Shania Twain 'didn't enjoy her femininity' during her teens

Shania Twain "didn't love being female" during her teens.

The 57-year-old singer admits that her life was changed by a group of male friends, who helped to liberate her and ultimately inspired her to write 'Man! I Feel Like a Woman!', her 1999 hit single.

Shania told The Messenger: "When I was in my late teens, I was sharing an apartment with friends. They were all going to college, and I would stay home during the day and write songs. But Thursday, Friday and Saturday, we would all go to the gay bars together.

"All the guys in our group would wear make-up, and they would help me - I didn't know how to wear make-up. I dressed more like a boy. I didn't love being female. I didn't love being undressed by men with their eyes and stuff like that. It just made me uncomfortable, so I down-dressed my body, and I didn't enjoy my femininity.

"But the guys would dress me up, and they would put make-up on me, and we would share this experience together. And then I would go to clubs, and I felt safe there. I could shake my body around and feel good about being female, and it was liberating. I wasn't self-conscious about it."

Shania explained that 'Man! I Feel Like a Woman!' was a reflection of the journey she's been through.

She said: "When I wrote 'Man! I Feel Like a Woman!' I reflected back on how sad it was that it had taken me so long to embrace my curves, and reject the sexism and embrace, for the first time, a confidence in being female. That's why it was such a statement - not just 'I Feel Like a Woman', but 'Man! I Feel Like a Woman!' and I love it and I'm enjoying it and I'm wearing it well."