.

But I do know a crazy tabloid rumor had persisted for years, and which I continue to hear in certain circles. That is the urban myth that an operation had been performed  to remove cartilage from his left ear in order to “rebuild” his nose. As recently as June of 2009, just a few weeks before his death, the tabloid press was aswirl with the rumor of a pic that claimed to “show” the mutilated ear. Interestingly enough, though almost every medialoid outlet picked up and pasted the story of the “mutilated ear” only a few, such as The Daily News, actually showed the photo in question-the photo supposedly responsible for all the uproar. I’m not even going to bother posting the link, which is just tabloid garbage. BUT let’s have a look at this photo in question, and dissect it:


Notice that the photo is not from a particularly clear angle. With so much hair still covering the left ear, it would be hard to say if this is definitive “proof” that he lacked a left ear lobe. To really get to the truth, we would need to do two things. 1: Look at comparable, earlier photos to see if he had a clearly defined left ear lobe then, and 2: Look at other photos of his left ear from this same timeframe to determine if they are consistent with the claims and with this photo.

I began going through my vast collection of MJ photos to see what might be revealed. I was looking specifically for photos where his left ear was revealed, and at different periods of his life.



In the above childhood pic, taken when Michael was probably about twelve or thirteen years old, you cannot see a full view of the left ear thanks to his thick Afro, but you can clearly see the left lobe. It’s obvious even here, in childhood, that he never had a fully defined ear lobe. Also, it looks to me (at least judging by some photos) that Michael may have had attached, as opposed to free ear lobes (the kind that are more obvious because they hang down from the ear). This is what wikpedia says about attached vs. non-attached ear lobes:

Whether the earlobe is free or attached is a classic example of a simple genetic dominance relationship; freely hanging earlobes are the dominant allele and attached earlobes are recessive. Therefore, a person whose genes contain one allele for free earlobes and one for attached lobes will display the freely hanging lobe trait


Free Ear Lobe
Free Ear Lobe

Obviously, attached ear lobes are less common than free ear lobes, and can easily give the appearance to an untrained eye of an ear that is malformed or “missing” its lobe.

Attached Ear Lobe
Attached Ear Lobe





This Thriller-era Photo, Showing Michael's Right Ear, Appears To Me To Indicate An Attached Ear Lobe
This Thriller-era Photo, Showing Michael’s Right Ear, Appears To Me To Indicate An Attached Ear Lobe

Now let’s look at some other examples of Michael’s left ear, the one in question.  Contrary to what most of these stories were claiming, we saw Michael’s ears quite frequently, even in his last decade.

Thriller era:







Bad/Dangerous era:







 HIStory era:




More Recently:


This Is It certainly offered ample opportunities to observe, for those of us paying close enough attention. At no time did I ever see any evidence of maligned ears.

The photos clearly and consistently show that his left ear did not look significantly different at any period of his life, either before or after the alleged cartiledge removal.

To be fair, a few comparison photos at the time did attempt to show the difference, as in these comparison photos here:


But the only thing really “proven” here is that the lobe on the right does look a bit thinner. Also, the original caption for this collage mistakenly refers to the photo on the left as a “Young Michael Jackson ear.” Hardly the case, as this is clearly a late 90′s era photo-meaning it could not have been taken that many years prior to the photo in question. Also, as previously noted, it’s clearly obvious that in the right photo, the ear is bent at an angle, perhaps either from the surgical mask he was wearing, or if he happened to be wearing a wig at the time (which we now know that he did in later years, due to lupus and hair loss).  At any rate, this bent angle is what  “appears” to give the ear its rather bizarre, elfish appearance, which the tabloids then ran with. However, even if we can allow the fact that the lobe in the right photo does appear a bit thinner than in the left photo, it is still hardly definitive proof that he was missing the lobe completely, or that surgery (to rebuild his nose or for any other purpose) was the reason. This was a classic case of tabloid writers taking one photo and running wild with unfounded speculations. There were even crazy headlines such as this one in Gossipbeast, claiming “Michael Jackson’s Ear Is Nearly Gone” http://www.gossipbeast.com/?p=2023 while showing this same photo-a photo clearly showing a fully intact ear with nothing “missing” and no remarkable qualities other than the same attached, weakly defined earlobe as described above. It’s sad to know this was one of the last stories being circulated about him just two weeks before June 25th!

Also, if  Michael had been missing ear cartiledge, this most assuredly would have been mentioned in his very accurately detailed autopsy report. The only mention of anything at all out of the ordinary about his ears is a 3/4 scar behind the left ear, and a “scar like area” behind the right.


"Small" Ears? LOL, I Don't Think So!
“Small” Ears? LOL, I Don’t Think So!

Other than that bit of unpleasant business, what else can be said for Michael Jackson’s ears (both left and right?) Well, for starters, like everything else about him, they were very…er, big. And they stuck out! But we love them anyway. (And if anyone needs further proof that his children are his biologically, just look at Paris’s ears! Like father, like daughter!). I once saw a comment where a person was arguing that Arnie Klein has to be the kids’ father because Michael did not have big ears. Apparently, that person never observed Michael very closely!

And interestingly enough for those who want to insist on how “feminized” Michael was, his ears were never pierced. It’s interesting to note  that in a society where many men routinely wear earrings, Michael was always somehow singled out as being effeminate. Yet he never wore earrings or much jewelry of any kind, other than watches or the occasional bracelet (usually for some very specific reason). Heck, Michael’s dad wears more jewelry than Michael ever did!

What else is really known about Michael’s ears? I guess not a lot. I haven’t been able to locate any quotes that reveal how he felt about them personally. I don’t know if he was ever particularly happy or unhappy with them. There is simply not enough information to go on.  I did hear  someone say once that he had freckles on his ears (cute!) but I haven’t seen any photos that verify this. Besides, those “freckles” could well have been vitiligo patches, which is more plausible.

Of course, one thing we do all know for sure-how he felt about having to wear those damned ear monitors!



If you are new to this series and catching up, here are the first two entries:



12 thoughts on “Michael From Head To Toe: What About Those "Oratory Ears?" (Reprinted From Oct 2010)”

  1. “Pathetic” is right. How the media used to love going over Michael’s appearance inch by inch, hoping to find something less than perfect that they might build the next scandal on! I always thought Michael had very good ears. Once you start watching ears, it’s amazing what you discover. The variety of shapes and sizes is truly astonishing. It strikes me especially in Netflix movies. There’ll be a gorgeous man or woman, and then you’ll see their oddly shaped ears and suddenly that’s all you can notice. And, usually, the older a person gets, the bigger their ears get. As if gravity has been pulling on them the whole person’s life and finally won. I alternate my ear-watching days with nose-watching days. Those two watch-hobbies can keep you occupied wherever you happen to be. This hold true especially on public transportation. So, as ears go, Michael’s are quite nice, and distinctly his.

    1. HaHa yeah you’re right, since reading this i’ve been looking at everyones ears all day and found it quite fun. God i need to get out more!

    1. The idea behind this series is to clear up some of those misconceptions and rumors that the media ran amock with. Of course, it is also in some cases a good excuse to ogle over the beauty that was MJ, from “head to toe” as well. I am a fan girl, after all (lol) and not ashamed to say so.

  2. Its the angle of that picture that does it! lol the way his head is turned down and the camera is kinda above him and he is walking slightly towards the camera. All the other pics are straight forward and directly from the side.

  3. Love those oratory ears!!!! They are beautiful ears and look somewhat elfin in their shape. Peter Pan ears, maybe? Maybe the elves in Lord of the Rings have the same type ears?

  4. Raven, reading this post, I was reminded of a long article appeared in the Special Commemorative Issue of Rolling Stones, published on the occasion of the death of Michael, appeared in Italy but only in the original language.

    Well, in this article, signed by Andy Green, Steve Knopper, and David Wild, is saying some pretty amazing stuff from page 82.
    So the first thing that is stated is that, during the filming of the video Scream, Michael was “practicing dance moves when his hand brushed his heavly altered nose. The tip of it – actually a prosthetic – flew across the floor, and Jackson began screaming hysterically. Crew members ran after it. – There was a hole, man, a little hole right where the tip of the nose should be, a perfect circular opening – says a source who was in the room that day.”
    and beyond continues quoting, in their opinion, the words of John Landis about the whitening of the skin: “When Michael proudly showed me the results of his first experiments with vleaching his skin white (his chest looked like he was wearing a pale white vest), I was horrified and told him that the doctor who did this was a criminal …..he did not speak to me for almost two years after this…”

    Raven, do you think these gentlemen journalists who wrote this in a serious journal, had then the autopsy of Michael? Is there somebody can ask them how they are allowed to take for real this gossip without a public apology?

    1. Rolling Stone is where the story of the prosthetic nose originated, and if I’m not mistaken, this article was the one that really started it. No, they won’t ever apologize. The media knows what was in the autopsy report. They have purposely downplayed it, although I think the pendulum has begun to shift just a bit in that now a lot more at least seem willing to admit he had vitiligo. While there is still the occasional trash article, I don’t see near as many references to “skin bleaching” and Michael’s “alleged” disease as I used to.

      However, that publications like Rolling Stone continue to print such garbage as if it were fact is very disturbing. It is disturbing because publications like RS are not “tabloid” publications, but well respected journals in the industry. Which also should mean higher ethics and standards of journalism, but alas, such is not the case as we have seen over and over.

  5. I think Michael’s ears are part-attached, not completely attached. I have often been puzzled by his sweet description of his ‘oratory’ ears, so I have looked it up in a dictionary. It says it means the ‘art or practice of formal speaking, esp. in public; exaggerated, eloquent or highly coloured language; or a small chapel for private worship; or a religious society of priests without vows founded in Rome in 1564, providing plain preaching and popular services.(a branch of this in England) from the Latin ‘orare’ to pray, speak. Just in case you wanted to know!! As Michael seems to hesitate, was unsure of the right word, he may have said ‘auditory’, or meant to say that, ‘concerned with hearing, received by the ear’. Perhaps he was misheard. Clever Michael. Love him.

  6. You go to great lengths to describe the difference between attached and non-attached ear lobes, then say Michael’s were attached, when they clearly aren’t? His earlobes are quite short, but hanging free. Unlike someone like Sven-Goran Erikssen (Google him) who has classic attached ear lobes.
    In that last photo Michael’s ear does look a bit odd, he has probably had an ear reduction surgery- some of the cartilage has been removed. His ears were quite large before, but in his latter years smaller, but misshapen from surgeries.

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