Michael Jackson has a simple instruction for his personal make-up artist Karen Faye when she prepares him for his appearance on stage. ''Hurt me, hurt me.'' he tells her.
For Jackson, whose latest album BAD has sold millions worldwide, wants to look so good for his fans that his image in a mirror must be so fantastic that is almost hurts.
Karen said: ''It's one of his favorite phrases - he says it all the time. When he wants something to be brilliant, he says, 'HURT ME'.
''Whenever it is a new dance routine, a photographic session or other people's make-up he says,
'Make it look great, Hurt me'.
''He want his appearance to take people's breath away and most of the time it works''.
Working at such close quarters, Karen is perfectly placed to know exactly how his face has changed. ''He has only had two plastic surgery operations, one on his nose and one on the cleft in his chin,'' She said. ''He makes no secret of the fact. He had then done to improve his looks.
''The nose job was done several years ago, the cleft more recently. Everyone is obsessed with his face but there is no mystery.
''He has changed his diet in a major way too. He's now a vegetarian which has seen his weight alter.
''Michael only eats healthy food.
One of his favorite restaurants is the Golden Temple in Hollywood.''
But Karen also revealed that he never touches alcohol.
''He doesn't drink at all,'' she said. He just wants to be in total control. He doesn't need to escape from himself through drink. ''Obviously some people around him drink- he does not frown upon it but he can't understand it.
''If he sees me having a glass of wine he will usually ask, 'How can you drink that stuff?'.
''He thinks its really weird. He can't understand how anyone can drink when they know it may be harming their body''.
Michael, 30, is always conscious about his own fitness and general health. During his world-tour concerts he is on stage for two hours leaping, dancing and singing except for a seven-minute break by his band.
On a show day he has a strict routine to prepare himself physically and mentally for tge gruelling perofrmance. He locks himself away in his hotel suite for several hours and uses a speical portable dance floor, which he takes with him everywhere, and practises new steps.