Shania Twain Says Nude Album Shoot Was A Way To ‘Start Loving Myself’ After Being Abused By Stepfather

Shania Twain posed in the nude for part of her upcoming album's artwork, a move she says was a way of reclaiming her body after suffering sexual abuse.

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When shooting the artwork for Queen Of Me, Shania Twain shed more than just her clothes. She ditched her fear and the trauma of growing up in an abusive household. “I did a whole shoot as part of the album artwork where I’m completely nude. And it was very — it was really scary,” Shania, 57, said when sitting down with Hoda Kotb during the Thursday (Jan. 5) episode of the TODAY show. “Doing the nude photography, it’s really about saying, ‘I was abused as a kid.'”

“My stepfather would fondle me up on the top and make me go without a shirt, and I was already maturing,” continued Shania. “This cringy horrible wanting to escape being in my own skin. I’m just in a moment now when I’m happy in my own skin – it’s the only skin I have so I don’t have a choice – otherwise, I’m going to hate myself for the rest of my life. It’s time to start loving myself in my own skin and really embracing that and not being embarrassed by it or shy [about] it. This is who I am.”

Shania has been open about her abusive past. In 2011, she recalled seeing her stepfather, Jerry Twain, plunge her mother’s head into a toiler. “I thought he’d killed her,” Twain said, per ABC News. “I really thought she was drowned, or dead, or that he had just smashed her head in and she was never going to wake up.” Shania also detailed the sexual about in an interview with The Sunday Times, saying she would “flatten my boobs” to avoid drawing her stepfather’s attention.


“[I’d] wear bras that were too small for me, and I’d wear two, play it down until there was nothing girl about me,” she said. “Make it easier to go unnoticed. I hid myself. Because, oh my gosh, it was terrible – you didn’t want to be a girl in my house.”

Earlier in the TODAY interview, Shania spoke about how she posed nude for the Queen of Me artwork, including the art for her “Waking Up Dreaming” single. “I don’t really love my body,” she said. “I don’t love looking at myself in the mirror with the lights on or looking in the mirror at all at my body. So I said, ‘listen, I’m going to face that fear.’ I’m going go into that photoshoot and I’m going to put fashion aside … It was so empowering.”

“I’m so glad I did it. I was petrified, but once I flicked that switch and dove into it, I’m like, ‘I’m all in.’ I committed 100 percent,” continued Twain. “And I wasn’t thinking about what anybody thought. I didn’t think about who was in the room. This is about me. This is my moment to really embrace myself in vulnerable moments. “It had to be vulnerable, where I felt that I was facing a fear of being judged, or being maybe even laughed at, at being embarrassed. But it was only empowering. It was really fabulous.”

Shania’s Queen Of Me is out on Feb. 3, 2023.