Many of us (women and men) deal with or have dealt with the trials of having low self-esteem once in our lives. But just imagine having to deal with it while being a childhood star. Well, Janet Jackson’s new book invites readers on a journey into the icon’s life as she dealt with this issue.

Here’s an excerpt:

Breaking Free

In 1977, at age ten, I was cast on the TV sitcom “Good Times.” My character was Penny, an abused child in desperate need of love. I really didn’t want to do the show. I didn’t want to be away from my family. And being on television only added to my negative feelings about my body.

Before production began, I was told two things: I was fat and needed to slim down, and because I was beginning to develop, I needed to bind my breasts. In both cases the message was devastating — my body was wrong. The message was also clear — to be successful, I had to change the way I looked.

I didn’t even know what it meant to “bind my breasts.” At first I was frightened. Were they talking about some kind of operation? For a girl so young, this was confusing. Naturally, I kept the confusion to myself.

“It means we need to tie down your breasts so you appear flat-chested,” the wardrobe woman explained.

So, each day of shooting, I went through the ordeal of having wide strips of gauze tied across my chest to hide the natural shape of my breasts. It was uncomfortable and humiliating.

I never discussed this with anyone. Never said a word to my parents, sisters, or brothers. I kept it all hidden inside. I didn’t know what to do with my feelings of fear and embarrassment. So I hid them. I was ashamed of them. After all, I was an actress, and my job was to please others — writers, directors, and producers — and to entertain the audience. There was no room for personal confusion.

To read the rest of the excerpt, check out MSN.

Janet Jackson’s book, “True You”, is in stores now.

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