Inside JET

Cover Story: Janet Jackson— Staying Ahead Of The Curves

In this May 10, 2012 photo, singer Janet Jackson poses at the "Supermodels" photo exhibition opening by photographer Marco Glaviano at the Keszler Gallery in New York. (AP Photo/Starpix, Kristina Bumphrey)

By// S. Tia Brown

The Black community has never considered the fabulous Janet Jackson fat. Thick? Sure. Stacked? Yes. Voluptuous? Most certainly— even with the six-pack. To us, she’s definitely been all of that and then some since her teens. Thick thighs. Full backside. A 1,000-watt smile. And dimples so deep you could get lost in their sun-kissed perfection. Miss Jackson, if you’re nasty, has long been our brick house personified. Not surprisingly, the rest of the world fell in love with her, too. And Janet the international icon was born.

But there is a price to be paid for being a culture-transcending superstar: you have to maintain “the look.” Luckily, when you’re a Jackson you can tweak the formula and prove to the world that extra body curvature is worth the weight. Thick or thin, there was never any love loss for Janet. Still, the pressure to be slim persists. Over the years, we’ve seen Janet’s weight fluctuate from plump to pumped and back again. But her changing waistline has always been a private battle. Now 46, Janet has decided to take her fans on her weight management odyssey, defying the pervasive skinny-girl culture. Instead, she’s opting for a healthy lifestyle that consists of more than just exercising, while giving the term “dieting” a self-assured sneer. That was so last decade.