Singer Shirley Manson thinks women are 'brainwashed from childhood'

Shirley Manson.
PHOTO: Reuters

The 54-year-old singer explained: "Women are brainwashed from childhood to believe that the best years of their lives are when they are hot and sexy. When I hit 30 I do remember believing some weird s***."

The music star recalls feeling the pressure to "tone down the make-up" and stop wearing "unbecoming things".

However, Vivienne Westwood and Dolly Parton's approach encouraged her to reconsider her choices.

Shirley - who is the lead singer of Garbage - told The Independent: "They gave me permission to be myself although the culture wanted to shrink me."

Despite this, the musician suffered another setback when she hit 40.

She shared: "By 2006, I was stepping into my forties and I thought it was all over for me. I told people I was f*****. Female musicians who have been viewed as sex objects don't get a chance past a certain point."

However, her mother's death ultimately proved to be another turning point in her life.

Shirley said: "She had been my support system. She had grown up in an institution [for orphans] until she was five which made her very people-smart and she trained me, in a funny way, to shirk people's desire to make me small.

"She taught me to reach for what fascinated me. Something about losing her fuelled me to continue on my own terms and that was the last jewel she left me as she departed this earth: She drove the little engine in me that helps me do what I love doing."