For a lot of men, Janet Jackson was probably their very first celebrity crush, whether they saw her on “Different Strokes” as Charlene or on “Fame” as Cleo.
Or it could’ve been when she became one of the biggest artist of the 80s and 90s, and her image was plastered all over magazines, television sets and billboards.
Despite being the object of global affection, the 52-year-old said she’s always suffered from low self-esteem, and it’s something she’s always working on.
“Like millions of other women, I’ve struggled with low self-esteem my whole life,” she told Billboard. “I’m doing better in that regard. My inclination toward harsh self-criticism and even self-negation has dramatically eased up. I believe in all the different methods of help — smart psychology, vigorous exercise and sincere spirituality.”
At the moment, Jackson is working on the follow-up to her 2015 album “Unbreakable,” and she said writing, going to the studio and just working on music helps her battle those feelings of low self-worth.
Jackson also said if it weren’t for music, she’d probably be stuck in a negative head space, but the creative process makes her feel more optimistic.
“God is the greatest healer of all and the most potent force in the universe,” she explained. “In my world, though, God is so often expressed through music, and it’s music that beats back the negative forces. It’s music that drowns out those voices that say I’m not enough. It’s music, and its divine source, that gifts me with the knowledge that harmony is still possible.”
And Jackson’s son Eissa, who’s 17 months, helps bring that harmony by allowing the singer to focus on him and not so much on herself. Jackson said that show business has always made her pay a lot of attention to her flaws and strengths, and now she’s happy to direct that energy into her baby.
“My son, even in his short 17 months on the planet, has shown me that love, no matter how deeply you believe you have experienced that emotion, can always go deeper,” she explained.
“Love is limitless and for someone like me, raised in show business where self-concern is always a priority, how fortunate I am now to be concerned, first and foremost, with the welfare of someone else,” Jackson added.”Day after day and night after night, holding my baby in my arms, I am at peace. … In those moments, all is right with the world.”
In another part of the sit-down, the legendary artist spoke about the #MeToo movement and how it brought on a bunch of mix feelings for her. Jackson also said she’s happy to be a part of the ongoing fight, and she’ll do her part to make sure things don’t go backward.
“I’m anxious, I’m angry, I’m certainly concerned, but I’m optimistic,” she stated. “We women artists — and women in general — are saying we will not be controlled, manipulated or abused. We’re determined not to fall back to those days of emotional and even physical enslavement. It’s a blessing to be alive today and join in the fight for equality among all human beings.”