At this moment Michael de Vie is probably the most famous sixteen year-old in the world. His six number one records and two best-selling albums of the past two years have rocketed this sweet natured, blond-haired, blue-eyed, good-looking, talented young singer into mega-star status.
His two sell-out worldwide tours were seen by an estimated audience of three million, whilst any magazine or newspaper that carries his photo or a story (true or false) has the same effect on its sales. There is no doubt about it, this nice young lad from the mid-West, is the most bankable piece of pop merchandise to come along for many years.
Not for Michael the pouting brat that has earmarked other young performers, nor the cavorting in semi-pornographic videos to promote each new song. No, Michael’s image is not only that of a clean-cut teenager but one who respects his peers, adults and the world in which he lives.
This is down to his family.
His interviews always site the influence of this very important part of his life. His mother Jean is his manager, his eldest sister Ba–Ba (Barbara) is the keyboard player and leader of his backing band (The Protectors), his middle sister Mu (Muriel) is his PA and his other sister JJ (Jean Junior) runs the fan-club. Mother Jean is a ‘no messing’ type of lady who knows what she wants and generally gets just that. All her daughters are older than her son who was the last of her litter separating the first and last by thirteen years.
The girls were all products of Jean’s husband George Clarkson, Michael was the off-spring of a drunken one night stand with someone Jean couldn’t remember having sex with. In fact, it wasn’t until she was almost five months pregnant that she realised what the result of that misguided sexual encounter had generated. The unplanned foetus growing in her womb had passed the abort stage, and, with no option, she eventually looked forward to the birth of her son. George Clarkson had died two years before that drunken night and Jean had been in grieving for quite some time before the ill-conceived romp took place. However, it was George’s name that appeared on the birth certificate and not the real father’s.
So, that drunken need for sex, though for some time appeared to be the stupidest thing to have happened, now appeared to be the best. The family, thanks to Michael’s all-encompassing talent and appeal, are sitting pretty on a fortune that their bastard son and sibling has generated.
However, it isn’t all down to Michael of course. No one could have achieved what he has done without superb management. His family were quick learners, smart at what they did and their talented brother was indebted to his family for the success he was now reaping.
The baby of the family was kept just that way. All decisions were taken by the women in his life; all he had to do was perform. Even when not on stage it was his family that surrounded him and they wanted to look after that asset by making sure no one else got a look in. Little Mikey (as he was affectionately known to his family) had to adhere to some very strict rules that had governed his life since he was a born: Do exactly as told, argue and a spanking follows, diapers to be worn at all times.
This last rule started as just a way to enforce the female domination of his life. However, Jean soon noticed how keeping her son in protection made him incredibly obedient and endearingly docile, so much so that now that sweet touch of childish purity was what made Little Mikey different. His stage clothes were solely for that because once the performance was over and the well-wishers had gone, one of the females took charge and returned Little Mikey to what he was, the baby of the family.
Ever since he was an infant, that’s how the family had treated him. Mainly his young life consisted of being bottle fed, plain food, diaper changes, early nights, cartoons on TV, bedroom and bedding covered in cute animals and the constant love and attention from his ever caring family. Once out of the spotlight his diaper was checked and changed, he was put in a onesie or footed pyjamas and told to go to take a nap. Mikey didn’t complain, why would he he’d never known anything different?
As he grew up he was still kept in diapers and plastic pants “For your own protection” he was always told. Even at school, when his peers were moving into briefs and boxers he was wearing thick diapers under his school uniform. Once he returned home he was immediately changed out of his schoolwear and into something deemed more suitable; cute romper pants or shorts. This regime was easy to maintain because since he was a babe in his mother’s arms all his sisters loved dressing him up. No sooner had one got him dressed to her satisfaction, than one of the others had a different idea and he would be stripped where ever he was, powdered, changed and slipped into something equally sweet but undeniably babyish. This continues to this day and Michael appears quite content with the situation, well, at least he’s never complained.
His connection with anyone outside of his family is fleeting and supervised. Fans say ‘Hello’, want photographs, scream for him and at him but they only got near him when he’s on stage. Once he’s left the ‘performance’ area he is theirs and the public are not allowed into that intimate and very private inner-sanctum. Little Mikey feels he’s special but not because of his undeniable talent but the love and attention of his family who do everything for him.
Michael had won a local TV talent show when he was ten. The song he sung was a self-penned little tune about his love for a cat. He never mentioned the word cat in it so it sounded just like a love song and people adored it. For a short time the local press hailed this ‘Small Town Boy’ as the next big thing. Alas, his fame never spread beyond the county although, from then on, people loved his voice and he was in demand for regional concerts and state fairs. The young singer/songwriter performed anywhere and everywhere under the watchful eye of his mother. From the family home she directed his burgeoning career and made sure at all times he had at least two of his family present. She also took the opportunity to home-school him, especially as demand for his shows was increasing and travelling meant he couldn’t attend a regular class. As he grew up and was influenced more and more by things, stories and people around him, his song writing got stronger and stronger.
However, Jean wanted to keep her boy just that, a boy. She didn’t want him in a rush to grow up and saw that his appeal was down to his childlike looks, unsophisticated attitude and general sweet demeanour. He was so unlike anyone else performing at the time; ‘innocence’ was not what the public wanted, or so it thought. However, a spot on national TV raised his profile and his self-penned and self-released single “Too Good” was an instant success on download, which in turn grabbed the attention of the big record companies. Michael was still only fourteen when it went on general release. Accompanied by a video which showed him working on a farm in a pair of dirty shorts and ripped t-shirt surrounded by loads of cute animals, proved a clever move and the public loved it. YouTube went berserk and suddenly he had a massive hit on his hands. Despite loads of tempting offers from International agencies, it was his mother’s planning and strict supervision that made it all work. She took complete command and steered her young son’s career to the success it is now.
He’s happy in the care of his family; the regular diaper changing and dressing up only reinforces that bond. He’s never worn anything but a diaper so other types of underwear for a boy have never been offered. He’s reasonably potty trained but is just as happy to use his diaper as use the bathroom and certainly it doesn’t seem the most important thing to change that dynamic. His mother, when thinking it all through, decided that part of her sons appeal is his naivety. She is of the opinion that wearing diapers and depending on them, gives him an unconscious vulnerability that people find very appealing. Not that they planned on telling anyone. In fact, it is a family secret, which they are all involved in maintaining and all take a share in the responsibility of keeping Michael clean, dry and well padded.
Now here’s a little fact; when his sister put together his backing band for tours, she picked all-female musicians and named them ‘The Protectors’ in recognition of her brother’s dependency on diapers. Clever eh?
There is purity to Michael’s voice that a studio doesn’t need to fix or mix with electronic gadgets and that had an appeal right across the board; kids and adults love him. Most boys his age hated him for his success but that still didn’t stop his first ‘star’ calendar selling millions and featuring on as many boys’ bedroom walls as it did girls.
In interviews he never tries to be clever. If the journalist or TV personality tries to ask him an embarrassing question he is simply embarrassed; he giggles, shakes his head and state publicly he doesn’t have an answer. More often than not it goes in his favour; the public like his honesty, they like his unworldliness, they like him. Jean is not immune to overprotecting her baby boy and if she is crossed or thought that the questioning has been too intrusive, she happily confronts the perpetrator and takes them to task, often very publicly. Her fierce defence of her boy is seen as a positive by the public but hated by the media who see no limit to how insensitive they can be. The fact that they can’t find any dirt or humiliating little secret on this ‘little goody-goody’ is driving them nuts. They print lies and then, in huge headlines say that “… they refused to deny…” such and such. It sold newspapers and magazines but a photo shoot, organised by Jean, of her clean-cut boy, loving his family and actually helping out on a farm for injured animals, proved a better selling point.
However, just before Michael’s seventeenth birthday, Jean got wind that there was going to be a photo expose. The photographer on one shoot had caught Michael bending over and his diaper was clearly visible. There were several images that made the evidence irrefutable and the photographer had sold them to the highest bidder and raked in an absolute fortune for himself. The story was scheduled to run in the biggest circulating Sunday newspaper in the world so Jean, ever on the ball, decided to do a couple of things. First was not to deny or comment on it, the second was to quickly tie up a deal with a maker of teenage diapers.
De Vie Diapers; colourful, absorbent, fashionable.
Every photo and video that had ever featured Michael suddenly had him wearing a diaper. Some got very close to the type and style he actually wore but in general, they just wanted to humiliate him… but it didn’t. The more they pushed the diapers angle the more the YouTube clips were viewed. The brighter the diapers and frilly the plastic pants, the more hits and ‘Likes’ the image received. Suddenly, diapers were everywhere and embraced by a huge section of the youthful populace.
Yes, the hoped for backlash didn’t happen, instead fans bought diapers and pull-ups and wore them to his concerts. Those who had to wear them were suddenly released from their guilt. Letter after letter, interview after interview, were all supportive and damning of the shady and sensationalistic way the newspaper had treated the subject, which in turn led to a campaign so virulent that it cost them half their readership. Michael De Vie and his diapers were everywhere. Kids were wearing them in the street as a fashion statement and the headlines around the world were – DE VIE’S DIAPERMANIA.
Jean simply refused to enter into any conversation about why he still wore diapers and this led to a mass of speculation in the press. Late night TV programmes brought in ABDLs, as well as those who actually wore them for medical reasons, to discuss the pros and cons of this phenomenon. Of course everyone wanted to hear from Michael himself but, as he couldn’t see what all the fuss was about, he never made any statement or participated in a debate on the subject. Jean thought that his face on the diaper packaging and his latest single ‘Hug Me’ (his 7th Number One) was enough involvement for her son. He quite liked the fact that he now had an array of colourful printed animals on his diapers (Jean had been keen to direct the profits into an animal charity) and continued to wear them with all the special diaper covers that companies sent him for approval in the hope of adding his name as a sponsor.
Pretty soon he was engulfed in hundreds of such items; ruffles, lace, frills, silk, satin, plastic, rubber, you name a material, he received something made in it. Little Mikey loved these new additions to his wardrobe and, as long as it fit over his diapers, he wore with pride simply because he’d never known anything else. His mother and sisters took great pleasure in keeping their baby boy dry, clean and happy, while he in turn loved the tight loving hug his protection, and protectors, constantly gave him.