During a recent interview with Allure, the icon Janet Jackson shared that she was absolutely thrilled to see a number of women dominating today’s music industry. The “Queen Of Pop” credited Lizzo for spearheading the change, not only with her music but with her strong presence within the body positivity movement.
The 55-year-old said today’s industry power players like Lizzo have become “comfortable in their skin, in their size” and “in being full-figured,” but back in the day, it wasn’t always like that, according to the five-time Grammy-winning artist.
“You had to always be thin and always look a certain way,” Janet continued. “And now it’s all accepted and it is all beautiful and I absolutely love that.”
The star said she admires Lizzo’s infectious sense of confidence and how she has encouraged today’s generation to unapologetically be themselves. Hopefully, Lizzo has caught wind of the accolade because last year the “Rumors” hitmaker sparked a large debate on Twitter after she coined Janet “The Queen of Pop,” which sent Madonna fans spiraling with dismay.
Let’s not pretend that miss Janet hasn’t left a tremendous imprint on pop culture throughout her career. The inimitable icon has sold over 100 million records and has amassed an extraordinary catalog of hit singles including gems like “Nasty”, “Rhythm Nation,” “That’s the Way Love Goes” and “Together.” The 55-year-old holds the record for the most consecutive top-ten entries on the Us. Billboard Hot 100 reigning victorious with 18. She is also the only artist in the history of the chart to have seven commercial singles from one album (Rhythm Nation 1814) peak within the top five positions.
In the interview, Jackson revealed that even though her hits like “Rhythm Nation” and “Pleasure Principle” yielded wild success for her career, critics were constantly judging her appearance, body shape, and her lyrical content.
“I was never a girly girl. I was always a tomboy,” she continued. “So it was always about pants, suits, even as an early teenager. I remember when my brothers got their star on the Walk of Fame and other awards they got, and I look back on pictures and I always had on a suit with a tie, a bow tie, or suspenders. Always loving black and never wanting to expose any part of my body, I felt most comfortable to cover it up to here.”
Janet’s undeniable style set the tone for some of her iconic performances and effortless dance moves. Known for sporting tight leather ensembles and crop tops that accentuated her washboard abs, she became a symbol for women all around the world to live unapologetically in their skin. After releasing her third album Control in 1986, Janet said she was determined to have full creative control over her image, music, and career–despite the persistent chatter from naysayers. The singer shared that she went down a critical journey of learning how to fully embrace her body.
“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,” she added.”
Perhaps there are some parallels that can be drawn between the youngest Jackson family member and Lizzo, who has been slammed with criticism for twerking on stage and showing off her voluptuous assets in the past. Despite, the backlash, and a few emotional breakdowns, Lizzo seems to rise above the haters every time.
Back in April 2021, the star teamed up with Dove’s Self-Esteem Project to bring awareness to the issue of “Digital Distortion“– the idea that filters and photoshop apps are doing more harm than good to society’s beauty standards and the self-esteem of today’s generation.
“The scary thing about it is, when I was their age — the girls now who are like 12, 13 — I felt the same way,” Lizzo explained. “I remember waking up and wanting to be someone else, change my body, changed my eye color, my hair texture, the shape of my body, the color of my skin. But I didn’t have photo retouching, I didn’t have filters or anything like that. So that feeling was already there, and it scares me to think that now there is a tool that actually cashes in on that insecurity.”
The “Truth Hurts” crooner said that after she learned to love herself through self-acceptance, she had no choice but to be grateful for the body she was blessed with. “It was no choice for me. It was literal survival. I was like, ‘If I’m going to continue to live in this body and survive in this body and be happy and actually enjoy life, I need to find a way to like myself,” she added.
As for Miss Jackson, it’s safe to say she still looks fine as hell at 55-years-old and we’re seeing more of the star as of recent. Janet is gearing up to drop a new documentary about her musical legacy that will highlight some of her career-defining moments. The star noted during her candid interview that she’ll finally be speaking on that infamous nip slip that occurred during the 2004 Super Bowl half-time show.
“It’s tough for me to talk about that time,” she admitted. “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.”