Toronto’s Most Inspirational Women of 2022 – Jeanne Beker

The Fashionista | Jeanne Beker

Known for her role hosting the iconic Fashion Television from the ’80s until the program ended in 2012, Jeanne Beker is a Canadian fashion icon whose influence knows no bounds. When she announced this year that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, one might assume that she would take a break from her countless roles and responsibilities and approach her battle with cancer privately. But in classic Jeanne fashion, she instead chose to share her journey publicly, sharing photos to Instagram of her in hospital gowns before and after treatments and detailing her emotions every step of the way. Her choice to be so open is a brave and inspiring one, and its no surprise she was the recipient of a Lifetime Acheivement Awards at the Women Empowerment Awards this year, along with moderating breast cancer panels, featuring on the cover of Hello! Canada and much more.e

By Colin and Justin, interior designers

Ah, the utterly unsinkable Jeanne Beker. Our hearts swell when we think of Jeanne, a woman whose social and professional reputation remains as buoyant now, having sailed into her 70s, as it did when her media career kicked off in the 1970s. Our paths crossed, for the first time, some 15 years past when we were hosting Fashion Cares, an HIV and Aids fundraiser, at the Distillery District in Toronto. Having arrived in Toronto only a few weeks prior, we hadn’t properly established our social chops, but Ms. B’s friendly demeanour set us at ease as we navigated the after-show party. We established a fast friendship thereafter, regaling our new pal with our affection for Fashion Television, which we watched — somewhat religiously — via cable broadcast. Lately, we’ve watched Jeanne face off against her biggest challenge to date: a breast cancer diagnosis that crashed into her life earlier this year. Rather than deal with the news sotto voce, the crusader chose to share her journey in the public arena. In doing so, she brings attention — and indeed hope — to others battling similar circumstances. This, as we see it, illustrates the kind of “engagement” that typifies Jeanne: via unquestionable pedigree across the Canadian media firmament or via her numerous charitable attachments, she deploys personal experience to help whomever she can, wherever she can. And so, dear Jeanne, we salute you. We’re beyond relieved to note that your cancer treatment is proving successful: this world, quite simply, needs you.

See our full list of Toronto’s most inspiring women of 2022 here. 

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