Tara is a former fashion model turned feminist and women’s rights activist. Fitting the stereotypical physical requirements, Tara was encouraged from a young age to pursue a career in modeling. After finishing a year of an arts and science degree at the University of Guelph, she signed with agents in several different European countries and found herself immersed in a destructive work environment alongside other young women struggling with eating disorders and body image issues. For over a year, she remained working under a high degree of bodily regulation, exploitation and objectification. Exhausted by the experience, Tara returned to Canada confused and unsure of what to do next. Soon after, she re-enrolled at the University of Guelph, switching into business administration, then later into international development. For the first time, she was exposed to the tools she needed to be able to critically engage with global social, economic and political systems. During her time in the program she was fortunate enough to travel to India on a semester abroad, which took her to various parts of the country and gave her the opportunity to live with a host family. Changed by the experience, she decided to pursue a master’s degree in social work with a focus on community development and social and economic policy. In 2009, she moved to Ottawa to complete her degree in social work at Carleton University.
As a Carleton University student, Tara was actively involved in student advocacy. She was co-chair of her departmental students’ association, and served as a student representative to the Senate and Graduate Faculty Board. Since 2009, she has interned with the City for All Women’s Initiative, the International Development Research Centre, and in the office of a member of parliament working on poverty issues. Tara now works at the Canadian Federation of University Women, advocating for policies, programs and services that promote equity and advance gender equality at home and abroad. When Tara is not fighting to end patriarchy, coordinating letter-writing campaigns, or protesting on Parliament Hill, she can be found doing yoga or spending time with her friends.