Country singer Shania Twain has detailed the horrible sexual abuse she experienced at the hands of her stepfather as a child in a new interview.
Twain, 57, first opened up about the traumatic experience in 2018 and has since spoken out about the experience in multiple interviews to help other survivors.
In a new interview with the US Today Show, Twain talked about how posing nude for the cover of her new album, Queen Of Me, has helped her move on and come into her own skin.
Watch Shania Twain’s interview above.
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“My [stepfather] would fondle me up on the top and make me go without a shirt and I was already maturing,” the singer revealed. “I was just [feeling] this cringy horrible wanting to escape being in my own skin.”
The That Don’t Impress Me Much hitmaker went on to say that though she found the nude photoshoot incredibly “scary”, it helped her to come to terms with a lot of negative thoughts of herself and her body.
“I’m just in this moment now where I’m happy in my own skin – I mean it’s the only skin I have,” Twain said. “I don’t have a choice, otherwise I’m going to hate myself for the rest of my life.”
“So it’s time to start loving myself in my own skin and really embracing that and not being embarrassed of it or shy of it. This is who I am,” she added.
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In the past, Twain has talked candidly about her troubled childhood, and the unstable nature of her family dynamic.
Growing up, Twain’s family fell into constant financial trouble, with her mother and stepfather struggling to make ends meet and support their five children.
As well as being abused as a child, and regularly going without food and electricity at home, Twain had to get over a tragic loss at the age of 22, when both her mother and stepfather were killed in a traffic collision.
During her Today Show interview, Twain also spoke of how she copes, having been faced with so much adversity in her life.
“It’s sort of a double-edged sword, because there’s elements of going through all of those difficulties that make you stronger… but on the other hand, you develop insecurities,” she said.
“Insecurities like, ‘if I don’t take care of myself nobody will’, you can’t really rely on anybody else. You feel more alone in the world and there’s an anxiousness that comes with that – a vulnerability,” she said.
Twain said that though she doesn’t often reflect on her past, the aim of her new album is to do just that, and to learn to love herself.
“Queen Of Me is about loving who you are. I’m my own royalty. I’m the boss of me, and I’m responsible for the decisions I make,” Twain said.
“I’m responsible for what I say, for what I do. It’s a statement of self-confidence that I’ve grown into more over the last few years.”
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800respect.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.
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