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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Janine Yaqoob

Shania Twain embracing her body aged 57 and says plastic surgery don't impress her much

She's been performing on stage since she was eight years old and her empowering anthems have made her a global music star.

So it comes as a surprise to learn Shania Twain has been plagued by self-doubt throughout her career, especially when it comes to her appearance.

The Queen of Country – who is now a judge on ITV talent show Starstruck – toyed with the idea of changing the way she looked.

But Shania decided plastic surgery didn’t impress her much and now the 57-year-old is embracing her body, flaws and all.

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Shania Twain has been popular as a judge on ITV's Starstruck (Guy Levy/REX/Shutterstock)

“I was freaking out inside but nobody knew it,” she said. “Now, I look at myself naked and I like the honesty about myself.

“There were times I did like turning the lights off as all I could see were the imperfections so I said, ‘OK, how can I face this and get this to a point where I accept it?’

“So I did a nude photography session to find a more healthy and realistic perspective on myself. I thought, ‘I am just going to force myself through this’.

It is really hard out there and everything is against us, but it is about being healthy.

“I say you should look in the mirror and be fine with that. I am only going to get older and saggier – if I hate myself now then what state am I going to be in in five or 10 years?”

Shania didn't always love the way she looked (DAILY MIRROR)
The star was self-conscious as a teenager because of her big breasts (WireImage)

Self-conscious Shania, whose hits include That Don’t Impress Me Much and Man, I Feel Like A Woman, is the best-selling female artist in country music history.

But growing up on stage made her feel self conscious about her developing body. “When I was a teenager, my boobs got so big,” she recalled.

“I could not stop them from bouncing so I had to strap them down and wear two bras and loose clothing.

“I just did not want these boobs and I thought I wanted a breast reduction but they settled down. I thought, ‘It is a good thing I did not do that. This is how I am supposed to look’.”

The Canadian singer had a difficult childhood. Her parents often struggled to make ends meet and food was scarce at home.

The singer took a break from her career after she got Lyme disease (Guy Levy/REX/Shutterstock)

It meant Shania started singing at bars when she was just eight in a bid to help pay her family’s bills.

When her mum and stepfather were killed in a car crash in 1987, Shania had to help raise her siblings.

It was around that time that she started seeking solace in her music. “I was way too young with way too many responsibilities and I grew up way too fast,” she told the Happy Place with Fearne Cotton podcast.

“As a child, I did not have someone to save me from a lot of things so you learn to find your own strength.

“I was forced into finding it too young but I have this key and I can unlock my courage deep down there somewhere.

“I could find reasons now to be in pain but I choose not to in my emotions. It is all about mind over matter.

The star appeared with Harry Styles at Coachella last year (Getty Images for Coachella)
Shania and her husband Frédéric Thiébaud (Getty Images for ZFF)

“I self-medicate with songwriting. When my schedule does not allow me to write, I then start to feel it.”

Shania says she still turns to music when things get tough. “Music, for me, is medicinal,” she said.

“I never write anything as an album, I just write for my own therapy.

“Writing music is like a meditative thing for me, to jerk myself up and lift my spirits. If I write a lyric that makes me smile then I know I am on the right track.”

In 2004, Shania took a break from music but it wasn’t until years later that she revealed she’d had Lyme disease and dysphonia, which had affected her iconic voice.

But she returned with new music in 2011 and last year, she announced her long-awaited new album and tour, which will see her perform in the UK later this year.

Shania, who has son Eja, 21, with her ex-husband, producer Robert Lange, says it wasn’t easy to get over her previous health troubles.

“I am not someone who bounces back all the time,” she said.

“Sometimes I can get caught longer than I want to in a dark place but somehow, I climb or snap out of it.

“I think ‘resilient’ is a word that describes me very well… you have to recognise that you are feeling down but at some point, you have to get out of it and find strength to carry on with a good attitude. I am not someone who gives up and quits.”

Shania’s UK fans were thrilled to hear she would be spending a lot of time over here this year.

As well as her forthcoming tour, Shania is enjoying being part of the panel on ITV’s Starstruck, in which teams of superfans go head-to-head to impress Shania and her fellow judges Adam Lambert, Beverley Knightand Jason Manford.

Shania, who is married to Nestlé executive Frédéric Thiébaud, told how she hit it off with the other judges and show host Olly Murs straight away.

“I love them!” she enthused. “Everyone is so lovely. They’ve been very welcoming, complimentary and there is such a great mutual respect among all of us – a real camaraderie.

“Adam’s wardrobe… he is so stunning. I look forward to that every day.

“Jason has this fabulous humour and I enjoy bantering back and forth with him and Beverley is just very sisterly and warm.”

Over the years, Shania has rubbed shoulders with the great and the good and her phone book is packed full of numbers for her famous friends. But not all of her celebrity encounters have gone to plan.

“My most memorable dinner was with Oprah Winfrey,” Shania recalled.

“But the moment she started about religion, it all went sour.

“Everyone says, ‘Don’t talk about religion or politics’ and there was no room for debate as Canadians love to debate so I had to change the subject.”

Shania says she enjoys spending time in the UK though and is looking forward to living on this side of the pond in 2023.

“It’s very much a sister culture for me, coming from Canada,” she said.

“It doesn’t feel foreign in many ways – I would drink tea in Canada! – but we swear more in Canada so I curb that a little bit when I’m over here. I always feel very at home here.”

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