In the essay, Yahr, a reporter for The Washington Post, writes that as a grade 8 student in 1999, she was asked to write an essay about someone she admired. She chose Shania Twain: “I will always admire the woman who put everything before her career. Who never gave up no matter how bad it was. Who’s [sic] songs tell the basics of life. Who everyone should strive to be like. Who is more than just a voice. Shania Twain.”
Yahr’s article piqued my interest because back in the early 1980s I taught Shania Twain in Grade 12 English at Timmins High & Vocational School. Of course I knew her as Eileen Twain. I love to tell people that my husband and I chose a song by one of my students for our first dance; “Forever and For Always” is the song we first danced to at our wedding.
I was a feminist even when Shania was a student so I like to think I inspired her in some of her views. For that reason, I loved another article written about her: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/shania-twain-underrated-feminist-queen. Who knows, perhaps I did.
Regardless, I hope Shania reads Yahr’s essay. To be told one has been an inspiration is a great gift.