Home Celeb Watch Janet Jackson Now Promoting Nutrisystem… And Now I Flip Out

Janet Jackson Now Promoting Nutrisystem… And Now I Flip Out

by Erika Nicole Kendall

So… this happened:

Janet Jackson is in control.

The 45-year-old singer, now the new face for the Nutrisystem diet, told “Good Morning America” that her body image issues started when her brother, late pop idol Michael Jackson, teased her about her weight.

She wrote in her book “True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself” that her brother liked to makes jokes about “her butt being too big.”

“Being the baby of the family, you get teased,” she said. “I carried that through my adult life.”

Upon joining the cast of the 1970s comedy “Good Times,” the wardrobe woman told her that they would have to bind her chest because her bust was developing too rapidly.

The next season, she was told to lose weight.

She admitted that her yo-yoing weight was due to seeking comfort in ice cream, chips and cookies when she was feeling down.

“Sometimes even healthy food,” she said. “But too much.”

Jackson said that even when flaunting those enviable abdominal muscles on album covers and in videos, she still felt bad about how she looked.

“I could very easily pick myself apart,” she said. “That’s what I did.”

Her lifelong struggle with food and self-loathing has inspired her help others, she said, and is one of the reasons she chose to work with Nutrisystem.

“It’s a matter of maintenance and keeping the weight off,” she said. “My success plan was to feel good about myself and be healthy.”

And….well… I just don’t know.

I guess we’re supposed to presume that this body:

…comes from eating this:


Once I saw this, I immediately thought back to Denene at MyBrownBaby, who wrote the following:

Years ago when she had a new album out and was still in love with Jermaine Dupri and her brother Michael was still in the land of the living, I interviewed Janet Jackson for a feature story in Essence. On stage and in magazines she’s an absolute glamour doll but let me tell you this: in person, Janet, sans the stage make-up, perfectly-coiffed hair and uber sexy, body-skimming costume, is breathtakingly stunning. With a body that makes you want to quit food, eat air, buy lifetime stock in Spanx and spend every waking moment in somebody’s gym.

But by the second day of our interview—this time at her posh apartment overlooking Central Park—I confirmed what I’d always suspected about Janet and other celebrities famous not just for their talent but their beautiful bodies: They look the way they do—“perfect”—because they pay people to keep them that way. Sure, celebrities have to have some level of commitment in watching what they eat and exercising, but Janet admitted that she hated working out and employed a full-time trainer whose sole job it was to literally drag her out of bed and make her exercise. She acknowledged, too, that she had a nutritionist and chef on hand to design and prepare all her meals and snacks—a revelation punctuated by a dude who was on hand to personally give her milkshakes and vitamins practically every hour during our two-day interview.

Just…. that’s just something to think about when you see thse commercials for Mariah/Janet/Jessica Simpson hawking their prospective products. Not that Janet’s body is unattainable – it is – but that it’s hard freaking work, so hard that she’s employed a staff to help her accomplish it. If you think she got it by eating Nutrisystem – because, let’s face it, the idea is that you’ll think back to “in-season” Janet, not just Janet-in-the-commercials – then you’ll be sorely mistaken.

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Slim Jackson December 19, 2011 - 11:23 AM

Great point about celebs employing teams of people to help keep them looking the way they do. They sink thousands of dollars into their appearance so that they can make thousands (millions even) more endorsing a product, service, etc.

I do wish I had a team though. Especially during the hibernation months.lol

Erika Nicole Kendall December 19, 2011 - 11:54 AM

SERIOUSLY. Someone to drag you out of bed when it’s all nice and warm? I can barely be dragged out of bed to take my kid to the bus!

NativeNuYorker December 19, 2011 - 9:20 PM

Trust-her trainer is buffed and fine as wine. Anyway, I truly believe that for women that were not only obese but obesity runs in their family, they also had help by surgery. I don’t believe for a minute that Jenifer Hudson is a size 1 from Weight Watchers. When you combine trainers, nutritionists and a nip here and there then you get “the look”. It’s still not easy but it’s easier than those of us without money or time go through.

bpurpleb001 December 19, 2011 - 11:24 AM

All that processed food can’t be good for you. No thanks Nutri-System.

FitFatima December 21, 2012 - 12:29 AM

I was thinking the same thing about all that processed food. It cant be good for you.

Serenity December 19, 2011 - 11:49 AM

So Janet and all the other thin celebrities are “Job Creators.” That’s good for the economy…..

Cynthia December 19, 2011 - 12:05 PM

People always forget that fact. My Mother sees a new fad diet and is ready to try it. She even wanted to do the Biggest Loser. But what she doesn’t pay attention to is the team hired to help with that. If it’s just you and you alone, mentally, emotionally, and physically, you have to be all in it. If you’re lacking in one, you might stop the diet all together and make friends with them cookies and cakes again.

Nicole December 19, 2011 - 12:05 PM

We all know how this will end…same as with Oprah & Bob Green..yes ill take some delicious pkg food over a personal chef.

Dorothy Green December 19, 2011 - 12:21 PM

I am just amazed at number of celebrities claiming to have lost weight while eating that horrid food. We should be aware that these people are lying for the highest dollar. I have yet to meet anyone who found food from diet companies appetizing. Janet,Mariah,Kristie and the lot did not depend on those pay per plate meals. I make sure to never purchase celebrity diet food infested programs. There is an abundance of free weight loss info on this site. I am certainly going use all free weight loss info available. Celebrities endorse any program that pays the asking price. We should get away from idea that I need to buy a weight loss program, when there is an unending amount of free diet info on the web and your local library. Let’s make our business to support BGG2WL .

Fa December 19, 2011 - 1:09 PM

I had these same feelings when I heard that she’s doing this Nutrisystem thing. Immadiately I thought Nutrisystem AND what? I feel such an annoyance when I see these kinds of advertising schemes with celebrities b/c the essentially prey upon people that have little to no knowledge about health and fitness. Also, I am almost sure those little plastic containers and packages have few real ingredients i.e. that’s not clean eating. I love Janet, but this isn’t the best.

Carnisha December 19, 2011 - 2:49 PM

I read this and immediately thought I wonder if I could have that stomach if I could afford to hire a team.

And my answer is absolutely. But that group of people is not the group that will be buying this product. I think a law should be passed that in order to endorse a product the person has to show evidence of them using it.

Seeing that picture of Janet next to her endorsement I can’t deny that I didn’t think about using the product even though I know better. My thoughts were that if janet endorses it then it has to be a decent product.

Tee December 19, 2011 - 2:58 PM

You and I share similar views on this. I posted much of what you said last week on twitter.

When she lost 60 pounds in 2008, it was through a meal delivery service but that service is NOT Nutrisystem. It’s some extra fancy $100 a day meal delivery service based out of LA (I won’t name the company.)

Nutrisystem won’t get my dollars.

Erika Nicole Kendall December 19, 2011 - 3:00 PM

I think I know what you’re talking about – I think J. Lo was reportedly using that one, too. And it is LITERALLY $100 a day. I remember looking for it. LMAO

Rainy Day Diva December 21, 2011 - 9:25 PM

I tried that one and I really liked it a lot. It’s expensive because it’s real food. But still it wasn’t $100/day, if we’re talking about the same one.

Michaelle December 19, 2011 - 3:24 PM

Wow. To say Nutrisystem doesn’t make you lose weight is a bit extreme. It’s true that just eating their meals and not exercising won’t make you look like Janet, but I personally know about 4 people who lost a substantial amount of weight from the meals. Out of the four, only one worked out. Losing weight comes mostly from the food you eat, and exercise can make you lose even more. I do agree, however, when celebrities are endorsing things like Nutrisysem, they need to specify that the way they look is not solely based on a product alone. When they don’t do that, people are definitely being mislead.

Erika Nicole Kendall December 19, 2011 - 3:32 PM

Listen. People “lose weight” every day, and they even sometimes do it without working out. That’s not what we’re talking about here.

Janet is someone notorious for being in phenomenal shape when she’s “in season,” and her taking on a product like this means she’s connecting her history to it. I’m crying foul, plain and simple.

If you want to spend $300 or however much on garbage food for a month, so badly processed that you’re most likely to swallow up half your supply in half the time it’s meant to last, then go for it. People who want fit bodies and pursue that program will have hurt feelings, and people who want to learn how to live without all the programs and bulljive will know better and be disappointed in her.

Charey November 14, 2012 - 5:03 PM

There is that teeny tiny fine print at the bottom of the Nutrisystem commercials that says “Diet works best with exercise”. But it size 2 font. :-/

Jessica December 19, 2011 - 3:29 PM

I feel like janet could’ve done better as far as her selection in a health product to promote weightloss in others. Come on nutri system?

Erika Nicole Kendall December 19, 2011 - 3:34 PM

Everyone’s scrambling for songstress spokespersons – Mariah, Jennifer Hudson, Jessica Simpson, and now Janet. I think it’s interesting. What WW did with J-Hud easily helped them dominate. Janet and Mariah are arguably bigger names, so I’m wonder what that’ll result in for 2012 (especially with “weight loss season” coming up soon.)

Cherished December 19, 2011 - 4:11 PM

I hate to be one of those people that brings race into the conversation. But sometimes that Black formula marketing executives come up with just doesn’t work. Ok, we have a black president…lets find a black leader from our party Mr. Cain or Mr. Steele- NOT!!!

Ok, we have amazing success with Jennifer Hudson so let find our African-American woman to represent…uh…let’s see…let’s try Janet, Mirah.

We as consumers are much more sophisticated than that. I would do their work out routines but I would not buy any products that Janet or Mirah are marketing…(Although Mirah has a cute shoe company on HSN).

Ricki December 19, 2011 - 6:31 PM

My coworker used to have this crap delivered to the office. She said the food tastes foul, especially if you’re not used to eating processed food. She regretted not taking her doctor’s advice to go weight watchers

Ricki December 19, 2011 - 6:34 PM

Sorry…hit publish too soon!

I didn’t know weight watchers was the only program that tries to teach you to change your eating habits without relying on processed food and also tries to address emotional eating.

Andi December 19, 2011 - 6:55 PM

PREACH ON! People need to learn, understand, and realize that the power to control their health, nutrition and yes, weight loss, is in their reach, in their kitchens, and in the food that the choose to put into their mouths. It’s when we put our power in the hands of corporations who shill out celebrities and delude ourselves into thinking that packaged products could actually replace the good whole foods God gave us that we end up in the yo-yo dieting failure spiral.

If I had to eat that packaged crap every day, I would have to have someone force me to get up in the morning to do anything. That “food” looks like a total nightmare.

Shawn December 19, 2011 - 10:19 PM

I was also a little miffed to see that she’s the spokesperson for Nutrisystem now BUT the photo used is misleading. THAT body didn’t come from Nutrisystem. That’s an old photo. If you saw her on Good Morning America last week, you’d see that she looks great but nothing like the buffed, toned body in that pic. But unfortunately many folks will think that all she does is pop open a few packages of goo each day to look the way she does.

Thembi December 19, 2011 - 11:05 PM

That commercial is kind of infuriating. I believed that Michael could fly more than I believe that Janet is eating nutrisystem food, not because it doesn’t work but because the stuff is nasty and soooo processed that anyone who can afford otherwise would never go through with it. This girl at work did the program and explained how she was stockpiling the lunches for later or something and replacing them with fresh foods. That’s when it hit me – why would you SAVE non-food for later and eat fresh food instead…while paying for the non-food? Oy.

Leonard Campbell December 20, 2011 - 10:39 AM

So ………………NO on the Nutrisystem product……..right?

Erika Nicole Kendall December 20, 2011 - 1:09 PM


Dawnya December 20, 2011 - 11:59 PM

I call BS on Ms. Jackson. If I had a team…I could look like that too. Instead I have to bust my butt to make it happen. It has taken me an entire year to lose 50 lbs.

BTW…I love your meal plans.

milaxx December 21, 2011 - 12:33 AM

I think this deal is all about the paycheck pure and simple. I’ve read other interviews about Janet having nutritionist/chefs and trainers on the payroll and her body image issues are just as well documented. Now I have no doubt that many celebs do all kinds of crazy things to get and stay in shape, but for whatever reason I’m not buying Janet using nutra-systems. The said thing is people who use these programs never really learn about how to eat properly; what nutrients your body needs and the foods that supply it. Even weight watchers which I used to like because years ago when I lost 50 pounds on it, they were about food and exercise, not counting points. Sadly people will see Janet and Mariah and think this is the way.

donna_b December 21, 2011 - 11:07 AM

Boom bang pow. There it is. People never consider the mechanics behind celebrity fitness. If it were as simple as nutrisystem or weight watchers…all those women using it wouldn’t yo-yo.

She refers to yo-yo dieting and then says nutrisystem helped her to stop yo-yoing. Get real.

Thanks for sharing Erika.

Healthy living December 21, 2011 - 2:42 PM

I cant believe she is endorsing them! It has to be about the money. Or better yet the fact that she all the meals are pre-made and packaged into individual portions is what she is used to since she has a chef and people around her to make sure she does the right thing.

At the end of the day though is Janet really a fitness inspiration? I mean her body looks great when she has to tour or do a movie but her down time physique is quite telling. The fact that she can balloon 50lbs should be a sign that what she is doing is not right. I have lost 60+ lbs myself and it would be quite hard to put that back on eating the way I do now.

People often look out the end result (her body) instead of the process. As much as I love Janet she is no fitness motivation to me.

Erika Nicole Kendall December 21, 2011 - 3:09 PM

Hmmm… sounds like we need to differentiate between a body inspiration and a fitness one? I’ve never looked at it this way, but I think that’s in order.

Selinda December 22, 2011 - 12:09 PM

I haven’t read all of the comments posted here, but I see a flip side to the coin-not that I think I would ever do Nutrisystem. However, another side could be that she does want to promote something that she feels can help women who can’t afford the “team” to still reach their weight loss goals. It would be better if she promoted clean eating but to each his own. Of course, I’m sure the pay was nice, but she truly may feel that Nutrisystem is a good program.

Paula December 23, 2011 - 10:37 AM

I can believe J-Hud counts WW Points. I can also dig deep and fathom the idea of Mariah chatting with a JC counselor – weekly. But Janet eating NS meals? Naw, no, nope, nuh-uhn. Somebody lyin’.

I had a very short stint back in 2007 with the “program.” And it was a disappointing waste of money. Disgusting doesn’t describe that overtly processed mess. It was one step above prison food. Umm, don’t ask me how I know that, lol.

I’m never against anyone getting a check, but this is pushing it.

mommabrown December 23, 2011 - 8:45 PM

i agree with everything you are saying here. the whole celeb endorsement thing makes me roll my eyes big time.

and just today i saw NS foods at big lots. i was reading the ingredients, cringing and wondering how people could eat that stuff.

but i am curious, how do you and you and everyone that commented feel about every day people endorsing a product. I’m a blogger that endorses a weight loss plan (not nutrisystem) and I’m curious how people really feel about hearing it from a ‘real’ person vs a celeb.

mommabrown December 23, 2011 - 8:46 PM

oh geez. lots of typos in my post. i’ll admit it, i got into the eggnog tonight 😛
happy holidays!

uhpharm01 March 26, 2012 - 1:07 AM

J-Hud may had used Weight watchers, but she had the gastric bypass surgery.

thesinglebrother June 5, 2012 - 5:03 PM

I just started hiring my own team.
Gym Fees
2 trainers (1 mma, 1 fitness)
and a nutritionist…..

It aint cheap, but worth it if you can swing it.


Marti July 16, 2012 - 10:52 AM

i have to agree. i rolled my eyes when Janet came out with NutriSystem but was more bothered when Jennifer came out with Weightwatchers. Actually, I was disgusted. what all of these celebriteis fail to say is in part of losing dramatic weight through these systems, is that they have personal trainers and chefs, working with them on a daily basis, travelling with them. they fail to mention that due to their finances they can afford to go to a posh gym or have expensive equipment at their side wherever and whenever they go.I do beleive that weightwatchers and other systems can work, but not at that rate and not without exercise.

Edie July 26, 2012 - 11:21 AM

I always knew that these stars and famous people HIRE people to help them lose weight and keep it off. I know no Nutrisystem or Weight Watchers can get you the abs and arms I see them rockin! I’ve seen pics of Rihanna on the treadmill in a bikini, so I KNOW they have to work out and eat right just like the rest of us, and if that’s not working fast enough for them, they always have the option to get something cosmetically altered for them. I also know Janet J, is like 4 FEET NEGATIVE 3 INCHES tall too, and what her body looks like fat or skinny, I will NEVER look like her, I’m 5 foot 8 and my healthy looking weight (3 kids ago) is 190lbs. I have to admit though, the only famous women whom I Google their diet and exercise plan is Kim Kardashian *squinches face* Beyonce, (SOMETIMES) AND Laura Govan, (Matt Barnes sis-in-law, Gilbert Arenas wife) these famous women’s bodies more closely resemble mine, whether it be curves, boobs, booty, or thighs. Great article…

TK June 16, 2013 - 10:40 PM

Yeah…. a whole bunch of processed foods… makes sense. I wish they wouldn’t mislead people like this with their advertising.

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