To the world, Janet Jackson has always been seen as one of the most beautiful of women, but, as the pop star has recently revealed, she herself has struggled with seeing her own beauty. And it’s a struggle which, at times, has led to her becoming physically abusive toward her own self.
“I would literally bang my head up against the wall because I didn’t feel attractive,” explained Jackson to Meredith Viera in an exclusive interview with “TODAY.” “There was a lot of pain in my life, but I did. I felt very unattractive.”
According to Jackson, that and other personal struggles will be discussed in her upcoming book, True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself.
Although things aren’t as intense or painful for Jackson as they were during her younger “Rhythm Nation” years, the pop icon admits that she still struggles with her body image issues.
“I still have issues with it. I don’t bang my head up against the wall, but I still have those moments,” said Jackson. “And I think it’ll probably continue, but, at least, I know how to deal with it now. And I’m in a much better space.”
As Jackson explained it to Viera, the body image issues likely began with the teasing she endured as a child from her older brothers, including Michael, who used to call her things like “horse, pig, cow, slaughter-hog,” she said.
Jackson added, “It makes you laugh. It really does. It makes you laugh. I guess some people could say, ‘Oh that’s, you know, brothers and sisters joking. It’s all affection. It’s all, you know, it’s in a loving way.’ But not everybody can brush it off, and I was one of those.”
Her brothers weren’t the only ones in her family to act cold towards Jackson, who also talks about her rather icy relationship with her father, Joseph Jackson.
“He said, ‘I’m Joseph to you. You do not call me dad.’ That affects you as a kid … I know my father loves me. He just has a very, very different way of showing it.”
Jackson’s “TODAY” interview is set to air on Friday and on “Dateline” on Sunday, Feb. 13. What do you think of Jackson’s painful body image and family issues? –nicholas robinson