The Collected Mutineer Interview | SFC September

Hello lovelies! Sooooo, we are very close to the end of SFC September and I am sad….but today I have an interview with The Collected Mutineer, who is a contributor on The Collective like myself. She is so cool and I’m excited for you all to get to know her!


Tell the readers a bit about yourself.

Writer by day, superhero by night! Well, sort of. I have one too many academic degrees, and no job to speak of—unless you obsessing over celebrities and TV shows, of course. I’m a travel nerd, photography fan, and bookworm. I read too much fanfiction than is probably healthy. I’ve lived in three countries, and spent more summers in Spain than in California. I enjoy a good cuppa. And here’s a confession: I never took down the enormous Orlando Bloom poster on the back of my childhood bedroom door.

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What do you think is the greatest strength you have, and how do you bring that out in the work you do?

Do eating and sleeping count as a strengths? According to my overlords, it’s confidence (and cat whispering). I think that a lot of people view confident women as bitches, when really it is just a woman acting the way men act every day. As an ambivert (someone who is both introverted and extroverted), I often push myself to be more confident than I am naturally. I make myself ask questions and be bold. I force myself into situations that I know will help me grow, such as moving 6000 miles away to study in London. I think that this type of confidence can come across in the way that I write, in the way in which I address issues, and in the questions that I ask the people around me. I can only hope that a little of this comes across in my work for The Collective, as well as my other projects.

What do you “geek out” over?

Anyone who has read any of my posts for The Collective knows that I love all things Tom Hiddleston, BBC Sherlock, and Game of Thrones (okay, basically everything that most nerds currently love). But off the beaten track, I geek out over all sorts of weird things. I love old movies, historical trivia, and cooking shows. I get excited over costuming and make up for films, and part of me thinks that I should have studied something completely different in college. I think my two biggest “geeking out” things, though, are film scores and literature. I also love to read cookbooks, dictionaries, and baby name books. Etymology is a weakness.

How do you express your femininity on a daily basis?

I don’t always wear dresses and makeup, but I do care what my hair looks like. Obviously gender isn’t tied to how long or short one’s hair is, but I have always favored big “feminine” curls. If I have time in the morning, I like to make sure my hair is loose and flowing with a bit of a spring to it. I often feel like Jo in Little Women, in that my hair is my one true beauty! I feel empowered when my hair is rockin’ it.

Do you find you are treated differently when you act more feminine? As if you can’t be strong and powerful?

Unfortunately, yes. And I often get a double dose of that when people hear my Hispanic last name. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked if I’m more passionate in bed than non-Hispanic women, or if I know how to cook like a good little wifey. It makes me so sad to hear these stereotypes.

Who are your biggest female role models? How have they helped shape who you are today?

My mom is definitely one. She loves stereotypically “feminine” things, and even majored in Home Economics. (Yes, once upon a time, that was a college major!) She would have loved to have stayed home and been a housewife, but went out and worked to help put food on the table. She has always encouraged me to do what I love, not what others want me to do. Another would have to be Lucille Ball. I grew up watching I Love Lucy reruns, and fell into awe from the time I could process what it meant to be funny. Lucille was brave in so many ways. Thanks to her insistence that her real-life husband Desi Arnaz play her TV husband, she changed the way Americans viewed Hispanics. She is also had a huge influence on the role of the female comedian, and the role of women in TV and film industries. Did you know that she was the first female head of a production company?

How do you deal with people you can’t like things “because you are a girl”? Have you encountered this?

Oh, I get that all the time. When I was young, it was because I liked cars, legos, and bows and arrows. Now, I hear it from men who find out that I like superheroes and soccer. I usually try to rise above it, and not argue, but sometimes I relish putting those men in their place. Once, back in 2012, I wore my Real Madrid jacket to the class I was teaching. Before I could even begin the class, a young man in the front row asked if I was wearing my boyfriend’s jacket. I said I wasn’t, that it belonged to me. He laughed, and asked me if could name the team captain. I looked at him with a straight face and said, “Yes, I can. His name is Iker Casillas, and he’s the goalie. I can also name the other members of the current team, if you need a refresher course in Spanish futbol.” He never challenged me again.

What advice would you give to young women who are afraid to express who feel like they can’t be a strong female?

Be yourself. “Feminine” or not, you can still be strong. Femininity does not equal weakness. There will be haters out there who don’t understand you, and that’s fine. Don’t define yourself by other people’s expectations and outdated standards. You can never make everyone happy, and there is only one solution to that: be happy with yourself first, before all things.


I swear, everyone at The Collective is an actual, real life blogging unicorn. Thank you so much, Mutineer for being a part of this series. If you enjoyed reading this post, please give it a like! You can read more from the Mutineer (oh, and me….and the Collectress) over on acollectivemind.com.

Till next time,

Katie

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Sam Maggs Interview | SFC September

Okay folks. This is one of the last interviews for SFC September and we are ending it with a bang. At the beginning this series, I reached out to one of my role models. My heart was POUNDING while I wrote the email and I thought, there is no way she will respond. WELL she did, and I am so excited to share my short and sweet interview with Sam Maggs, author of Fangirl’s Guide To The Galaxy.


Tell the readers a bit about yourself.
I’m the author of The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy, the host of the Cineplex Pre-Show, and a freelance writer and televisioner.

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What do you think is the greatest strength you have, and how do you bring that out in the work you do?
I think it’s sticktoitiveness. It can be easy to feel downtrodden in a non-traditional industry; there’s no direct path to success. You just have to keep creating and keep putting yourself out there.
What do you “geek out” over? 

Right now I’m in a huge Dragon Age and Mass Effect phase. I can’t get enough.

 

How do you express your femininity on a daily basis?
I like to dress nerdy but with a cute twist! Clothes from places like Her Universe and We Love Fine are the best.
Do you find you are treated differently when you act more feminine? As if you can’t be strong and powerful?
Absolutely! I find that just being any kind of lady and walking into a video game or comic book store, people can pre-judge you or treat you differently. But if you ever walk into a shop and that happens, walk right out – there are tons of shops with Valkyries (female comic shop employees) who will welcome you.
Who are your biggest female role models? How have they helped shape who you are today?
Felicia Day and Amanda Tapping and Hayley Atwell are the best. I admire their eloquence and entrepreneurial spirit and the way they speak up for other women in the industry.
How do you deal with people you can’t like things “because you are a girl”? Have you encountered this?
For sure! I just don’t talk to them anymore. They don’t deserve my time.
What advice would you give to young women who are afraid to express who feel like they can’t be a strong female?
You’ll be a million times happier if you accept yourself and love what you love. There are great communities of women online and IRL just waiting to accept you!

I am fangirling SO HARD right now! Thank you, Sam, for being a part of SFC September! It was so lovely to interview you for this series. If you want to see more of Sam, you can do so on her website sammaggs.com

Till next time,

Katie

 

T.

Zoe Foster Interview | SFC September

Hello lovelies! So we are nearing the end of SFC September, but before this series comes to a close, I have a few more interviews for you. Today’s interview is with Zoe Foster, an amazing woman I met through the Beautiful Bellavistas. I’m so excited for all of you to be able to get to know Zoe at the same time that I get to know her. I can’t wait to hopefully collaborate with Zoe again on something in the future, but for now, here is her SFC September interview!


Tell the readers a bit about yourself.
I am an adventurous introvert with a Big Vision for myself, my family and the world at large. As a writer, Life Energy Alchemist and yoga teacher, I am passionate about empowering women to live a vibrant, healthful and truly magical life – and I believe everyone has the capacity to do this, whatever their situation!
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What do you think is the greatest strength you have, and how do you bring that out in the work you do?
Firstly, I am super resilient. I am pretty amazed at the things I’ve pulled through in life, especially in the last few years alone. I think this has the ability to inspire others and I’ve been blessed with the opportunities in my life and work to share my story, and what I’ve learned, to help other women begin to reclaim their own power.

Secondly, I can see the bigger picture very clearly – for individuals as well as for our current psychosocial welfare. This motivates me to help people who feel STUCK move towards their own bigger vision. In my work I essentially share the details of the most comprehensive, empowering model of personal growth I believe there is, and give practical, down-to-earth tools and techniques for each and every client to begin that journey for themselves, all the while providing the support and inspiration they need.

 

What do you “geek out” over? 
Chocolate! Real food and making delicious things in minutes with very basic, wholefood ingredients. Travel, adventure and picnics. The lives and work of famous creators. The interplay of art, science and ancient philosophy and how this is realized in our everyday lives, from moment to moment and decade to decade. The fallibility of “realism” versus the intangible and incomprehensible miracles of “possibility”…
How do you express your femininity on a daily basis?
I have always aspired to be a kind of 1930s heroine: strong, passionate and graceful. Above all I believe in being graceful – not just in body, but in mind and spirit. Being “graceful” for me extends to my attitude towards others, and how I treat them. I feel this concept embraces a lot of values which are dwindling in today’s society, and it is part of my mission to reinstate and reinforce this, for the greater empowerment of us all.
Externally, I love to wear styles of clothing which really mirror my personality. I’m pretty eclectic and would say I’m a kind of vintage boho lady, with a bit of circus girl thrown in. I particularly love petticoats and cotton/lace items and anything very vintage-fitted-and-floaty! On a daily basis, however, I keep things pretty plain overall. Although I love make-up and jewellery, my illness really taught me to appreciate the bare me underneath it all. Often I still don’t like what I see in the mirror (and how my illness affected my skin and hair), but the more I go out without make-up (or with very little e.g. just eyebrows!), the more comfortable I feel. I believe this is true femininity – embracing who you are, inside and out, and living from that centred and expanded place.
Do you find you are treated differently when you act more feminine? As if you can’t be strong and powerful?
I think generally the idea of acting from a more heart-centred stance is becoming more acceptable. However it can still be seen as weak or ineffective, and I believe it’s our job as strong women to patiently move through this 80s-powersuit-wearing masculine energy and show just how much strength, determination, and power one can really have – regardless of gender! – from this space.
I actually don’t come across this situation very often now, because I’ve learned not to feel disempowered when faced with that masculine energy. I love to see how I can displace that energy with my own, heart-centred approach. Plus, when you’ve used these tools to survive a horrendous illness without medical help, get through an emotionally traumatic late miscarriage and near-fatal haemorrhaging, and naturally home-birth 2 extremely healthy babies against all odds, it’s easy to stand strong in your femininity, whatever anyone says!
Who are your biggest female role models? How have they helped shape who you are today?
Oh goodness there are so many worthy of mention! But certainly over the last couple of years my biggest influence has been Elizabeth Gilbert. She embodies all of the values I hold so dear, and she’s also incredibly real, down-to-earth and kind of goofy! I love that – it shows that we don’t need to lose our personality in the slightest when we focus on personal growth; instead, it allows us to become MORE of who we really are, and stand proud in that!
How do you deal with people you can’t like things “because you are a girl”? Have you encountered this?
Not really, I have to say, but then I’ve ALWAYS been a tomboy at heart. I’ve always had a go at everything, from mending plugs to pushing our camper van out of a ditch (whilst pregnant!). My husband knows that if something isn’t getting done quickly enough for my liking, I’ll go and do it myself! I’ve always been like this, and it has infuriated the men in my life! But that’s just who I am – no limits. Take me as you find me!
I remember travelling through Eastern Europe alone when I was 18 and people kept telling me to be careful. While I totally agree with their well-meaning (especially with a growing daughter who is clearly following in my footsteps!), I think there are much more empowering ways to express this. What about showing your enthusiasm, excitement and support, giving first class tips for success (rather than “how to avoid being raped or mugged” – ugh!) and sharing ideas, inspiration and positive personal stories? This is what we need a LOT more of in our culture if we are ever to feel empowered as women.
What advice would you give to young women who are afraid to express who feel like they can’t be a strong female? 
Just trust yourself. Easier said than done, I know, but the more you tune into yourself, the stronger that inner voice gets – and begins to drown out the voice of ego, fear and doubt. Often you need to stretch yourself, to deliberately take bold steps, to begin to stand tall in your own power. And know that failure is a totally normal part of your journey! It doesn’t have to be a negative experience, but simply a stepping stone to your own greatness.

Never give up. Honour yourself. Learn to move with grace and patient determination rather than pushing hard. Know that you can be anything you want to be, as long as it’s in alignment with your core self. This is where your unwavering strength comes from! Thanks so much Katie!


How cool is she? I loved having Zoe a part of this series, and I hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you did, give this post a like!
If you want to hear more from Zoe, check out her podcast The Alchemist’s Notebook. It is AH-MAZING. Okay, I’m done fangirling now.
Till next time,
Katie

Isabelle Rizo Interview | SFC September

Hi friends! So it’s always fun when you get to interview someone who is actually one of your role models. I have the pleasure of doing a couple of those this month, starting with this lovely lady. I met Isabelle Rizo at a convention just outside of Chicago, and have been lucky enough to chat with her and be part of her Facebook group, the Beautiful Bellavistas. She is such a lovely lady, who expresses her femininity while running her own business. I am so excited to introduce you to Isabelle with this interview.

If you enjoy this post, please like it!


Tell the readers a bit about yourself.

I’m a wanderlusting lady that likes to explore cultures, amazing design, psychology, the singularity, and all things human experience.

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What do you think is the greatest strength you have, and how do you bring that out in the work you do?

My greatest strength is seeing the future vision and the best possibility in others. I give others the strategy to become their true and big awesome selves through teaching, consulting, and making the big future vision clear.

What do you “geek out” over? 

Public Relations, Communication, Psychology, Social Media, Travel, Outer Space, Symphony of Science, Branding, Design, Film, Web Analytics, and Personal Development.

How do you express your femininity on a daily basis?

I think this depends on how you define femininity. For me it means being delicate, intentional, holding space, being creative, being loving, and honoring the self.
I do this in my life and my business.
Honoring self means putting up boundaries and respecting those boundaries for yourself.
I saw a great quote that said “In a list of things that you love, how long would it take to say you love yourself?”
I love dresses. I love lipstick. I love self-expression. I like doing things that feel good. I cry and I’m not ashamed (I used to be). I allow myself to feel deeply and love fully. I am proud of the fact that I can carry the possibility of a life inside me and also create life around me.
I think masculinity is the go-getter attitude, the pushing through the hard stuff, and the competitive edge.
I prefer the collaborative edge 😉
Do you find you are treated differently when you act more feminine? As if you can’t be strong and powerful?
Absolutely. Especially in the male dominated business world. Also I realize that with men you’ve gotta be direct and to the point – which can seem harsh and terse. Wheras with women we share out feelings, we have a deeper empathy, and we bring that into business.
Who are your biggest female role models? How have they helped shape who you are today?

My mom – she has the best fashion sense and eye for design.Leonie Dawson has inspired me to become an entrepreneur, embrace my spiritual self, and grow. Jill Bolt Taylor who inspired me with her book A Stroke of Insight and as a female scientist – we need more of that. Jen Sincero for her lightheartedness and silliness. Eleanor Gheith for believing in me, teaching me about self care, and holding space to just be like no other soul sister I know. Camille Wu for teaching me that it’s okay to feel. Makenna Johnston for keeping me focused and connected to my body. And there are so many more…

How do you deal with people you can’t like things “because you are a girl”? Have you encountered this?
Totally. When I told people I’m going to travel around the world by myself immediately I was told – You’ll Get Taken! *cue dramatic music* also you don’t know how to run a business – or you don’t run business that way. I’ve got my own style of doing things and that’s okay.
What advice would you give to young women who are afraid to express who feel like they can’t be a strong female?
Know that your emotions, interests, and dreams are just as valid as any guys’ – if not more so. We as females for thousands of years have been the caught, the subservient, and the brunt of the raped and pillaged.
We’ve evolved beyond that – where men and women can communicate effectively and complement each other. The driving male force with the female charm and intellectual capacity call for an amazing duo.


Isn’t she incredible? Thank you again to Isabelle for doing this interview as a part of SFC September. If you want to see more of her work, you can do that on http://www.thebellavie.com.

Till next time,
Katie