The most famous fashion failure: what you can learn from the documentary about Janet Jackson

Juliette Morgan
The most famous fashion failure: what you can learn from the documentary about Janet Jackson

The Hulu and FX platforms present a new documentary from The New York Times Presents series. The previous tape from this series was dedicated to Britney Spears, now the focus is on Janet Jackson, and to a greater extent - one of the brightest moments in the entire career of the star. Yes, yes, we are talking about the very scandalous performance of Michael Jackson's sister at the 2004 Super Bowl, when her number partner Justin Timberlake accidentally (accidentally?) he demonstrated Janet's breasts to the whole of America and the whole world live. The documentary is called - Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson ("Fashion Failure: Undressing Janet Jackson").The film, of course, will tell you how Jackson's career developed, but most of the screen time is devoted to the sensational performance with Timberlake. The main reason for the controversy that the incident generated is how differently this episode affected the reputation and career of the two stars and how differently the public perceived it. If Justin continued to rapidly move to the peak of popularity, then Janet faced shaming: the media openly laughed at the singer. And this despite the fact that the artist's chest was visible for only a fraction of a second! So, what is the film about? We have collected some of the most interesting moments.

Janet has faced bullying since childhood

As it turns out, the actress is no stranger to shaming. She has been acting in TV series since the age of 11 and says that even then she felt vulnerable because of comments about her appearance. On the set of the sitcom "Good Times", the girl's breasts were tightly bandaged to make her look less curvaceous. For the same project, she was somehow asked to lose weight. I immediately thought I didn't look good enough,

Janet recalls. According to her, she also got it from the closest ones: the brothers (Jackson had five of them) practiced wit, giving her sister nicknames like "donkey" or "mare". The exposure on stage was "almost" accidental

According to the film, to some extent, "nudity" during the duet performance of Timberlake and Jackson was planned — but something went wrong. Justin was touring Europe at the time, and he and Janet had little time to rehearse for a joint release. Initially, the idea arose that in the finale of the performance Timberlake tore off his partner's skirt and she would remain in one bodysuit. It was supposed to happen right on the line from Justin's hit Rock Your Body: "I bet you'll be naked by the end of this song." Then they decided that the "focus" would be with the upper part of the singer's costume. According to the producer of the show, Justin, Janet and her stylist met in the dressing room before the performance and agreed that Timberlake would pull Jackson's top, under which there would be a red bra. However, it turned out that he pulled the top together with the bra and Janet's breasts were seen by all 140 million viewers. The fact that she was decorated with a silver accessory in the form of a star left most viewers in no doubt that the accident was not accidental.

That very moment was not immediately noticed

According to the creators of the tape, even the producers of the show did not immediately realize what had happened until they were hit by a flurry of calls from the media. Immediately after the performance, Janet hurriedly left the venue, and Justin apologized to the audience for the incident, but said in an interview that "it turned out funny." According to the authors of the documentary, the press then turned against Jackson: everyone believed that she should apologize. In addition, it was her who was suspected that the exposure was rigged. In the end, Janet issued two apologies at once and took responsibility for the embarrassing incident. But then the singer was criticized even more — for the fact that her reaction was not instantaneous. Jackson later admitted in an interview with Oprah: in her opinion, she should not have apologized for what was just an accident.

Jackson's career was under attack after the Super BowlThey say the scandal was so hot that it even led to several dismissals in the team preparing the show. Janet herself was not presented in the best light in the press: the tabloids were discussing her forms with might and main, one article said that she had "absolutely ordinary breasts of a middle-aged woman", in the TV show the star was reproached that she was allegedly no longer at the age to undress on stage (meanwhile, the singer was 37 years old at that time). It got to the point that sales of Janet Damita Jo's album fell, although it had previously made a great start in the charts, radio stations preferred not to put her tracks on the air, and the MTV channel stopped playing her clips. At the same time, Justin Timberlake's career was on the rise, and, according to the position of the authors of the film, he got away with it, distancing himself from Janet and the whole situation. Moreover, in 2018 Timberlake sang at the Super Bowl again, but Jackson never participated in the show again. Many fans of Janet still believe that it was Justin who did the wrong thing in this situation, because he "defamed" a colleague.

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