What is it that empowers you most?
I am empowered by my ability to take control of what I’m feeling and create something from it. I surround myself with insanely creative people who turn parts of themselves into books, photographs, videos and games on the daily. They are constantly inspiring and empowering me to do the same.
What is it that you love most about yourself?
I love my competitiveness, my drive and even my stubborness. I love that I can be hurt, but that I will always rub some dirt in it and move on. Also, my butt, I love my butt.
What makes you feel most beautiful?
I never feel sexier than when I’m dancing! On the stage, in the kitchen, the car, at my desk, it really doesn’t matter.
Who is your biggest role model and why?
My Grandmother, Mary Wagner never ceases to amaze me. She is kind to everyone (whether or not they deserve it), her time is always someone elses, she has battled, been scarred and continues to completely rock a pair of heels. Somehow she managed to raise a house of four girls and still find time to be a determined career woman. She is everything I hope to be one day. (Plus she looks like Meryl Streep’s more attractive sister.)
Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
Clara Hughes: Not only is she the only athlete to ever win multiple medals at both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games which is hella amazing. She now also works with mental health initiatives such as Bell Let’s Talk and Clara’s Big Ride. For her, success means that she is able to use her voice to reach out and help people, specifically those affected with mental illness the way she was affected by depression.
Misty Copeland: Long before becoming a soloist for the American Ballet Theatre and Under Armour campaign star Misty was told she had the wrong body type for ballet, and frankly at 13, was too old anyway. Nevertheless she quickly became a dance prodigy. She should be the answer inside every girls head when they tell themselves to quit.
If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Samus Aran (the insanely badass chick from Metroid.) She had every trait of a true heroine, plus she still manages to be one of the least sexualized female characters in video games. I first started playing Metroid Zero Mission when I was a 5-foot-tall, flat chested, baggy jean wearing 14-year-old. The fact that the main character was a girl and that she bucked gender stereotypes long before Peach and Zelda ever shook the glitter out of their hair made me feel like maybe I wasn’t totally wrong.
What is your biggest life goal?
I’m going to pull a Beyoncé here and go with “to be happy”. It’s taken me a long time to realize that I need to put my happiness at the forefront of all my goals. If I’m doing something because it makes me feel good then I can’t go wrong.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
Hopefully I haven’t accomplished it yet. Is that a cop out? I think that at this stage in my life my biggest accomplishment was learning that it’s okay to go all out for what you want. And it’s okay to fall down a couple times in the process. I’m learning that only I can define success for myself, it’s not something that can be given. You have to get it all on your own.
What is your favourite quote?
“Show up. Shine. Let it go.” - Danielle LaPorte
This quote is simple and sweet, for me it is drive, openness and self-reflection/self-forgiveness.
If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
Never try to be normal. People are going to spend their whole lives trying to make you feel like you should be less of what you are, embrace it. At least you’re not boring.
What does feminism mean to you?
Feminism means complete equality of the sexes. As a feminist I have every right to pursue and obtain anything that a man can. Access to education, choice in careers, ideas about sex, and society should be the same for both sexes.
Alex is a Communications Coordinator in Winnipeg, Manitoba.