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Why people attacking Prince Jackson is not OK

People have been poking fun at Michael Jackson’s son Prince for being “nerdy.” But the joke at Prince’s expense isn’t funny — it’s wrong.

In case you forgot, Prince is the oldest son of Michael Jackson, and considering the upbringing he must have had, it’s a miracle he hasn’t totally gone off the deep end. Instead, the 17-year-old has some relatively normal teenage boy interests like gross animals, lifting weights, lifted trucks and hanging with bad influences (Justin Bieber and Floyd Mayweather are name-checked).

But rather than leave the kid to live his normal, so far non-criminal and non-jerkface life in peace, people and one article in particular found it necessary to mock and shame a 17-year-old boy whose only real crime was to have the (some would say) misfortune of being born into the Jackson family.

And that’s not OK.

First, few people hate snakes more than Indiana Jones and me (snakes have no souls, true story), but I don’t think it’s cool to make fun of a kid because he takes an active interest in caring for nature. If you look at Prince’s Instagram account, he has posted multiple photos of incredibly intricate cages and habitats that he builds for his pets. Pretty amazing work, if you ask me.

Second, yes, he posts videos of himself working out. A Gawker article made fun of him for doing leg presses. Yet every day we’re inundated with studies about how our kids are slowly killing themselves by sitting around playing video games and generally being lazy. Now when a kid takes an interest in athletics it’s fodder for ridicule? How does that work?

More: Prince Jackson: My dad cried in fear AEG would kill him

Bieber and Mayweather aside (and seriously, Katherine Jackson should probably do her best to keep Prince away from those dudes because no good can come of that), attacking a kid for being as ordinary as possible under extraordinary circumstances is mean-spirited at best and bullying at worst. A grown man wrote words about a teenage boy like “…Prince Jackson’s intense lameness is, of course, understandable…” and “…snakes are weird and not actually that cool, and owning them as an adult male is a surefire way to make yourself intensely unf***able.”

He is a kid. Like my son. Granted, my son is much younger — just 2-1/2 years old and not bringing snakes into his bedroom (yet) — but one day he will be a 17-year-old boy, and like Prince and all the rest of us did at that age, he will probably have all kinds of interesting-to-him-yet-weird-to-adults fascinations. God only knows how social media will have evolved by then, allowing him to share that totally normal teenage weirdness with the world.

When he is that teenage boy — maybe a little awkward, definitely a lot awesome — I hope that small men with nothing better to do than make fun of a kid half their age have moved on to more deserving targets. Like a middle-age Justin Bieber.

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