an eloquently warped point of view from the tongue of a cartoon character.

Tag: canada

Foxy Hockey Hullabaloo


“‘One word: ‘Fight.’ Anyone can do it when it feels good. When you’re hurting, that’s when it makes a difference, so you have to keep fighting.” -Erin Cafaro, 2008 rowing Olympic gold medalist

When I graduated from high school, my class had its celebration at the Fairmont.

It was a Moulin Rouge themed, feather-laden, wine-fest, with an after-hours chicken finger bar, and one constipated parent who complained about the theme being too inappropriate and promiscuous.

Even though no one gave the Les Mis theme a chance.

Halfway through the night, I managed to successfully sneak into a few photo booth pictures, drink the leftover wine on most tables, and dance hard enough to make my feet gush blood while the DJ spun his sick beats.

It was nearing midnight, and I decided that I needed a few more decent memories before I trudged off to my eventual grave in the cemetery that was university.

I noticed my friend Amanda going into the photo booth with her boyfriend at the time, and as they kissed and canoodled for the camera’s timer, I poked my head in through the back panel.

Now, I honestly don’t know why it was so funny, but when the picture printed, I laughed so fucking hard that I peed my pants.

Screen shot 2014-11-23 at 3.54.42 PM

All that table wine may have been a contributing factor.

I was wearing my favourite pair of neon orange, camera-covered panties, which I decided I needed to remove immediately, and so I left a ballroom of floor-length gowns and tuxedos to take off my underwear.

When I got into the bathroom, I wrapped them in a paper towel, washed my hands 4 times, then proceeded to figure out what to do with my favourite pair of underwear. After all, I couldn’t just throw them away.

They were lucky. They were the only reason I had passed my biology exam. They were the only reason I had the courage to go out and meet people after an exhausting breakup with my ex-boyfriend.

These underwear had magical powers, and whether they smelled like pee or not, I was NOT just going to abandon them in a hotel washroom trashcan.

I’m not even lying when I say that this would be a more appropriate send off.

After literally thirty seconds of thought, and realizing that sticking them in my purse would be a super gross idea, I decided I would stick them in the sick room, and get them just before the night was over (by the way, the sick room is a place that you go if you get too drunk and can’t function. Or if you get, like, sick, I guess. But no one catches a damn cold at grad, lemme tell ya’.)

When I was in the room, however, my plans were quickly thwarted, seeing as the only thing in the small space were two stripped down cots on thin metal framing. I shoved the underwear under the bed’s wiring, adjusted the mattress, and just as I was about to shut the door behind me, I noticed someone crying on the leather armchair outside.

She was in a royal blue dress similar to mine, with one strap going over a shoulder, the other bare (except hers wasn’t an eye-gouging shade of pink). Her makeup ran down both cheeks, and though her manicured hands were polished and prim, her fingers were spotted from wiping away tears.

When I asked her what was wrong, she let out a louder sob, people around us turning their heads to see the source of the noise. I hesitated momentarily before leading her into the sick room, shutting the door behind us.

Apparently a girl we graduated with had snubbed her in a cruel display of ostrich feathers and Mean Girls-esuqe cattiness.

I tried to comfort her, telling her that the girl was pretty much stuck in her ways like a Louboutin in wet grass, that she should ignore her behaviour that reeked like a middle school sock-hop, but the girl in the blue dress kept crying.

After about 20 minutes of talking, I stopped my feel-good ramble. The scent had hit my nostrils, and I was suddenly hyper-aware that my new friend was sitting on top of my pee-soaked underwear.

“I pissed my pants earlier. Then I shoved them under the bed you’re sitting on.”

I paused.

“I’m sorry.”

Cailey Hay looked up at me from between her fingers. She let out a loud laugh.
Then she told me she wished we could have been friends earlier in the year, which was a weird reaction to someone telling you they pissed themselves in public.


Pictured: Head of Hockey Hotness

Cailey Hay is a 21-year-old hockey player from OakBank, Manitoba, but I met her when she came to the hallowed halls of kilts and cliques.

Although we weren’t close then, we reconnected after realizing my piss-pants antics were a pretty solid bonding mechanism. In my eyes, she has always been an outspoken, confident woman who dominates on the rink, and connects with just about everyone she meets.

And no matter where we find ourselves, Cailey Hay turns heads, whether it’s hitting up MAW’s beer garden, or going to Whiskey Dix with me and her ex-boyfriend’s mom. Part of it is because she’s a babe and a half, but the other part is because of the level of confidence she exudes.

Cailey Hay is the perfect example of a Manitoba-grown, hockey-playing beauty who has worked hard at loving herself, despite life’s crooked obstacles. Being a well-rounded teammate and athlete is just one side of her. Being a daring, fiery, fashionable smoke show, is another.

As she attempts to balance all areas of her life on the edge of her skate, and be body-confident on and off the ice, this University of British Columbia powerhouse does her best to take on all challenges headfirst.


But at least she’s wearing her helmet.

I think that body positivity is having a healthy relationship between your brain and your body. It’s just like any other relationship that you would have with another human being, except the majority of the contact is done in your own mind.

This all kind of hit home when I was schmoozing the Internet and found a quote saying, “Don’t say things to yourself that you wouldn’t say to others.”

Everything clicked.

People think that it’s okay to constantly bash themselves, and end up defining themselves through the vision of others.

In reality, you would never EVER go to your friends, or significant others, and say, “hey, your cellulite makes me nauseous,” “you are truly the ugliest person I’ve ever seen,” or “you’re a cow” (and if you do, please stop, now).

And yet, people don’t hesitate for a second when saying these things to themselves. There is such a disconnect between sharing happiness and kindness with your friends and family, and sharing these same loving thoughts with yourself.

Beyonce, who I love so much, said in her song Pretty Hurts:

When you’re alone all by yourself,

And you’re lying in your bed,

Reflection stares right into you,

Are you happy with yourself?

You stripped away the masquerade,

The illusion has been shed,

Are you happy with yourself?

Are you happy with yourself?


At the end of the day, all you have is yourself. No matter who comes and goes in your life, you are the only one that will be present for every second of every day.

Playing hockey is the main reason I have any confidence at all. As opposed to individual sports, hockey requires so many different types of players to create a successful team.

Unlike men’s hockey, where all players have a fairly generic body type (tall, muscular- but toned- and bordering on thin), female hockey players come in all different shapes and sizes.

If there’s a female body-type you can think of, you can literally find it in our dressing room. This kind of physical diversity reflects the diversity of skills that make up our team. 

Everyone brings different strengths (and weaknesses) to the table, and even though no individual is perfect, together we create this flawless mosaic.

Being permanently attached to a team of women who stick together through thick and thin, through defeat and success, is the greatest gift in the world. It’s because of this atmosphere that I have experienced support in its purest form.

With competition as the base, these relationships extend beyond our sport to our everyday lives. Meaning, at the end of the day, hockey or no hockey, I will always have a family to back me up, just as I will always be there for them.

My team IS my confidence. 

As for my favourite physical feature… I would have to say my eyes.

I think it’s because every time I look in a mirror, I see my parents. With my father having green eyes, and my mother having blue eyes, I was gifted this odd and and beautiful combination of the two.

I also like that the colour seems to change with the clothes I wear, or with the lighting of a room. It’s fun to be a chameleon of sorts, having a mysterious part of you that can’t be defined.


At the end of the day, hockey is a sport that seriously EVERYONE can love.

So many people who have never played watch the NHL on television for literally fifteen minutes, and they’re like, ‘This is stupid. Shoes with blades on them? Nah, that isn’t really my cup of tea…’

Well let me tell you, it’s so much more then that.

There are so many leagues around, especially considering we live in Canada, that provide open ice and games for all skill levels.

Even my mother, at 50, plays hockey occasionally. Anyone can do it! My personal favourite thing to do is to wait until Christmas time, and hit the outdoors rinks with family and friends.

If you’re not so much into playing the actual game, and just want to strap the skates on, it’s a really amazing experience to skate the river at The Forks in Winnipeg (also in at Christmas time).”

This is how this head of hockey hotness stays body positive.


“Empower Women, and You Empower a Nation”


A gold tube of mascara, and a police woman’s hat.

In September, I was lucky enough to attend The International Association of Women Police (IAWP) conference, which took place in Winnipeg this year. Amongst the sea of professional police in uniform, polished badges, and shining, proud smiles, my journalism classmates and I set out to tell these women’s stories.

Across from me, Shakti Devi delicately cuts the piece of cantaloupe on her plate. Amongst the crowd of women, her pale blue uniform stands out, three gold stars stitched down her shoulders. Across her heart, a badge in gold embroidery reads ‘India’.

Though Devi works for Jammu police, her recent job has been as a peacekeeper for the United Nations. There are over 5,160 female peacekeepers, a dramatic increase from the 20 women who served between 1957-1989 (un.org).

“We have to work hard for accountability. I had to prove myself,” said Devi, a name in Hindu culture that represents a Supreme Being who embodies the power of male deities. “You’re competing with men. You have to prove you’re not less than your male colleagues. We have to make a double effort, or we have no credibility.”


Devi cracks a smile at one of my bad jokes

Devi is not alone in her trial for equality as a female police officer. Similar stories to hers were shared throughout The International Association of Women Police (IAWP) conference on September 29th at the Fort Garry Hotel.

Stories form women in uniform from Mexico, Grenada, and Red Deer, Alberta. Stories from single mothers, fresh-faced recruits, and veteran police officers. Stories from Michaëlle Jean, the former Governor General of Canada, who delivered her speech to the crowd with grace, humor, and a strong message.

“Empower women, and you empower a community. Empower women, and you empower a nation,” said Jean, shortly before receiving a standing ovation.

Coumba Ngouye Thiam travelled from Africa for the conference, a police officer from Senegal working as a peacekeeper in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“For me, as one of the first female police officers in my country, there were some problems,” said Thiam, who started working in 1982.

Thiam says that she has a lot more freedom to do her job than officers in Middle Eastern counties, but that there are instances where women are prevented from doing their work. “There are lots of rape cases,” said Thiam, her colleague next to her nodding silently.

According to UN Special Representative Margot Wallström, Eastern Congo is the “rape capital of the world”, with some reports stating that 48 women are raped every hour. “They don’t want women investigating rape cases because we are women, too,” she said.

For Thiam, though, working as a peacekeeper is more about what she can do, rather than what she can’t. “I love to support women,” said Thiam, smiling. Her colleague next to her smiles, too.

“I love to help women. I love sharing my police experience. I love accompanying them in their work to show them the best practices. They accept me in their heart,” said Thiam, touching her chest. “I love it.”

Tiny Town, Big Bras


Moulded and mesh and maternity, oh my!

18-year-old Carrie Nagy demonstrates how her breasts open the cash register when she leans to ring through a customer. “My boobs keep getting in the way,” says Nagy with a laugh, slamming the till. She gestures to her top. “These guys always get in the way!”

At 231 Second Street in Kenora, Ontario, a left at the third set of lights after the roundabout, there is a shop filled floor-to-ceiling with brassieres.

Bright blue mesh with turquoise-spotted floral ridges. Soft pink moulding with thick, adjustable straps. A jet-black base with sparkling spiky studs.

The shop carries plus size panties, petite lingerie, bra carrying cases, cleaners, and accessories, while cup sizes range from an AA-cup, to an L-cup. Amongst the moulded cups, wires, straps, and padding, there are nursing bras, mastectomy bras, and specialty fits for whatever the debracle.

But before Island Girl, “The only place for women to buy bras in Kenora was at the local Walmart”, says Nagy. The largest size in some styles being a DD-cup.

With the Kenora population around 15,000 people in the winter, and nearly double that during the summer months, variety in women’s undergarments run sparse. Those who find themselves outside the realm of a DD are left stranded, scooping, binding, and often double-bra-ing, just to find some kind of comfort and security.

“I’ve always loved bras. It’s super important women wear the correct bra size,” says owner Michelle Livingston, who bought a failing lingerie shop, and transformed it into Island Girl (named after the hundreds of islands in the Lake of the Woods area).

After her frustration with the lack of bra options in her small town, she decided to take on the challenge of properly fitting the women of Kenora herself.

“60 per cent of women are still wearing the wrong bra size,” says Livingston. “My goal is to help women, and educate people… If you’re wearing a proper fitting bra, you will be happy all day long. If you want to rip it off…” Livingston imitates grabbing her breasts and throwing them across the room, “You’re going to be thinking about THAT all day.”


Nagy and Livingston laughin’ it up in Island Girl.

According to Livingston, the shop’s main advertising is through word of mouth. Although traffic is slow, “Less than 10 people a day” in the winter, in the summer, traffic jumps to “Around 450 people a day”. Like all of Kenora’s locally owned shops that are open year-round, Livingston depends on cottage-goers and summertime patrons to help her business.

“I have a lot of the small communities coming in here now,” says Livingston, gesturing over to the massive wall of bras. “Fort Frances, Dryden, Red Lake… We’re kind of the [bra] hub.”

Livingston’s bras range from $40-$120, where Walmart has less expensive styles starting at $10, but while Island Girl isn’t the cheapest, it goes above and beyond with one-on-one bra consults, and professional help.

“I try to listen to what they want… some people have certain issues with their body, and we’re all shaped so differently,” says Livingston. “It’s a service we’re providing, and women need it.”

Island Girl, open Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., only had a Facebook page right now, but their website will be up and running this summer.
Michelle Livingston can be reached at
807-468-6116 for any bra inquiries.

(Have any AWESOME local bra places in your community? Message me at hellorousseau@hotmail.ca and tell me your b(r)east bra experience! Until then, I’m off to see the wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Bras~
thanks for the joke, Emily)