I Saw Myself Naked Today

I saw myself naked today. Like most people, I typically take a quick glance at myself in the mirror after my morning shower—with a towel wrapped around my waist of course—to confirm that there’s nothing weird or abnormal with my body compared to the day before. I then move on with my day without a […]

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Victoria’s Secret Needs a Makeover: Former Models Speak Out

Written by Nikki DuBose & Cherise Shaddix We are Nikki DuBose and Cherise Shaddix, two former models working to be role models for the next generation. And if there is one thing we know all too well, it’s the pressure to be perfect and climb the ladder of success in the fashion business at any […]

About Nikki DuBose

Tara Nicole DuBose was born in 1985 in Charleston, South Carolina to Sandra Pierce and Wayne DuBose. Her mother was an artist and her father was a delivery salesman for local food companies. Sandra named her “Tara” after the fictional plantation in the film, Gone with the Wind, directed by Victor Fleming. Despite Sandra’s love for the name, she and Wayne often referred to Tara as “Nikki,” short for Nicole, and so the name stuck. After her parents divorced when Nikki was two, she and her younger brother were raised by their mother and stepfather. Her upbringing was filled with problems; Nikki suffered abuse of all kinds and was a witness to domestic violence. Her mother, Sandra, was afflicted with severe mental health conditions and drank heavily. As a result, Nikki suffered for over seventeen years from a wide range of mental health conditions. Nikki wrote her first short story in the third grade and was a staff writer for the Odyssey in her senior year of high school. Her mental health conditions, however, hindered her from writing for many periods of her life. Although the ability to write was taken from Nikki for many years, through the gift of recovery, writing is what helped Nikki to heal and gave her her voice back. Washed Away: From Darkness to Light explores her life from the ages of two to twenty-seven, and her recovery from the mental torments that threatened to kill her. Nikki currently lives in Los Angeles, California and enjoys reading anything by Stephen King in her spare time. She is working on a poetry book about the Gullah culture, which heavily influenced her growing up.

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The Voice Within

When I can listen to the voice inside of me, I will be free. I have allowed myself to become shackled by the expectations of others. I have muted my own voice. Other people fill my heads with shoulds, what I should wear, what I should want, how much money I should have in my […]

About Angela Arenivar

Angela Arenivar is a PhD student at Texas A&M University and a former National Spelling Bee contestant featured in the Oscar-nominated documentary Spellbound. She fell in love with the power of words at a young age. When she is not working on papers for her studies, she writes in order to make sense of the world around her. She loves seeing the humor in everyday situations and loves rooting for the underdog.

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The Gloria Steinham Rule

My dad gave me a copy of Ms. Magazine during my early tweens somewhere around 10 to 12 years old, during 5th or 6th grade circa 1980-82.  Gloria Steinham became someone I read and eventually admired for her understanding of all women’s issues, not just the ones the media highlighted or opponents bitterly opposed her on.. […]

About Dena Baris

Dena Barisano (pen name Baris) was born in Boston. She has a B.A. in English from Hofstra University and an M.A. in Communications from Suffolk University. After training to be a journalist and nonprofit work, she took a position toiling in public service, while writing fiction and poetry. She lives across the harbor from Logan Airport's infamous Runway 22L.

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