Janet Jackson opens up about body issues, relationship with father

Feb. 7, 2011 at 5:03 PM ET

In an exclusive interview with TODAY's Meredith Vieira, Janet Jackson reveals that her struggles with her body image were once so severe, "I would literally bang my head up against the wall because I didn't feel attractive. ... There was a lot of pain in my life. But I did. I felt very unattractive," Jackson said.

The singer/actress writes about the incident in her new book "True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself," saying that she's better off now than when she was in her 20s, and "Rhythm Nation" was topping the charts. "I still have issues with it. I don't bang my head up against the wall, but I still have those moments.  And I think it'll probably continue but at least I know how to deal with it now. And I'm in a much better space," she told Vieira. 

The issues Jackson had might stem back to how she was treated by her brothers, including Michael, who had nicknames for her like "Horse, pig, cow, slaughter-hog," she said."


"It makes you laugh, it really does. It makes you laugh. I guess some people could say, 'Oh that's, you know, brothers and sisters joking, it's all affection, it's all, you know, it's in a loving way.' But not everybody can brush it off, and I was one of those," she said.

In the interview, Jackson also opens up about her father Joe, saying she wasn't to ever call him dad.

"He said, 'I'm Joseph to you.  You do not call me dad.' That affects you as a kid ... I know my father loves me. He just has a very, very different way of showing it."

Check out more of the interview on TODAY on Monday and on "Dateline" on Sunday, Feb. 13.