(NEW YORK) — No one knows more about growing up in the public eye than Janet Jackson.
The sister of the late pop legend Michael Jackson went from being an adorable girl on the small screen when she appeared in the sitcom “Good Times,” to being a grown-up head-turner on stage when her music career shot into the stratosphere.
But she’s also spoken publicly about the difficulties of being a child in such a tough business, and in an interview with Prevention magazine, Jackson said she doesn’t want her late brother’s daughter, 14-year-old Paris, to follow the same path.
In the latest issue of Prevention, Janet says she and her niece have talked about it.
“We’ve spoken about the fact that you’re only a child once. I think there’s a time for everything, and now is not the time [to act in films]. I told her I thought she should enjoy being a kid, possibly go to college — or not — but wait till she turns 18,” Jackson said, according to Prevention. “She’s a very tough, smart girl. But it’s a cutthroat industry. I wouldn’t want my child to do it.”
But Paris Jackson has already taken her first steps into the family business. She connects with her fans on Twitter, has told talk show host Ellen DeGeneres that she “sings a little bit,” and is breaking into her real passion — acting — with a starring role in the upcoming animated fantasy film, “Lundon’s Bridge and the Three Keys.”
The film is based on the young adult fantasy book series by Dennis H. Christen.
The movie’s official website says Paris will play heroine Lundon O’Malley in the story in which “sea magic turns a dolphin into a human, a teenage boy into a dragonfly and a loving jellyfish queen into an evil fairy godmother.”
In addition to her thoughts about her niece, Janet Jackson also talks to Prevention about her health and her recent dramatic weight loss.
“I think people really connect with the idea of someone who’s gained and lost weight in this very public way, and also someone who’s an emotional eater. Chocolate, cake, caramel apples — there aren’t many things I don’t love,” Jackson, who is well-known for her significant weight losses and gains over the years, also told Prevention.
But in the end, it’s all about how you feel, she said.
“I honestly don’t even know what size I am,” she said. “Now it’s about looking in the mirror and saying, ‘I feel good. I feel healthy.’”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Daniel Woodruff, KUTV
Lindsey Williams, Deseret News