Shania Twain says women aren’t allowed to be “too pretty or too sexy or too anything”.
It’s likely that most millennial women reading this will have turned up the volume each time Man, I feel like A Woman, That Don’t Impress Me Much and You’re Still The One came on the radio back in the day. Heck, you probably still dance and sing along to them while washing the dishes today.
Shania Twain’s 90s hits were country-pop perfection, with honest, empowering, feminist and fun lyrics. But the musician, who is now re-releasing her breakthrough album, The Woman In Me, as a Diamond edition, has just recalled how she was warned that men and women would “hate” her when she first started out.
Speaking to The Independent this week, she said her label was concerned about backlash, explaining that they told her: “I would be hated by the men because I was too opinionated and too forceful and demanding, and I would be hated by the women because I was being sensually expressive.
“And I thought, well, I don’t believe that’ll be the case.”
Twain went on to become one of the most beloved and successful female artists out there. This proves that women really do not have a problem with other women being “sensually expressive” (but we of ourse already knew this). Perhaps the fact that the music industry has traditionally been predominately male helps to explain this puzzling misconception.
Like Twain says in the interview: “I didn’t see it the same way the industry saw it.”
She continues to explain that country music “has experienced waves of progress and then regression” when it comes to sexism, adding: “There are fewer women being played now than when I came out.”
She says: “You’re not really allowed to be too pretty or too sexy or too anything, expressively, as a woman. I think that’s a very sexist point of view.”
You just need to look at Taylor Swift to prove the progression and regression of sexism in country-pop music that Twain is talking about.
But we have to admit that if there’s one thing we agree they are both way too good at: it’s making music that has helped to define a generation.
Images: Getty, Universal