The Heartbreaking Way Janet Jackson Got Teased By Her Brother Michael As A Child

To this day, Janet Jackson still thinks the world of her brother Michael Jackson — despite the heartbreaking way he used to tease her.

In 2019, when "Leaving Neverland," a documentary that tackled the experiences of two men who made some serious allegations against the King of Pop, was released, the "All for You" singer didn't waste any time defending her sibling. "It [Michael's legacy] will continue," she told The Sunday Times. "I love it when I see kids emulating him, when adults still listen to his music. It just lets you know the impact that my family has had on the world." Speaking with Harper's Bazaar in 2009, Janet also described Michael as someone who brought "light and love and happiness" to the world. She said he's "got so much love, and so much heart, and so much power through his music" and called him "the greatest entertainer there ever was." And as an older brother, Janet shared that Michael was "very protective" of her.

But while the Jackson siblings had forged a deep bond, there were sides to their relationship that were less than ideal. Janet shared that she had engaged in typical sibling banter and bickering with Michael, but it came to a point where some of his words had cut too deep and created a lasting impact on how she viewed herself.

Michael Jackson contributed to the development of Janet Jackson's body image issues

Janet Jackson rarely shares personal details about her life, but in the documentary "Janet," she took fans on a deep dive into her past. As noted by Entertainment Tonight, Janet discussed the struggles she faced growing up, including body image issues that stemmed from the teasing she received when she was a kid. And as it turns out, her brother Michael Jackson was one of the people who used devastating words to make her feel ashamed about how she looked.

"There were times when Mike used to tease me and call me names. 'Pig, horse, slaughter hog, cow,'" Janet recalled. "He would laugh about it and I'd laugh too, but then there was some­where down inside that it would hurt." And while she tried hard to brush it off, all the teasing messed with her head. "When you have somebody say you're too heavy, it affects you," she added.

Janet took her insecurities well into adulthood, telling InStyle she had to go through therapy to finally learn how to love her body. "At first, I couldn't find anything. 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," she confessed. "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."

Were Michael and Janet Jackson ever close?

Michael and Janet Jackson's relationship was complicated, but Janet dished that, once upon a time, they were two peas in a pod. She told Harper's Bazaar that at one point in Michael's career, she served as his stylist because he didn't know how to dress. "Mike was very simple," she shared. "When I was 14 years old, I would shop for him. I washed his clothes, cleaned his room. When Mother would go out of town, she'd say, 'I'm leaving you in charge. Take care of Mike.'"

Even when they both made it big in the music business, they always made it a point to see each other amid their busy schedules. "We had so much fun back then. We would organize our days together... We were so busy, but we'd make time."

Sadly, it all came crashing down when Michael achieved worldwide success. After he reached peak superstardom, Janet admitted that their relationship was never the same again. "I remember really loving the 'Thriller' album, but for the first time that's when I felt it was different between the two of us, that a shift was happening," Janet said in her documentary. "He would always come in my room and we'd talk, and this particular time, he came in my bedroom. Neither of us said a word to each other, and then he got up and left. That's the time Mike and I started going our separate ways. He just wasn't as fun as he used to be."