Pop icon Janet Jackson is on the cover of Essence magazine’s July/August 2018 issue and the 52-year old star opens up about the secret for her happiness, her struggle with depression, the #MeToo movement and more.
On struggling with depression: I struggled with depression. The struggle was intense. Low self-esteem might be rooted in childhood feelings of inferiority. It could relate to failing to meet impossibly high standards. And of course there are always the societal issues of racism and sexism. Put it all together and depression is a tenacious and scary condition. Thankfully, I found my way through it.
On happiness: When it comes to happiness, I’m no expert. I have only my life experience as a guide. I’ve known great happiness and great sadness. But I guess the key question is, What do I really know about happiness? In my forties: Like millions of women in the world, I still heard voices inside my head berating me, voices questioning my value. Happiness was elusive. A reunion with old friends might make me happy. A call from a colleague might make me happy. But because sometimes I saw my failed relationships as my fault, I easily fell into despair.
On her one-year-old son Eissa: The height of happiness is holding my baby son in my arms and hearing him coo, or when I look into his smiling eyes and watch him respond to my tenderness. When I kiss him. When I sing him softly to sleep. During those sacred times, happiness is everywhere.
On #MeToo: We are living at a time in history when women all over the world are refusing to be controlled, manipulated, exploited or abused. We have found our strength, and we will not relent.