We’re starting the month of November with a bang! This week, we’re inciting entrepreneur, activist and social media influencer, Jessie Nadeau to share what inspires her, what drives her and her WHY with us. Keep reading to learn more about this sweet & authentic soul.
To begin, who is Jessie Nadeau? Can you start off by introducing yourself in a few sentences?
Who am I? A human doing her best. I would describe myself as an open minded, curious, passionate, sensitive, brave, resilient and driven individual. I am an animal lover. I love doing things differently. I cry regularly. I just turned 30. I am an entrepreneur in the realm of vegan nutrition. I am also a content creator, an activist and an artist. I love behind both in front and behind the lens; as an actress, animator, screenwriter, director and producer.
What are the three main values you live by and why?
Freedom, justice and compassion. When confronted with injustices, I feel compelled to act in support of change. As far back as I can remember, injustices have always deeply affected me. I feel I must take action, light my inner fire, use my compassion to be a part of the solution and part of a change bigger than myself. I sometimes feel like I lack a filter, like I am intense, but that comes from a search for the truth, a desire for justice, peace and freedom. These values are reflected in what I prioritize in my personal and professional life. I believe these values are cultivated in love and happiness.
As a social justice activist, which fights do you hold closest to your heart? What do you do to contribute to change?
The social justice fights I hold closest to my heart are feminism, environmental protection, animal rights and LGBTQIA2S+ rights. To contribute to these causes I take part in projects aiming to educate and sensitize people. I support and encourage initiatives shedding light on related issues and / or that are part of the solution by serving as tools, for example. I use my social media platform to amplify and spread informative messages to a larger audience. It is important for me to participate in highlighting experiences and realities that have been brushed under the rug for too long. I also use my platform to share my own experiences and express myself on issues that affect me personally as a way of inspiring change. I strive to embody the values I advocate on a daily basis through what I represent and in each one of my actions. With my brand, Végane mais pas plate!, offering vegan recipes, I participate in the democratization of a plant-based diet. Finally, I prioritize time to help out in animal shelters.
What’s missing in female sex education?
If I am not mistaken, it was only at the start of the 2017 school year, in France, that the first school textbook correctly represented the clitoris. Since then, there seems to have been some progress. Evidently, there is a lot of catching up to do! A large number of people are still unaware that this organ in its entirety can measure up to 10cm. I also find that there is still a lack of education on the clitoral orgasm, as well as on queer sexuality. The representation of sexuality is often heteronormative, focusing mainly on penile penetration and ejaculation.
With the recent attack on human rights prompted by the United States Supreme Court's ruling overturning the 1973 "Roe v. Wade" verdict, which protected the right to abortion, there is no doubt that considerable efforts are necessary to improve sex education. It's disturbing, to say the least. It’s important to keep in mind that this decision will have devastating consequences beyond US borders. In Quebec, there are anti-choice centres, funded mainly by religious donations, which advertise themselves as support centres for pregnant women, providing misleading information on abortion. Information concerning sexual reproductive health, including the use of contraceptives, available options in the event of pregnancy, access to safe abortion, and more must, now more than ever, be highlighted and shared.
How did you discover Viita Protection?
A little over 3 years ago, for the first time in my life, I began using different alternatives to disposable pads and tampons. After publicly sharing my experience with menstrual underwear and washable pads, I received the Viita cycle set in the mail.
What does your collaboration with Viita Protection mean to you?
To me, my collaboration with Viita Protection represents solidarity between two Quebec women entrepreneurs, who, in their own way, contribute to the dialogue surrounding and de-stigmatizing menstruation. This collaboration holds a special place in my heart not only because it reflects my values and has allowed me to be myself and display my true colours, but also because it has been accompanying me since the beginning of my transition towards comfortable and more sustainable menstrual products.
What encouraged you to create a collection in collaboration with Viita?
I have been using Viita underwear since our very first collaboration, and to this day, they are my favorite menstrual product! I was excited to get involved in creating my own design. The process was so much fun. Then, what prompted me to create this collection was also the fact that I wanted to contribute more to the dialogue surrounding the sexual health of people who have periods.
Why is environmental sustainability important to you? What actions do you take to live a sustainable lifestyle?
So that our future doesn't look like the series Dans une galaxie près chez vous, in which a ship is sent into space to find a new planet to welcome "billions of ignorant people" as global warming has transformed the Earth into a furnace.
What am I doing to live a sustainable lifestyle? First of all, the fact that I am vegan has several positive impacts on the environment. If I compare this to the zero waste lifestyle, or not having a car, my transition to veganism was the easiest change to make. It is this change that has the biggest positive impacts for the planet, and this motivates me. I also shop and consume locally as much as possible, reduce my amount of waste emissions as much as possible, and pay attention to my energy consumption in general. I no longer have a car, so I use public transport. Of course, I use my Viita panties as a method of period protection. Finally, I continue to inform myself. For that, I love to follow the “Alternator” page.
Why are you vegan?
For the animals, the environment and the health benefits.
As an animal rights activist was fabric sourcing important to you as you were considering your partnership with Viita?
Yes, of course! I am against animal cruelty in all its shapes and forms. This applies to the clothing and materials I wear. Fortunately, the fabrics used to create Viita underwear are not sourced from animals, are PFAS free and the cotton that is used is certified organic (GOTS).
Do you feel we are doing enough for feminine health, sexual taboos, menstrual hygiene, etc.? What more should we do?
We can always do more. If I base myself off the questions I receive in my DMs, it’s clear there is more do be done when it comes to topics related to sex education. What more should we do? Talk about it more, freely and openly, make information more accessible and come up with diverse techniques to address these topics.
A great big thank you to Jessie for sharing! Your words inspire us to continue doing our part to change the world for the better…one step at a time, together. Curious about her collection in collaboration with Viita? You’ll find it under “Viita X Jessie Nadeau” on our website.