Fierce Females: Charlotte

Charlotte

What is it that empowers you most?
I think what empowers me most is that feeling I get when I force myself to do something I’m afraid to do. It doesn’t have to be anything major, it could be something silly like jumping off a diving board! but it makes me think “oh wow I can actually do that” and that builds momentum and allows me to do other things. Pushing through that fear is an extremely empowering feeling.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
I think what I love most about myself is my tenacity and work ethic. When I decide I’m going to do something I give it 100%.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
What makes me feel most beautiful is physical activity. I’m a very physical person and exercise makes me feel great. Nothing makes me feel more confident than hitting a perfect spike in a volleyball game or lifting a heavy weight at the gym. I love feeling aware of what my body can do.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
I would have to say my dad. He and I are different in a lot of ways but I really admire the way he balances work and family and he always keeps everything together through the tough times. No matter what he always put his kids first. He’s also smart and funny and extremely patient.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
Definitely Amelia Earhart. I think people forget how hard it was at the time for women to do what she did. Plus I’m afraid of flying so I’m impressed on that level as well. Also Sylvia Earle. She’s an amazing marine biologist and I’m blown away by her dedication to marine life and the health of our seas.
 

I want to seize every opportunity that comes my way and have a happy and fulfilling life before it’s over.

 
If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Ok I’m going to out myself as a huge nerd but I’m going to say Captain Janeway from Star Trek Voyager. First off, I want to go to space in a time where it’s totally safe and normal. Second, she’s an amazing authority figure and commands respect like no one else. It can be hard to identify with female characters on TV and in movies because they are so often one-dimensional sex objects. Janeway however, incredibly interesting and I’d love to spend a day in her Star Trek onsie.

What is your biggest life goal?
My biggest life goal is probably to die knowing that I made the most of my life. I’ve had enough ups and downs over the years to know not to get too hung up on specific goals so I think short-term and extremely long-term. I want to seize every opportunity that comes my way and have a happy and fulfilling life before it’s over.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
Even though I’m not practicing at the moment, I think graduation law school and getting called to the bar was probably my greatest accomplishment. It felt good to finally finish something I had worked so hard for. It made me feel like I can do anything I set my mind to.

What is your favourite quote?
“This too shall pass” It’s use is twofold. I repeat this to myself when I’m experiencing pain but also joy. It’s a nice reminder that all things, good or bad, are temporary. You need to either breath and get through it or breath and enjoy it.

If you could tell your 12-year-old self one thing what would it be?
I would tell my 12-year-old self that it’s ok to try things that other people think are stupid. Don’t get too hung up on what others think of you and don’t let yourself be pigeonholed.

What does feminism mean to you?
To me, feminism means that men and women are equally welcome in the world.  That means that women and men should feel equally welcome in all jobs, geographical locations and social settings and that they should each enjoy equal benefits thereof.

Charlotte is the owner of Hogwash Bath & Body in Winnipeg, Canada
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Fierce Females: Charlotte

Music: Milo Greene

Milo Greene

From Los Angeles, California, Milo Greene is an indie-folk band, with four lead singers. Band members Robbie Arnett, Graham Fink, Andrew HeringerMarlana Sheetz and Curtis Marrero on percussion. The band has released two albums, the more folky of the two is self titled album Milo Greene (2012) notable tracks are “1957” and “Silent Way”. Control (2015) took a turn towards indie-pop and was released earlier this year, must listen tracks are “White Lies” and “Heartless”

In the song “White Lies” Marlana has a strong voice and it stands out, I also want to shout out to the drums in this song subtle but I would miss them if they weren’t present. Have a listen below, it won’t disappoint!

Time won’t lie / I’ve suspected this for too long / I’m done trying / To convince you I’m worth holding on

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Fierce Females: Nicole

Nicole

What is it that empowers you most?
I love feeling like a capable, independent woman. Sure, I still live at home (I’ve been in university for 5.5 years, and I have 3.5 to go!), but I was raised to take care of myself. It was never my goal to meet a rich man who can also lift heavy things for me! I am instead empowered by my education and future career which will allow me to be independent; I am empowered by my physical strength and endurance; I am empowered by my integrity.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
As someone who has spent most of her life on self-improvement, this is a tough question! However, I guess I can say that is exactly what I do love about myself–I work hard to do well at the things that I love, because I love them.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
This is a tricky question for me, as it is for most women. As someone who struggled for too many years with disordered eating and self-image, I am all too aware of my love-hate relationship with my body. But it is honest of me to say that I feel most beautiful when I am dirty and makeup-less–after a hard run, ideally in a bit of mud too! It is then that I feel physically capable, and valued for it, rather than valued for my body and makeup.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
I always struggle with “role model” questions. Not that there aren’t great female role models out there, but I suppose I would simply rather not completely identify myself with someone else. We’re all unique, and we’re also all flawed. Perhaps it would be fairer to say I find role models for individual aspects of my life; for example, when I ran track, my role models were my teammates. Some of them had such a hardworking drive to excel, but also knew when to listen to their bodies and take a break (this is extremely challenging for distance runners!). They had the right perspective about competing amongst school and friends, which was refreshing to be around.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
Cleopatra! Margaret George, one of my favourite authors, wrote an amazing autobiography finally depicting Cleopatra as someone more than Rome’s mistress. She is instead described as a woman of fierce integrity and sophistication, a hallmark female in an age of patriarchy.

“You were valued by others long before grades, times or appearances mattered.”

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
This is a toughie! But I think I have to say that if not Cleopatra, Pocahontas (the fictional, Disney version). Who wouldn’t want to run around in the woods singing great songs all day with your pals, with some John Smith action to boot?

What is your biggest life goal?
My life goal is to find ways to incorporate all the loves of my life: music, sports, medicine and, of course, my friends and family. I find that as I am slowly forced out of the pseudo-adulthood I call university, I am being pushed to concentrate my life in one area–my career. But physician burnout is all too real, and I strongly believe I’ll be a better doctor (and better person) if I am able to continue doing other things I love. How can I preach health, yet not be healthy myself?

What is your biggest accomplishment?
Some would say my biggest accomplishment so far is getting into medical school, but I would have to disagree. I think my biggest accomplishments are to be found in running. As a slightly chubby kid, I loved reading, singing and acting–I was the least bit an athlete, especially compared to my superstar siblings. However, in junior high I discovered I loved running and cross country skiing. Although hardly a natural, I worked terribly hard (to the point of several stress fractures, which are not recommended!) to achieve my goals. No, I never won CIS nationals, but I won my own personal championship by pushing myself to reach my potential.

What is your favourite quote?
I guess this isn’t necessarily a real quotation, but I always liked the phrase “don’t limit yourself”. When I was in high school and a competitive cross country skier, my coaches asked us to all find a mantra or phrase to use when we were really bagged mid-race. I chose: “don’t limit yourself”. I find it still applies to my life, as it’s always tempting to self-limit and give up, but I’ve always been amazed by what I have achieved every time I kept going. This also requires getting over the fear of failure, a difficult task for most of us! Who knew I would run that time? Who knew I would be in medical school? Who knew I would still find ways to sing regularly? If I had limited myself back then, I certainly wouldn’t know it either.

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
You were valued by others long before grades, times or appearances mattered. You are still valuable now, to the core, and now it is up to you to value yourself, always, as the dressings of grades, times and appearances will fade away.

What does feminism mean to you?
Feminism means forging your own path towards your ideal destination. Other people can come along for the ride and help you along the way, but they are not to steer you away from your own path.

Fierce Females: Nicole

Music: Shred Kelly

Shred Kelly

With a different spin on folk music and energy to spare Shred Kelly has become one of my new favourite bands. From Fernie, British Columbia, Canada this group of five is modernizing folk music. The band consists of Tim Newton (Vocals, Banjo, Cello Banjo, Guitar, ukulele), Sage McBride (Vocals, keyboard), Jordan Vlasschaert (Bass, Acoustic Guitar), Ty West (Electric Guitar) and Ian Page Shiner (Drums)

According to Spotify their most listened to track is “The Bear” off of their second album In the Hills (2012). I really enjoy “Start Again” off of their third album Sing to the Night (2015). There is just something very cool about the track, I can’t exactly put my finger on it but the combination of the more “dance” drum and the plucking of the banjo are an interesting combination. From their music I can tell that this is a band I won’t miss at the 2015 Winnipeg Folk Festival.
 

She came in like a storm across the great prairie skies / Promising to use her mind to make them realize / That the roots that were laid weren’t as strong as they had thought / She was a person though the writing said she’s not.

 

 

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Fierce Females: Pamela

Pamela

What is it that empowers you most?
Confidence. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t claim to have a lot of it by any means but I have learned after a lot of years of not feeling confident, that you truly can fake it till you make it. If I’m feeling negative about myself of my abilities, I make a conscious effort to tell myself that I can, I am good enough and I will.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
I love that I can make people feel good. I pride myself on being a good friend and a good hostess. There’s nothing better than having a friend over when she’s having a bad day and being able to make her feel better with a glass of wine and a few snacks. I love making people laugh and smile and I love that I can do that, even if it might just be because I’m a goof and people seem to like it.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
I feel the most beautiful when I feel healthy. Exercising and eating healthy and just taking care of myself overall just makes me feel good and in turn, makes me feel beautiful!

Who is your biggest role model and why?
Definitely my mom. I am watching my mom go through the hardest time in her life right now and every day I am amazed by her. Her positivity, and her ability to be joyful continue to inspire me every day. She’s an amazingly strong woman and always has been. Aside from the fact that she has had a successful career working for IBM, MLCC and now HP, she has always put her kids first. I only hope to be the kind of mother and person she is some day.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
I think Mindy Kaling is pretty damn heroic. She has broken so many barriers and done it all with humour and by staying true to herself. Not only is she a part of an underrepresented minority in entertainment but she’s a real, live woman and she owns it. I encourage everyone to read her book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). It’s funny and so wonderfully Mindy.

I also really, really love Taylor Swift more than I like to admit. As someone who works in social media especially, I’m fascinated by her use of the social platforms to interact with her fans. Social media truly allows us to communicate in a way we never have; before social media, celebrities could have NEVER communicated directly with their fans like she does. She’s so nice, humble and truly appreciative of her fans – the people who got her to where she is now. Check out what Taylor Swift did for a few of her fans for Christmas or as it was called, “Swiftmas”.

 

“My biggest life goal is to look back on my life and know that I did all the things I wanted to do”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Does Kim Kardashian count as a fictional female character? I’d just like to get a glimpse into what it’s like to be famous for being famous. Plus, I want access to her wardrobe and I want to see what it’s like to be part of that crazy family, Bruce Jenner aside.

What is your biggest life goal?
I want to live a completely and totally fulfilled life. I want to travel, become accomplished in my career and become a mother someday. My biggest life goal is to look back on my life and know that I did all the things I wanted to do, know that I took chances and pushed myself out of my comfort zone.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
I would have to say finishing CreComm (Creative Communications program at Red River College), working really hard for a few years and then landing my dream job at Great-West Life. Anyone who’s been through the program knows that before you start CreComm, former students and instructors tell you about all the things you’ll be doing. Things like, completing a project that is so huge, it takes almost a year to complete, performing stand-up comedy and doing a live-hit on camera. These are things that I said, no way, there’s no WAY I’m doing any of that. And yet, here I am. I did them and they helped me get to where I am today.

What is your favourite quote?
I love Dr. Suess quotes and it’s hard to pick just one but if I had to, I’d pick this one:

“Be who you are and say what you feel. Because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind” – Dr. Suess

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
I would tell myself the same thing I tell myself every day now. I would tell myself, you are good. You can do anything and you don’t ever have to compare yourself to others. I struggled a lot with confidence and self-worth growing up and I think it held me back from realizing my full potential, especially in school.

What does feminism mean to you?
The understanding that gender inequality is deeply rooted in our society – recognizing this inequality and fighting against it is what feminism means to me. Almost every stigma, societal norm and media message we consume are deeply rooted in gender inequality or marginalizing of women and minorities. I’m a feminist because I believe it’s NECESSARY to recognize, acknowledge and then teach our children that that’s all it is, that these messages and understandings aren’t TRUTHS, but simply constructs created by the oppressors.

Pamela is a Senior Communications Specialist in Winnipeg, Canada
Connect with Pamela: Twitter

Fierce Females: Pamela

Music: RURA

RURA

I’ve started to familiarize myself with some of the line up for the 2015 Winnipeg Folk Festival so for the next couple months I will likely be featuring bands from the line up. First up is RURA, they are a five man band from Glasgow, Scotland made up of Jack Smedley (Fiddle), Steven Blake (Bagpipes & Whistle), David Foley (Bodhran & Flute), Adam Holmes (Guitar & Vocals) and Adam Brown (Guitar). They had me at bagpipes, I love me some bagpipes and two great instrumental tunes for bagpipes by these strapping fellas are “Oran nan Mogaisean” and “Viva” off of their studio album Break It Up (2012). Watch for their new album Despite the Dark coming out in April 2015.

I love traditional music, call me a nerd but I was a ballerina and grew up listening to classical music and to this day I love it. I think that’s why I love the bagpipes and that celtic sound because it’s traditional and it has a passion and a culture behind it, I love that. If you want to hear some vocals I would highly recommend “Mary” and “Allegory”, you can hear their beautiful, beautiful accents.

Oh, Mary come and rest your bones / open your curtains and windows / my heart is heavy as a stone / and i don’t know much but i know this feels like home

 

 

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Fierce Females: Breanna

Breanna

What is it that empowers you most?
I feel most empowered when collaborating with people in creative settings. I love hovering over a roll of trace and madly scribbling ideas with a design team— teaching international students how to dougie whilst repping the “stank face”— painting murals with inner city children and watching their faces light up with each brushstroke— I live to ignite that spark in others. Architecture, dance and art have been my favourite catalysts

What do you love most about yourself?
I love my ability to discover latent potential in anything, from abandoned objects to dilapidated cities. I refuse to look at the world as a static, impervious place. With imagination, there is always room for positive change.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
Dancing. Any place, any style. There is nothing quite like getting lost in a song and trusting your body to explore the extents of the rhythm.

Who is your biggest role model?
My biggest role model is my nana. She has experienced loss at unfathomable levels her whole life, and remains the most selfless person I know. Her patience is unwavering, and her faith and love for her family, indestructible. She is also fluent in six languages [self-taught]. Oh, and she is by far the best cook ever.

In addition to my nana, I want to take this moment to celebrate all of the incredible people in my life:

Here’s to my dad, who taught me how to hold a hammer, and the value of hard work. He never fails to remind me of my strength when I feel down.

Here’s to my mom. Words cannot describe the extent of her love. I am proud to have inherited her passion, emotional dynamism and zest for life.

Here’s to my siblings, for enduring all of my [continually] weird phases, and having my back no matter what… even provinces apart.

Here’s to my grandparents, for spoiling me with food, stories and warm hugs.

Here’s to my best friends, for the dance parties, hysterical antics, and heart-to-hearts over bottles of wine.

Here’s to my brilliant, goofy boyfriend, who supports my wildest ambitions and loves me unconditionally.

Thank you all for making me who I am.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
I want to address all the female STARchitects out there… not the “Zaha” types per se, but the women who juggle stellar careers, raise families, and simultaneously make time for themselves. You are living evidence that we do not have to choose one or the other to accomplish great things. In my eyes, you are true heroines.

 

“my biggest life goal is to make a positive difference in the world.”

 

If you could pick one fictional character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Arya Stark from Game of Thrones. She is tiny, clever, and fiercely independent. AND she has her own sword. So badass.

What is your biggest life goal?
In the cheesiest sense, my biggest life goal is to make a positive difference in the world. I want to find what I am most passionate about, push it to the extreme and share it with others. I want to make a hefty dent in the development of my hometown, Winnipeg, Manitoba. I want to inspire at least one person who is experiencing self-doubt to realize their own strength. I want to share my life with loved ones. I want to travel the world and design spiritual spaces and places of healing. Lastly, when my time comes, I want to know that I lived my life to the fullest for the good of my community, without regret.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
Graduating from my Bachelor of Environmental Design studies in architecture… or perhaps more importantly, recovering from 4 consecutive years without sleep, living out of the trunk of my mercury sable and the inevitable downward spirals from critique after critique.

I am proud of myself for taking time to work, for rediscovering favourite past times, moving to a new city and pursuing my masters degree. I am proud of myself for taking risks, maintaining important relationships, and forming new ones.

What is your favourite quote?

“What if?” – Jae Sung Chon

“Love wins. Love always wins.” – Morrie Schwartz

“Sometimes it’s the people no one expects anything from who do the things no one expects.” (The Imitation Game)

And because I am a Harry Potter fanatic:

“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.” – Albus Dumbledore

“Nothing like a nighttime stroll to give you ideas.” – Alastor Moody

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
Stay weird. Wear artsy hats and sweatpants. Dance your heart out. Do not waste your energy on those who do not respect you in return. Four years of braces will be worth it, I promise. Find inspiration in something small every day. Trust yourself and always push the limits.

What does feminism mean to you?
Feminism is the destruction of the stigma that women are lesser, demanding equal opportunities and respect for all.

Breanna is a Habitat Visionary and Space Planner in Vancouver, Canada

Fierce Females: Breanna

Music: Of Monsters And Men

Of Monsters And Men

I fell in love with Of Monsters And Men back in 2012 when I was checking out bands that were performing at Sasquatch! Festival that year. The song and video for “Little Talks“, off of their first studio album My Head is an Animal, was so different and captivating that I needed to know more! They are a five member band from Iceland made up of Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir (lead singer/guitarist), Ragnar “Raggi” Þórhallsson (co-singer-guitarist), Brynjar Leifsson (guitarist), Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson (drummer) and Kristján Páll Kristjánsson (bassist).

After the release of their first album we got another taste of their sound with “Silhouettes” on the Hunger Games: Catching Fire Soundtrack and since late last year they have been hinting at new music. It was confirmed last Wednesday that they would be releasing a single this week, yesterday they graced us with “Crystals” accompanied by a lyric video featuring the happiest man alive mouthing the words. i forgot how happy their music made me, Nanna’s voice is incredible and those drums! Their new album Beneath the Skin is set to be released on June 9th and the deluxe edition includes 15 tracks.
 

Cover your crystal eyes / And feel the tones that tremble down your spine / Cover your crystal eyes / And let your colours bleed and blend with mine

 

 

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