Janet Jackson: “I Wasn’t Happy With The Way I Looked”

Beloved singer Janet Jackson covers Essence Magazine’s first-ever “Happiness” issue, which hits newsstands tomorrow. In it, the Pop superstar penned a personal essay detailing her surprising life struggles, from childhood to present day.

Janet also admits to coping with an “intense” battle with depression in her 30s, and how she made it through.

A big part of Janet’s inner struggles seems to have come from how she looked at herself, physically.

“I was happy when my brothers came home from performing on the road. I was happy when my mother lavished me with love. But I wasn’t happy with the way I looked.”

As a teen, Jackson writes, “happiness” came when people asked her to perform, but she was “happiest” when she was “pleasing others” and not herself, she writes.
She describes her thirties as being her toughest time.
“These were difficult years, when I struggled with depression,” she writes. “The struggle was intense. I could analyze the source of my depression forever. Low self-esteem might be rooted in childhood feelings of inferiority. It could relate to failing to meet impossibly high standards. And of course there are always the societal issues of racism and sexism. Put it all together and depression is a tenacious and scary condition. Thankfully, I found my way way through it.”
Janet’s admission that she has long worried about her looks, and her choice not to discuss what many fans on social media said was obvious cosmetic enhancement that was clearly visible during her performance at last month’s Billboard Awards, is likely to keep tongues wagging.
Fans who watched the still-super popular, 52-year-old perform gave her credit for being Grandmama-age and still being able to shake a tailfeather–but her stretched face made fans worry she was heading down the same never-ending surgical enhancement road that her late brother, Michael, and sister LaToya infamously traveled down–repeatedly.
Meanwhile, Janet has also been trying to manage sometimes frosty relations with her estranged billionaire husband, Wissam Al Mana, who she shares a toddler son with.
According to Janet, she finds comfort in motherhood–and her blessed life.
“The height of happiness is holding my baby son in my arms and hearing him coo, or when I look into his smiling eyes and watch him respond to my tenderness,” she tells her fans. “When I kiss him. When I sing him softly to sleep. During those sacred times, happiness is everywhere. Happiness is in gratitude to God. Happiness is saying, ‘Thank you, God, for my life, my energy and my capacity to grow in love.'”