Shania Twain has said that she used to ‘flatten’ her boobs when she was a teenager to avoid receiving sexual attention from her stepfather.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Twain, 57, said: “I hid myself and I would flatten my boobs. 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.”
Twain went on to say that even after leaving home, she had to deal with more ‘unpleasant’ experiences that left her feeling ‘ashamed of being a girl’.
She went on: “But 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***y to be a girl.
“Oh, it’s so s***y to have boobs.’ I was ashamed of being a girl.”
Twain’s stepfather and mother both died in a car accident in 1987 when she was 22, meaning she had to raise her younger siblings, and took on a job singing at a resort. But the musician added that she felt 'exploited' and had 'no choice' but to meet certain expectations.
She continued: “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. I felt exploited, but I didn’t have a choice now. 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.”
The singer has chosen to bravely speak out about her abuse, telling the Guardian in 2018 that she learnt to ‘block it out’ over the years.
Twain said: “I feel the sexual abuse goes hand in hand with the physical and psychological abuse when it’s somebody you know. I learned to block it out.
“Abusers need to manipulate you, whether it’s before or after, and what I said to myself is, ‘OK, there’s something wrong with this person and that person is not well’.”