November 10th, 2010
04:00 PM ET
Being a child star wasn't necessarily "Good Times" for Janet Jackson. The actress/singer tells the December issue of Health that she blames being a young performer for many of the body image issues she would struggle with later in life.
“When I did 'Good Times,' they used to bind my chest because I was developing breasts at a young age," says 44-year-old Jackson, who played Penny Woods on the hit TV comedy from 1977-79. "It immediately makes you think, ‘The way I am isn’t good enough.’ They thought I was too heavy and that I needed to lose weight. When I look back at the show, I was your average-size kid.”
Still, it was around that same time that her mother, Katherine Jackson, took the 11-year-old for regular colonic treatments to help keep her trim.
"Once a month my mother would drive us to downtown L.A [for the procedure]," she explains. "That played a big part in my life and career, because I learned at a very young age what discipline truly meant, to be able to pass up the French fries and the piece of candy.”
A lifelong yo-yo dieter, Jackson is back in top form mentally, physically and careerwise, but admits that getting to that place hasn't been easy.
“People tend to put entertainers on pedestals. We’re human beings, just like you," says the "For Colored Girls" star. "Whether we have money or not, we still have bills to pay, we still have our stresses.”
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