Janet Tells What Happened On Good Times Set That Caused Lifelong Low Self Esteem

Posted On : May 18, 2018

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Janet Jackson may be one of the sexiest 52 year olds we’ve ever seen, but neither physical beauty, nor being an icon from the most legendary musical family, was able to shield her from having very low self esteem. The “Rhythm Nation” singer confessed that in interviews, revealing that her self esteem troubles were sparked by incidents that happened on the set of “Good Times,” when she was “Penny.”

“I’ve Had Low Self Esteem All My Life”

In a recent interview with Billboard, Janet admitted it took her a long time to learn how to deal with the low self esteem she’s had most of her life:

“Like millions of other women, I’ve struggled with low self-esteem my whole life. I’m doing better in that regard. My inclination toward harsh self-criticism and even self-negation has dramatically eased up. I believe in all the different methods of help — smart psychology, vigorous exercise and sincere spirituality.”

Although she’s in a better space now, Janet gave details about how her problems started…

The “Good Times” Incident That Sparked Her Self Esteem Problems

Scene From 'Good Times'
(L-R) BernNadette Stanis, Ben Powers, Jimmie Walker, Ralph Carter, Ja’net DuBois, and Janet Jackson, in a scene from  “Good Times” 1977. (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

In a prior interview with Media Planet, Janet discussed how her weight issues affected her emotional well being as a child. Her days as “Penny” on “Good Times,” progressively turned into a downward spiral of lifelong self esteem and body image issues:

JJ: “My struggle with managing my weight goes back to my childhood; to when I played Penny on Good Times. The first day, I was in wardrobe and they bound my breasts because I was developing early. That told me then that I was not good enough the way I was. The second season they told me that I needed to lose weight.”

Also the playful teasing from her big brother, Michael, only exasperated her then plummeting self esteem…

JJ: “Then Mike would call me names, as brothers tend to do, like Dunk and Slaughter Hog… He didn’t mean to hurt me, but those things [the “Good Times” pressure and sibling teasing] stuck with me. I have carried them into my adulthood. I think managing your weight has a lot to do with your emotions.”

How She’s Overcome Most Of Her Self Esteem Problems

It’s been a very lengthy process for Janet, but fortunately, she’s healed many of her issues, her’s how…

JJ: “There are many things I needed to do to overcome my struggles with self-image. The first was to love myself. It has been a long journey, but I am finally happy with who I am. […] I am living my life by being true to myself and building a better relationship with God.” via MP

How Her Son Has Helped Her


In addition to working on herself psychologically and spiritually, Janet is also crediting her 1 year old son, Eissa Al Mana, with helping her to understand love on a far deeper level…

JJ: “…My son, even in his short 17 months on the planet, has showed me that love, no matter how deeply you believe you have experienced that emotion, can always go deeper. Love is limitless. And for someone like me, raised in show business where self-concern is always a priority, how fortunate I am now to be concerned, first and foremost, with the welfare of someone else. Day after day and night after night, holding my baby in my arms, I am at peace. I am blessed. I feel bliss.” via Billboard

Job well done Janet.