Poems and Texts

The Year in Ugliness by Arabelle Sicardi

Arabelle Sicardi & Mary Wang
Friday, March 29, 2019

The Year in Ugliness

If beauty is in acts of ordinary devotion I think ugliness must be in the acts of everyday neglect, small gestures that chip and chip and eventually rip shards of what it means to be human, to be loved and loving, out of you. It is easy to pretend nothing is happening. It is easy to walk quickly past something that makes you uncomfortable. It is easy to freeze and stay frozen until your chance is gone. It is easy to save yourself first. It is easy to turn and keep walking. It’s instinctual. That does not mean it is forgivable. Fixing everything in the world is impossible. But it is also impossible to know how much a little thing can count for. Not knowing and not daring to find out—that is ugliness, too.

Claudia Rankine wrote that loneliness is what we can’t do for each other.
I think a definition of ugliness is what we’re too afraid to do. What we don’t want to do.


What part of yourself did you have to destroy in order to survive in the world this year? But most importantly: what have you found to be unkillable?

Arabelle Sicardi

My name is Arabelle. I’m Taiwanese American. I’m a genderqueer writer specializing in beauty and how it is shaped by politics and technology. I’ve been writing about beauty, fashion, and feminism professionally since I was 15. As a teen I was a fashion blogger, as a fresh college graduate I was the youngest Beauty Editor ever appointed by a media juggernaut, and now I’m a full-time beauty writer and general weirdo. I write about beauty, but I also love to collaborate with artists, programmers, feminist activists, and selected beauty brands.

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