Janet Jackson Opens Up About Having Control Of Her Look
Janet Jackson says “it’s tough” to talk about the infamous moment in 2004 when Justin Timberlake exposed her right breast while they performed the Super Bowl halftime show.
The incident – which Timberlake initially dubbed a “wardrobe malfunction” – spawned debates about gender bias and systemic racism in the music industry. Last year, Timberlake publicly apologized to Jackson. “I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right,” he wrote, in a message he shared on social media. "I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism.”
In a new interview with Allure, Jackson admitted: “It’s tough for me to talk about that time.”
The 55-year-old pop star added: “Whether I want to be part of that conversation or not, I am part of that conversation. I think it’s important. Not just for me, but for women. So I think it’s important that conversation has been had. You know what I mean?
“And things have changed obviously since then for the better.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Jackson spoke about her respect for today’s female artists who are “comfortable in their skin, in their size, in being full-figured.” She said things were different when she was coming up.
“You had to always be thin and always look a certain way,” Jackson recalled. “And now it’s all accepted and it is all beautiful and I absolutely love that.”
The pop icon reflected on her choice to reject sexualizing her body in the days of Control and Rhythm Nation 1814. “I was never a girly girl. I was always a tomboy,” she explained. “So it was always about pants, suits, even as an early teenager.
“Always loving black and never wanting to expose any part of my body, I felt most comfortable to cover it up.”
All this changed when she launched the janet. phase of her career, which Jackson said was about “embracing me and trying to learn to love me for me, my body, all of that. Trying to feel comfortable in embracing that. Throwing myself in the lion’s den. Just going for it, wanting to do something different.
“It took a lot of work, a lot of work. It was something very tough, very difficult. But I’m glad I walked through it. I’m really glad I got in. It was a way of accepting and loving, accepting yourself and your body.”
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