Shania Twain revealed that her hit song “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” came after years of wishing she wasn’t a woman.

Published by Cel Manero from Global One Media, Inc.

“The song was my way of expressing that I had waited too long to feel good about being a woman,” explained the country singer.

Shania Twain revealed the heartbreaking inspiration behind one of her popular songs.

In a recent interview with The Times, published on Sunday, June 23, the 58-year-old country singer opened up about her traumatic childhood and how it shaped her 1997 hit song “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!”

Twain disclosed that her mother’s second husband, Jerry, subjected her to sexual assault and was physically abusive towards 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 reflected on the poignant meaning behind the popular track featured on her Come On Over album.

The five-time Grammy winner told the media that despite initially feeling indifferent about her gender identity, her physical appearance as a female became a significant factor. She explained how having a curvaceous body led her to establish boundaries early on to avoid drawing attention to herself. During her teenage years, she refrained from typical activities like going to the beach in a bathing suit, fearing exploitation by boys.

However, her perspective gradually shifted over time. She eventually grew weary of suppressing her femininity and embraced it, leading her to write the song “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” She acknowledged a delayed journey in becoming comfortable with her body but emphasized the importance of accepting oneself instead of dwelling on unchangeable aspects.

During the interview, Twain also discussed the underrepresentation of female performers in the music industry. She expressed concern that the lack of visible role models for young girls limits their ability to see themselves succeeding in music. “When you’re a child, you look up to people and see opportunities, but there’s a significant shortage of representation for women in this industry,” she remarked. Twain emphasized that this issue extends beyond sexism to the importance of providing relatable figures who young girls can aspire to emulate.

However, Twain acknowledged the realities of starting out in the music business, reflecting on her own early experiences performing in bars. She noted that while many young women might not aspire to perform in such venues, starting in smaller, less glamorous settings is often a necessary step. “Some bars in Canada had separate rooms for live music and strip shows — not exactly appealing to many girls,” she observed, highlighting the challenges and risks these environments pose. Twain pointed out the intimidating nature of these scenes, where intoxicated men can blur boundaries, raising questions about safety and protection for young female performers.

In another part of the interview, Twain shared insights about her hit song “That Don’t Impress Me Much” from the same album. In the song, she famously sang, “OK, so you’re Brad Pitt. That don’t impress me much.” When questioned about who today’s equivalent of the ’90s heartthrob Brad Pitt might be, Twain mentioned Harry Styles and dubbed him “the new Elvis.”