At this point in her life, Janet Jackson knows who she is and what she wants.
The 52-year-old singer graces the cover of InStyle‘s Beauty Issue. And in a wide-ranging interview with editor in chief Laura Brown, the living legend discusses everything from her life as a single parent to how she learned to love her body after spending a lifetime in the limelight.
Jackson spent much of the last year on the road with her son, Eissa Al Mana, 20 months. Because of her jam-packed schedule—Jackson’s State of the World Tour ends Oct. 2 in Atlantic City—she has him on a tight schedule. “My son, Eissa, wakes me up in the morning around 7:30 or 8. I change his diaper. Breakfast is prepared, and he has that. I’ll go back into my room. That’s when I answer my mail. Because overnight I get a ton of mail,” she says. Afterward, “I’ll wash my face, brush my teeth, climb back into bed, answer more mail, make my calls, and around 10 a.m. I’ll have my breakfast, and my son has his second breakfast with me. He sits on my lap, and we eat my breakfast together. Most of the time I’ll start getting ready at 11. So, I will have showered and everything by then. I’ll either work out or try to work out at the venue.”
The “Made for Now” singer exercises with celebrity trainer Paulette Sybliss to stay fit—mentally and physically. “It’s very important. First of all, it helped me with my pregnancy. When I was in New York, I was walking and doing stairs every day. The doctor said as long, ‘As you’re not feeling any pain or having any problems and it’s not too much for you, more power to you.'” Like most people, Jackson “had major moments of slacking off,” as well as “moments when I was going for it. So, it depends on where I am or what I’m doing at that time in my life.”
“There have been times when I’ve called Paulette and said, ‘I’m not going to make the workout,'” says Jackson, who prioritizes sleep. “She knows how crazy my life is, and she understands it. Sometimes I have an emergency call and I’ll say, ‘I really want to work out, but I don’t know how long this is.’ She’ll say, ‘If you want, I’ll wait for you.’ And other times when I’ve been so mentally exhausted, we’ll just take a two-mile walk and talk, and it feels so good.”