February 8th, 2011
10:48 AM ET
In an interview with “Today’s” Meredith Vieira, Janet Jackson opens up on her struggles with body image, as well as what it was like to grow up as a Jackson.
The 44-year-old star recalls in the interview that her father Joseph told her, “'I’m Joseph to you. You do not call me Dad.’
“That affects you as a kid,” Jackson went on. “I know my father loves me. He just has a very, very different way of showing it.”
And when it came to growing up in a house filled with brothers, Jackson admitted that there was plenty of teasing. She says her siblings, including the late Michael Jackson, would call her names like "horse, pig, cow [and] slaughter-hog.”
"It makes you laugh, it really does. It makes you laugh. I guess some people could say, 'Oh that's, you know, brothers and sisters joking, it's all affection, it's all, you know, it's in a loving way.' But not everybody can brush it off, and I was one of those,” she told Vieira.
Jackson explained that when she was younger, she used to “literally bang my head up against the wall because I didn't feel attractive. ... There was a lot of pain in my life. But I did. I felt very unattractive.”
Even as "Rhythm Nation" climbed the charts, Jackson said she struggled with self-perception, a battle she outlines in her soon-to-be-released book, “True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself.”
“I still have issues with it,” Jackson admits. “I don’t bang my head up against the wall, but I still have those moments. And I think it’ll probably continue but at least I know how to deal with it now. And I’m in a much better space.”
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