Though she’s always been considered – and will probably always be so – one of the most beautiful ladies in showbiz, Janet Jackson has had body image issues all her life. In a recent interview for The Today Show, she reveals she’d feel so ugly at times she literally smashed her head against a wall.
It all started when she was just a kid and, at the age of 10, she was told to lose weight for a role, she reveals in the interview, PopEater reports.
She wasn’t fat back then, but she was developing a bit faster. At home, her brothers would always pick on her for being the heaviest as well, including Michael.
Even if they believed they did nothing wrong, and even if some kids can get over this kind of teasing more easily, Janet never fully recovered.
To this day, after many years of struggling with her weight and her body image, she still has moments when she looks in the mirror and is completely unhappy with what she sees – the only difference being that she doesn’t harm herself anymore.
“I hated what I saw in the mirror. I would literally bang my head against the wall because I felt so ugly,” Janet says in the interview, a statement that also appears in her upcoming book, “True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself.”
“I never, ever felt attractive. And I still have issues with it. I don’t bang my head up against the wall, but I still have those moments. 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,” she explains.
She recalls she was called a lot of names when she was little, including pig, cow and slaughter hog. Mike too used to make fun of her that way and, even if she knows now he meant no harm, his words still affected her deeply.
“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,” she says.
Other than that, she has only fond memories of her late brother, for whom she always remained “his little sister.”
Janet recalls she last spoke to Michael two days before her birthday: the last thing they told each other was “I love you.”
“We had each other’s back. But, later on in life, certain things that he was going through... I tried to be there for him as much as I could,” Janet says.
The full interview with Janet Jackson for The Today Show will air in two parts, on February 11 and February 14. For more excerpts, see here.