What is it that empowers you most?
I have some great friends, the kind who remind me who I really am when I’m having trouble remembering.
What is it that you love most about yourself?
My creativity, my intuitive nature and my warped sense of humour.
What makes you feel most beautiful?
Feeling comfortable in my own skin.
Who is your biggest role model and why?
One quality that tends to be embodied by the people I consider role models: they’re willing to make themselves completely vulnerable by speaking their own truth, even in the face of great opposition.
Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
I’m a big fan of music, and especially music by female artists. Some of my favourite cultural heroines are women who push boundaries in both music and art: Patti Smith, Ani DiFranco and Tori Amos. I see Tori Amos’s influence in a lot of the music I adore. When she first broke onto the scene, there wasn’t anyone doing what she was doing, or saying what she was saying. That can be said of Patti & Ani as well. They’re total bad-asses.
“there is a certain kind of freedom that comes from being completely cool with who you are”
If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, because who wouldn’t want to slay their demons… literally.
What is your biggest life goal?
To get to a point where I truly love and accept myself, flaws and all. I think there is a certain kind of freedom that comes from being completely cool with who you are, and being at peace with yourself is the ultimate rebellion in a society that consistently profits by telling you you’re not good enough.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
These days, I’m trying to celebrate all accomplishments big or small, extraordinary or mundane. Today, I’m celebrating the fact that I never take the easy road. I try to stay true to myself, which has sometimes meant going against the grain or speaking up when others would prefer I stay silent. It has meant being brave and taking risks, especially when my first instinct is to run away. It’s not a recipe for a stress-free existence, but I take pride in the fact that I’m willing to push myself outside my comfort zone.
What is your favourite quote?
“Labels are for cans, not people” – Anthony Rapp
“Don’t try to win over the haters; you are not a jackass whisperer.” – Brene Brown
If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
The best thing about high school is that it ends.
What does feminism mean to you?
My feminism has many parts: Having the freedom to choose the life I want. Pointing out that clinging to traditional gender roles holds us all back. Celebrating the strength and power of women. Demanding equality in every aspect of society.
Teri is an Community Outreach Coordinator in Winnipeg, Canada