©2018 by Arabelle Sicardi. Proudly created with Wix.com

queer heroes cover

Queer Heroes

Coming May 2019, this children's book is a celebration of 52 heroes in queer culture. It features dynamic full-color portraits of a diverse selection of 52 inspirational role models accompanied by short biographies that focus on their incredible successes, from Freddie Mercury's contribution to music to Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Published to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising - a perfect gift for the children in your life.

 

Bylines

I write across disciplines: fashion, beauty, technology, sexuality, feminism, adolescence, etc. This list doesn't represent all of my work on the internet, but it is a thorough curation of what I'm most interested in.

 
Dancing in Water

June, 2018

The architecture of public baths is about statecraft as much as wellness. This essay focuses on the history of wellness as a medium of colonization, militancy, religious conversion, and transcendence.

May, 2018

The company's free programming for the trans community launches in June, and will be hosted by transgender Sephora cast members.

Makeup
Programming Console

February, 2018

This fall I went to a three-part class on weaving and coding to learn more about the intersection between materiality and cyberspace. I have no recollection of how I found it, specifically–it was part of one of those insomniac k-holes of Wikipedia entries and Facebook “Events You Might Like." I’d never clicked “Add to Cart” so fast on an event before.

December, 2017

If beauty is in acts of ordinary devotion I think ugliness must be in the acts of everyday neglect.

Desert Road

November, 2017

What I especially love about complex perfumes is that they perform their complexities with grace, and they do so silently and psychologically. Scent occupies space and memory in a way that requires a low investment. You can tell any story, a brutal one, a romantic one, an innocent one, without saying a word. Being able to wear a story like an invisible cloak in a culture that requires you to fight to be valued is a power that is hard to deny.

June, 2017

Just a few years after Coss Marte was in solitary confinement in Rikers after a drug-dealing conviction, Saks Fifth Avenue was knocking on his door asking him to teach clientele how to work out. I sat down with Marte on the day of the public launch to hear the story from the beginning.

Cross Fit Class
Birthmark

February, 2017

The history of fake beauty marks goes back quite a while, and like most beauty history (and history of femininity, in general), it involves gruesome death, witch trials, definitely some puritanical political philosophies, divine prophecy, public humiliation, and arbitrary opinions dressed up as scientific fact used as the basis to defend torture.

December, 2016

It is hard to understand beauty as a concept that can be useful during these times because it is not, not really. It’s been a weapon used against people since time immemorial. The exacting standards of beauty we're burdened with are, if anything, tied up with the violence we're seeing now. The relationship between American beauty standards and white supremacy is a long and entrenched one. The value of the body is the crux of our struggle for power.

Protest Signs
Colorful Lipsticks

July, 2016

What does it mean when a product name skirts the line of good taste? Orgasm is just one of the product names that can jump start the conversation on beauty, humor, and buying power. Does a bad beauty name make or break a product? Would you buy something just because the name? Contrarily, would you boycott?

August, 2016

The Muscadins were not for democracy. They were primarily middle class, well to do dandies who were quietly supported by the government, who saw them as tools to beat the poor and working class Jacobins. Their perfume was a sign of their superiority. The ego of their beauty regimens made hunting them much easier. Perfume made you lose your head, forced you to face God sooner.
I’m fascinated by this connection between god and perfume and power. What’s the power of smell and how is it linked to politics?

Church
Illustration by Ana Benaroya

December, 2015

Beauty is understood in multiplicity: in race, in gender, in class. It’s about who gets to rule and who shouldn’t exist at all. The Third Reich took this thought to the bitter extreme, you’ll remember, with their eugenics program for the beautification of the Aryan race. Now, we use the unfamiliar to keep people out: out of our train cars, our planes, and if Trump would have it, our country. We control beauty by recognizing it only as the most patriarchal versions of ourselves: that is to say, in most of us we don’t see it at all.

September, 2015

This brand has everything: fake deaths, Nazi costumes, legal threats against 13 year-old girls, hacker attacks, class action lawsuits, FDA warnings, credit card fraud, cold sores, and questionably named eyeshadow palettes called "China Doll." The saying goes that beauty is only skin deep, but the crimes of and for beauty seem to be a lot more pervasive.

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Jenny Chang for BuzzFeed

January, 2015

Makeup is by no means natural. That's the point. If I work hard to survive, you will pay attention when you see me, and you will see the work. Because it is work: to survive, when others would wish otherwise. They want us to disappear if we can't be what they want. But beauty lets me see myself the way I need to be seen; it is redemptive in ways that I often don't have the courage to be verbally. I let it speak for me, at least the preliminaries of getting to know me: This is weird, you might not like it, but if you do — come here, you see me as I am. Hello.

February, 2015

Most of the time I feel like a stranger to myself. Learning to love a stranger is difficult and unsettling: It's walking to your front door and seeing someone new, having them around the house for a bit to be polite, and then suddenly their toothbrush is in the bathroom and you find their stray hairs on your clothes on the way to work. They're stuck with you, and you have no idea how or why. This is a visit with my body. It is the unwelcome relative, a stranger I'm obligated to love.

Jenny Chang for BuzzFeed
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September, 2014

Putting aside radical notions of makeup as some patriarchal tool of oppression or a harmful lie we tell for wearing it: lots of us use makeup to feel great about ourselves. We're an international community of secrets and eyeshadow. But our conversations usually stop short of serious discussions about the other reasons we sometimes wear it: we wear makeup to confront someone else, to protect ourselves. We wear makeup to escape our bodies and anxieties, to tell people we're OK—because if we can tell them we're going to be OK, then maybe eventually we will be.

July, 2014

 Feminism has been considered a trend since its beginnings, but now it’s not only considered a legitimate means for fashion inspiration, it’s “good for business,” too. 

Portrait of a Girl in T-shirt and Shorts