Janet Jackson Opens Up About Getting Older in Rare Interview: 'I Do Hope I Age Gracefully'
Janet Jackson is defining her own beauty standards.
The Grammy winner, 55, revealed in Allure's February cover story that it took her time to feel comfortable in her own skin and to embrace her body.
"Everyone would always want to stay young and this and that but it's inevitable. I mean, we're all going to get there," Jackson candidly shared with the magazine. "There's another road. It's a little bit of zhuzh. I don't know when my day is coming, but at some point it's going to come and I can choose which path I want to take."
"I do hope I age gracefully. It's either a little bit of zhuzh or gracefully," she added.
Looking back on the early days of her career, the fashion icon — who is executive producing a new documentary Janet in which she tells her own story — opened up about steering away from traditional feminine clothing and never being "a girly girl."
"I was always a tomboy. So it was always about pants, suits, even as an early teenager," Jackson explained of her style before releasing her album Janet in 1993. "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," she added.
The iconic performer had a change of heart while releasing Janet and decided to throw herself "in the lion's den" by revealing more of her body on the cover of Rolling Stone. For the shoot, she posed nearly topless with only two hands covering her breasts.
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"Embracing me and trying to learn to love me for me, my body, all of that. Trying to feel comfortable in embracing that," Jackson explained. "Just going for it, wanting to do something different. 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."
She continued, "I'm really glad I got in. It was a way of accepting and loving, accepting yourself and your body."
The singer-songwriter — who shares son Eissa, 5, with husband Wissam Al Mana — is thrilled to see how the industry has changed in recent years with Lizzo, Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi B, Miley Cyrus and more sharing messages of body positivity in their music and on stage.
"Comfortable in their skin, in their size, in being full-figured and I love that, as opposed to back in the day," she said. "You had to always be thin and always look a certain way. And now it's all accepted and it is all beautiful and I absolutely love that."
Allure's February 2022 issue is available on newsstands in N.Y.C. and L.A. Jan. 11 and nationwide Jan. 18.