Shannon’s Time With Janet Jackson Reveals The Icon’s Deepest Insecurities
Call her Miss Jackson if your nasty...those lyrics came from somewhere. Sadly, we're learning how nasty things actually got between Janet and her brother, The King of Pop in her upcoming documentary. We're finally going to hear her truth in her voice about how Michael bullied her, the wardrobe malfunction and the major thing she would not let me (or anyone else) ask her about...
I had the privilege to hang out with Janet and I learned a lot from my time with her. I was elated when my mentor and co-host at that time, Ms. Vikki Locke invited me to be on the interview with her (I will always be grateful for her generosity). Even in that short time, I was able to understand some things about Janet way before the news of her new documentary broke.
First, even the process before interviewing Janet was interesting. Prior to entering her hotel room, her reps gave us a list of things we absolutely were not allowed to ask her. It was a short list, with only two things on it that I can remember...we could not ask about her brother, Michael Jackson's criminal charges. That, I expected. The other item was more concerning...
We could not mention her weight in any way shape or form. She even specifically asked that we don't compliment her on "how good she looks" after losing her weight. She was probably a size "0" at that time. I thought that was strange, but after watching the documentary trailer, it's making a lot more sense.
Janet revealed today that her brother, Michael, used to bully her about her weight. Calling her a "pig", a "horse" and a "slaughter hog" throughout her childhood. It created an inner battle that she carried around with her always. The topic ignited such emotion that she did not want to go there with anyone even if it was a compliment.
To paint the picture of that experience of meeting her, there was a throne-like chair in the back of the room where she sat and waited for us. There were countless gardenia candles providing a line of sight around the dimly lit and quiet room. She greeted us with a warm smile and invited us to sit next to her. I struggled to hear her faint voice answer our questions (she reminded me so much of Michael in that way). My impression of her was that she was still very much a little girl while at the same time, being an accomplished and powerful woman. She was shy, like Michael, and I can only imagine that growing up too fast somehow left that little girl behind.
This is an assumption on my part, but I got the sense that she may have been more susceptible to criticism than her brothers because like them, her father's love depended on her performing well. In addition to that, add the physical demands of being a young girl on camera and the layers of doubt that creates.
I could feel her power and her brokenness all at once during our conversation. She was and still is a force, and now, the things she could not bring herself to talk about then will be the main subjects of her documentary. It will be on her terms and in her singular, quiet, powerful voice and I can't wait.