Shania Twain Makes Shocking Revelation About Childhood, Detailing Abuse
The singer says she would "flatten her breasts" in an effort to deter stepfather's advances: "You didn't want to be a girl in my house."
One of her biggest hits may have been “Man, I Feel Like a Woman,” but in a new interview, ironically, Shania Twain says she spent a portion of her childhood trying to be anything but. The country singer gave fans a glimpse of her Canadian upbringing in the 2022 Netflix documentary Not Just a Girl, and is further expanding on the abuse she says she suffered at the hands of her “violent” stepfather.
“I hid myself and I would flatten my boobs,” Twain told the Sunday Times. “I would wear bras that were too small for me, and I’d wear two, play it down until there was nothing girl about me. Make it easier to go unnoticed. Because, oh my gosh, it was terrible — you didn’t want to be a girl in my house.”
The 57-year old says dad Jerry was both physically and sexually abusive, but doesn’t go into further details. Twain has said she was forced to grow up fast, singing in nightclubs at the age of 8. At age 22, her parents tragically died in a car crash, and Twain was left to raise her younger siblings — eventually singing in a resort to make ends meet.
Twain says her poor self-image and attitude towards her body, impacted her in every aspect, continuing into adulthood. “Then you go into society and you’re a girl and you’re getting the normal other unpleasant stuff too, and that reinforces it. So then you think, ‘Oh, I guess it’s just s—ty to be a girl. Oh, it’s so s—ty to have boobs.’ I was ashamed of being a girl,” she tells the UK-based newspaper.
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Reaching worldwide success after her breakthrough album The Woman in Me in 1995, did little to quell her feelings. “All of a sudden it was like, well, what’s your problem? You know, you’re a woman and you have this beautiful body? What was so natural for other people was so scary for me,” she explains.
“I felt exploited, but I didn’t have a choice now,” Twain continued. “I had to play the glamorous singer, had to wear my femininity more openly or more freely. And work out how I’m not gonna get groped, or raped by someone’s eyes, you know, and feel so degraded.”
Seeing the iconic singer now, it’s hard to imagine she ever felt insecure. The five-time Grammy winner even recently posed topless for the cover of her single “Waking Up Dreaming,” as previously reported by HelloGiggles. “I am celebrating escaping this horrible state of not wanting to be who I am. And I’m so confident. Now that I discovered that it’s OK to be a girl,” she said. “The unapologetic woman is a very powerful person indeed.”
With this newfound confidence, Twain shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The star recently announced a new album Queen of Me, and worldwide tour for 2023.
“I want to carry a clear message, particularly as a woman, to always remember my power,” Twain wrote of the album, on Instagram.
We hear your message loud and clear, Shania.