When beauty fades, make friends with snakes

I never believed I was beautiful until it was over. Until I had gained 15 pounds, or 12 gray hairs, or 4 fine new lines at the crinkles of my eyes.

I never believed until I looked back from a different decade and saw the woman who had once stared me in the mirror.

“Oh,” I sigh, “look how cute my hair was then. Look how thin my legs were, how firm my chin, how buoyant my breasts!”

And then I look down, at the flesh sack I currently haul around, and lament, “And look at me now.”

It is…


VOICES Series

In this space for the past month — Women’s History Month — you met 15 women from across the U.S. and around the world. You heard the voices of artists and writers and students and nurses and designers. You read stories and experiences and perspectives, some of which were very different from your own.

And it was just the beginning…

I had planned for this series to span the month of March, but it’s been so powerful, I’ve decided to continue publishing these stories with no end date in sight. …


VOICES Series

Kathy is a 49 year-old art director living in San Francisco, California. The list of things she adores includes (but is not limited to): a good karaoke jam with friends, warm but not-too-hot sunny days, cozy cat naps, fresh halo-halo, making faces at small babies, a steady diet of good art, and a solid afternoon lounging at the pool.

Kathy, in front of the the brilliant “MaestraPeace” by Juana Alicia, Miranda Bergman, Edythe Boone, Susan Kelk Cervantes, Meera Desai, Yvonne Littleton, and Irene Perez at 3543 18th Street, San Francisco

Prologue: I believe the stories we tell one another have the power to change the world. Especially the stories we tell one another about ourselves.

As a society, we focus so much of our attention on the bold-faced “success stories” of…


VOICES Series

Tiffani is a 39-year-old writer, editor, mom, and Queen of All Word Things at a Silicon Valley tech company. She likes most people, and tries to find the best in them— or at least understand where they’re coming from — even when she disagrees.

Prologue: I believe the stories we tell one another have the power to change the world. Especially the stories we tell one another about ourselves.

As a society, we focus so much of our attention on the bold-faced “success stories” of CEOs and best-selling authors, the famous and infamous. We get accustomed to glossy, polished anecdotes…


VOICES Series

Brittani is a 34-year-old creator, perfectionist, and avid gamer. She lives in Oakland, California, and wants to find a way to ensure that everyone is given the same opportunities to succeed, no matter who they are or where they are from.

Prologue: I believe the stories we tell one another have the power to change the world. Especially the stories we tell one another about ourselves.

As a society, we focus so much of our attention on the bold-faced “success stories” of CEOs and best-selling authors, the famous and infamous. We get accustomed to glossy, polished anecdotes that are fun…


VOICES Series

Tetyana (Tet, to friends) is a UX designer and DJ based in Munich, Germany, but currently located in Kyiv, Ukraine (until September of 2021). Tet believes wholeheartedly in the power of music, in the ways it can bring people together and tell deeply moving stories.

Prologue: I believe the stories we tell one another have the power to change the world. Especially the stories we tell one another about ourselves.

As a society, we focus so much of our attention on the bold-faced “success stories” of CEOs and best-selling authors, the famous and infamous. We get accustomed to glossy, polished…


VOICES Series

Ruth is a 71-year-old retired nurse technician from western Michigan. She wants to use her God-given voice to make a difference, and chose her title — Queen of Hearts — because she felt it signified compassion.

Prologue: I believe the stories we tell one another have the power to change the world. Especially the stories we tell one another about ourselves.

As a society, we focus so much of our attention on the bold-faced “success stories” of CEOs and best-selling authors, the famous and infamous. We get accustomed to glossy, polished anecdotes that are fun to read but hard to…


VOICES Series

Natalie saves the world by making the Web accessible to all. She’s a 43-year-old digital accessibility subject matter expert, living in West Oakland, California, and singing her song loud and clear.

Prologue: I believe the stories we tell one another have the power to change the world. Especially the stories we tell one another about ourselves.

As a society, we focus so much of our attention on the bold-faced “success stories” of CEOs and best-selling authors, the famous and infamous. We get accustomed to glossy, polished anecdotes that are fun to read but hard to relate to. …


VOICES Series

Emma is a 16-year-old high school student who lives in Nashville, TN. She works hard to accomplish her goals and does her best to focus on what’s in front of her instead of worrying about the future.

Prologue: I believe the stories we tell one another have the power to change the world. Especially the stories we tell one another about ourselves.

As a society, we focus so much of our attention on the bold-faced “success stories” of CEOs and best-selling authors, the famous and infamous. We get accustomed to glossy, polished anecdotes that are fun to read but hard…


VOICES Series

Tiffany is a 26-year-old artist who lives in Los Angeles, California with her two senior rescues, Bupis (a tortoiseshell cat) and BaoBao (a chihuahua). She used to work as a creative program manager at a big tech company, but is currently pursuing her passion for animal rescue as supervisor at the Santé D’or Cat Shelter in LA.

Prologue: I believe the stories we tell one another have the power to change the world. Especially the stories we tell one another about ourselves.

As a society, we focus so much of our attention on the bold-faced “success stories” of CEOs and…

LaDonna Witmer

Reader. Writer. Hangnail biter. @wordsbyladonna

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