Dear Gossips,

Janet Jackson covers the new InStyle. It’s the beauty issue. The pictures are gorgeous. She is gorgeous. It’s a gorgeous thing, to see a 52-year-old black woman on the front page of a magazine where the conversation is about beauty. 

But this isn’t the conversation about Janet Jackson that people are having today. What most people are talking about related to Janet Jackson is the story Yashar Ali broke yesterday – that Les Moonves put her on the cover of his burn book after the Super Bowl in 2004. This is an article and a thread and both are worth reviewing:

All of this we already know. We know she was blacklisted. We know that she was targeted. We know that her career was put on pause FOR A DECADE because of it, while someone else’s career flourished. So basically Les Moonves’s issue was that Janet wasn’t sorry enough. That she didn’t humble herself to him enough. Imagine that. A rich powerful white man feeling insulted that a black woman, already an icon at that point, wouldn’t put herself on her knees and offer contrition. Because she refused to play that game. But another now rich, now also powerful white man was the beneficiary of playing the game, a game that has always favoured people like him. F-ck both of them. Because, you know, at some point, you know, Justin Timberlake could have stopped playing that game, or at least helped to change the way that game is played. You can change the power game and apply it more judiciously. It’s what Duana often refers to as “capital” and how you spend it. Has Justin Timberlake ever spent his capital and gone back to what happened and tried to, in some way, stand with and/or – even better – behind Janet? I don’t remember it. Now that Les Moonves has been called out by the #MeToo movement though, now that the risk is even lower for Justin, sure, maybe now he might think it’s safe enough to step up. Justin first and foremost, always. #NeverForget 

But I don’t want to leave it there. I’d rather leave it on Janet and her smile. I wrote about her smile the last time I posted a Janet article, after the release of “Made For Now”. Quoting myself here, like a dick: 

And has there ever been a smile as sweet as Janet’s? God I love her smile. It’s so wide, with limitless possibilities. That smile has been making us smile for over 30 years now. I think maybe we’ve underappreciated it. 

Janet has learned to appreciate her own smile. She used to think it was “like the Joker”. As she tells Laura Brown in InStyle: 

“I would look in the mirror and start crying. I didn’t like that I was not attractive. I didn’t like anything about me. But I wound up falling in love with the small of my back. And then from there I found more things. And then finally realizing my smile isn’t that bad after all.”

Click here to read the interview.

And to see more of that smile: 


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Have a great weekend!

Yours in gossip,