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True You

A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself

Contributions by Karen Hunter
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Janet Jackson emerged from the shadows of an already famous family to become one of the most beloved, recognizable, and influential performers in the world—but at what cost?

From the age of ten, when she made her acting debut on Good Times, Janet Jackson was told by Hollywood that she needed to slim down. Her well-meaning brothers, especially fun-loving Michael, teased her relentlessly until she began to believe that who she was wasn’t good enough. It was an idea that no amount of critical acclaim in television and film or, later, international platinum success in music could change.

She developed a self-destructive pattern familiar to so many of us: fear and uncertainty led to bad feelings about herself and ultimately depression. The depression led to overeating, and her yo-yoing weight was painfully obvious in the bright lights of the entertainment world.

It has taken Janet most of her adult life to come to terms with who she is. But she has finally broken free of the attitudes that brought her down and has embraced realistic goals that help her eat better, exercise better, feel better, and ultimately be better. This book is about meeting those challenges that face all of us. With candor and courage, Janet shares her painful journey to loving herself. She addresses the crazy rumors that have swirled around her for most of her life, shines an intimate light on her family, and pulls us behind the velvet rope into her unforgettable career. She also shares lessons she has learned through contact with friends and fans and reveals the fitness secrets she has learned from her trainer. Finally, her nutritionist, David Allen, unveils the wholesome, delicious recipes and lifestyle-changing tips that helped Janet get in shape—mind and spirit, heart and soul.

True You is a call to tune in to your own fundamental wisdom, to let go of the ugly comparisons, and to understand that who you are, the true you, is more than enough.

Photo by Michael Thompson

Janet Jackson is a five-time Grammy Award–winning international superstar. One of the bestselling pop artist in history, she is known for her innovative music, choreography, and social conscious lyrics. The youngest member of the famous Jackson family, she began her career as a television actress and most recently appeared in Tyler Perry's film, For Colored Girls.

© Harry Weinger

David Ritz is a songwriter who has collaborated with stars like Janet Jackson and Marvin Gaye, as well as a renowned ghostwriter who has authored more than fifty books for some of the biggest stars in music: Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Lenny Kravitz, Joe Perry, Smokey Robinson, Don Rickles, and Willie Nelson, to name a few. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Essence, People, Art Connoisseur, and elsewhere. He lives in Los Angeles with Roberta, his wife of nearly fifty years.

More books from this author: David Ritz