Shania Twain Says Hit Song 'Man! I Feel Like a Woman!' Came After 'Many Years' Wishing She Wasn't a Woman

"That song was me saying I have waited too long to feel good about being a woman," the country singer said

<p>Leon Bennett/Getty Images</p> Shania Twain in February 2024

Leon Bennett/Getty Images

Shania Twain in February 2024

Shaina Twain revealed the tragic truth behind one of her popular songs.

In a new interview with The Timespublished Sunday, June 23, the country singer, 58, opened up about her abusive childhood and how it influenced her 1997 hit song “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!”

Twain said that her mother’s second husband Jerry would sexually assault her in addition to being physically abusive to her mother.

"That song was me saying I have waited too long to feel good about being a woman. For many years I shied away from it or wished I wasn’t a woman. I was a shy, insecure female — not person," Twain said about the popular song featured on her Come On Over album.

<p>Denise Truscello/Getty</p> Shania Twain in May 2024

Denise Truscello/Getty

Shania Twain in May 2024

Related: Shania Twain Accidentally Sings into Drumstick Instead of Her Mic Onstage: 'That Was Hilarious'

The five-time Grammy winner continued to tell the outlet, "My brain said, 'I don’t really care what I am,' but my body got in the way — the female got in the way. I’ve got curves so I had to set boundaries and guards very young. I did everything not to bring attention to them."

She felt as though she "missed out on the joy of being a female" and said she never "once went to the beach in a bathing suit" as a teen.

"I knew that boys were going to take advantage of me in one way or another," she added.

However, her feelings eventually changed. "But then I became tired of acting like I’m not a female with curves, so I wrote 'Man! I Feel Like a Woman!' I guess I was a late bloomer in getting comfortable in my own skin, but after a while you just have to stop picking away at the things you can’t change," the singer said.

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In the interview, Twain also reflected on the lack of representation of female performers in the music industry. "When you are a child you identify with people and see possibilities, but there is a lack of representation for women in this industry. It’s a lot more than just sexism, it’s about representation — for young girls to go, 'I want to be her,' you need to make that feel obtainable," she said.

But she went on to say that "a lot of girls" don’t want to perform in bars like she did in the early days of her careers, noting "you have to start somewhere."

"Some bars in Canada had a room for live music and another for strip shows — not a lot of girls are attracted to that," she added while mentioning the risk venues as such pose for young women. "That scene is more intimidating for a girl because men are drunk and boundaries get blurry. How can you attract women to that? How do they feel safe and stay protected?"

Related: Shania Twain Launching 'Come on Over' Vegas Residency Show, Plans to Showcase Her 'Obsession' with Fashion (Exclusive)

In another segment, Twain reflected on her hit song "That Don’t Impress Me Much" from the same album, in which she sang, "OK, so you’re Brad Pitt. That don’t impress me much." When asked who would be a modern day equivalent of the ’90s heartthrob, she named Harry Styles and called him "the new Elvis."

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Earlier this month, the singer teased swapping Pitt for Styles while she performs the song during her June 30 set at the Glastonbury Festival in England.

She said on the BBC podcast Sidetracked with Annie and Nick, "I would say Harry Styles . . . and it sings good too."

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.

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