In 1986, Janet Jackson released an album that made millions of little girls sing and dance in the mirror, jump on and fall off chairs, beg their parents for Guess Jeans, and finally become honorary Jacksons to any nasty boys that thought their first name was Baby. She wasn’t singing about making people in her life happy, and Janet certainly did not want to copy anyone else. Control is the manifesto of a young woman whose foundations are rooted in being self sufficient and self aware. Her intuition seems to be her guide along dealing with guys she likes, guys she doesn’t like, her faith in herself is completely independent from the security of her family and other people’s expectations. Janet is seemingly concerned with one thing- HERSELF. She holds no one else- a lover, family or friends responsible for the acquisition of her goals and happiness, and does not wish to compromise her beliefs in what she deserves. This album was a Magna Carta for pro female anthems sang by Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Destiny’s Child, TLC, Beyonce, Madonna, Lil Kim, Pink, Keri Hilson, Ciara, Miley Cyrus and countless others. This album was also the first glimpse many young girls would have at what their personal convictions would be in an world that would constantly test them.
The single Control starts the album. Lacking control or later Discipline is the first step to never attaining what you want out of life. Identifying your path and navigating there with tunnel vision should be something that you derive joy from. Becoming completely accountable for your life and what you do gives you the will to follow through with change and developing habits that lead to your goals. No distraction or other people can move you from this purpose if you are willing to take control of you. No one else is responsible for prompting things to happen in your life, this must be overseen and managed by you alone. You must be trusted to do what’s best for you and you must become comfortable with being liable for the obligations you have to yourself to achieve your aspirations. You are an asset, so act with your own best interest. Your daily habits tell you if you are in control or a slave in need of a master to suffice yourself. You cannot aspire for a beach body by gorging fatty foods, you cannot change the world by never developing your ideas. Life isn’t going to just happen to you, take the steps to make it happen for yourself.
Being a beautiful Queen will always attract attention. People will be drawn to your energy and Janet even before blossoming into Ms. Anytime, Anyplace was innately aware of the power of her sexual energy. In Nasty, Janet’s jewelry on dealing with horny suitors is priceless. The respect she carries for herself is not something she permits herself to bargain for affection. The attention she gives herself is far more valuable to her than any attention she receives from men. The body is a temple that Nasty Boys will trash and squalor because they are just as aware as you are that they have no business being there. Nasty boys can not curb their desires for beautiful women and if you submit yourself to these sexual invitations you have turned your temple into low rent housing ran by a slumlord. It’s okay to flirt but never bring home a stray dog. Chances are you are just one of the many that responds to his barks. And you don’t want to have to take a trip to the doctor because of his bite either.
Sharing a relationship is beautiful. Being the only one working on enriching that relationship is not. What Have You Done For Me Lately does not lead your lover to wonder why the Queen has been such a bitch lately. Janet expresses her discontent without being passive aggressive and is assertive in her desire for change. She is not enabling her lovers poor habits by silently keeping her issues to herself. A Queen should always be treated as a Queen and if one is not willing to do that, the Queen should be willing to explore options that best suit her needs. You are not the captain of the SS Titanic, and you are not required to go down with the relationship.
Staying true to what you want in your life even if it seems to lead you away from a “good” thing is what The Pleasure Principle is all about. Walking away from Mr. Right is the right thing to do if the situation does not feel good to you. Often your pretty face will invite people to want you around as an ego boost and a trophy. You are just another accessory to an outfit like the perfect pair of earrings. The feeling of belonging you can get out of relationship should not make you feel as if you are being owned by your mate. You should be sharing your world, not being brought in as a beautiful, mindless statue meant to stand around being pretty. Your own fulfillment of your desires should not take the backseat for someone else’s idea of what you are or should be. The pleasure of materials over substance is a temporary, fleeting thing never to be confused as the real thing.
Attraction and what draws you into a person is something that should not be rushed into. Desires are soo unnatural to not explore, though exploring these desires always has consequences. Let’s Wait Awhile’s sensuality and passion does not dismiss the reality that accompanies starting a sexual relationship with someone you have feelings for. This song almost attempts to suspend in time that magical moment of courtship that is a prerequisite of sex. The forgotten elements of longing and curiosity in this song add to the mystique of the actual acts of sex, and moves it away from being a physical act into a mental, spiritual act. Rushing into sex will cause the most paralyzing of stress because your female body will subconsciously will create invisible bonds and expectations from having sex with this person. Even justifiable anger cannot hold up against great sex with your lover. Think about bonds and expectations you will undoubtedly have by choosing to take a relationship with someone you are feeling to sexual level.
Funny How Time Flies(When You’re Having Fun) talks about maintaining your bearing in the pleasurable moments of life. In love your mind can completely lose itself in the addictive emotions of sharing your body and time with someone you enjoy. Spending time with the apple of your eye cannot interfere on accomplishing daily tasks that lead to your bigger goals. Thoroughly enjoy the time of your lover, but leaving your lover yearning for more of you builds their desire for you much more than always submitting to the passion you share together. Everyone loves a nympho, but rationing your time maximizes the amount of duties you can complete. Instead of having sexy times for four hours, try two. Try experimental places with your lover you can sneak in quickly so you can get back to running your empire. Leaving them wanting more is far better than giving too much at one time.
It is a complete miscarriage of all things right in the world that Janet Jackson is most known for Justin Timberlake whipping out her breasts and flashing them at the Super Bowl. I thought it was highly ironic that Britney Spears, a grown woman with a conservatorship not responsible for herself at all only played selections from Janet’s Control before and after her sets during her 2009 Circus tour. As critics pour thru music playing it backwards looking for hidden messages, I implore you to seek out what Janet was attempting to convey in plain English. Take a look at your life, and once you get the chance just take CONTROL.