Photo by  Siouxsie Suarez

The official bio: Autumn Whitefield-Madrano is the author of Face Value: The Hidden Ways Beauty Shapes Women’s Lives (Simon & Schuster, 2016). Her writing has appeared in Marie Claire, Glamour, Salon, Jezebel, The Guardian, and more. She created The Beheld, a blog examining questions behind personal appearance. Her work on the ways beauty shapes women’s lives has been covered by The New York Times and the Today show. She lives in Astoria, Queens, and will tell you her beauty secrets if you tell her yours.

The unofficial bio (scandal!): I moved to New York in 1999 to intern at Ms. magazine, but took my first job as an editorial assistant at CosmoGirl. I knew from the hours I spent holed up with magazines as a preteen in small-town South Dakota—and later as a high school and college student in Oregon—that what those magazines said mattered to their readers, and I believed there was a way to make that responsibility mesh with the feminist beliefs I’d had since my mother took me on my first protest in 1980 (she dressed me as a suffragette to agitate for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment—which, to this day, has not passed). That’s where most of my writing takes its root, at the crossroads of the trappings of/joys of (take your pick) conventional femininity, and the belief that people of all sexes are equal. 

Feminist beauty musings aren’t the only thing I write. Other topics I’ve covered are far-ranging, almost absurdly so: American Indian dance, soccer, homebrew, seasonal produce, bed pillows, and so on. I’m also a copy editor with more than 15 years of experience. I can work on any variety of content, but I’m particularly interested in food and recipe copy, and am always looking for interesting new clients. I’ve also dabbled in recipe testing and development, if that’s your bag; I attended the Institute for Culinary Education and have worked as a pastry chef at Spring Street Natural and a pastry cook at Gramercy Tavern.

Outside of words: Yes, I still bake (well, really I just love to make/eat ice cream). I also love to travel, read (duh), strength train (I recommend the  Girls Gone Strong training program every chance I get), brew beer, and hang out with my cat. I live in Astoria with my boyfriend, a gardener both by devotion and profession, who keeps us knee-deep in tomatoes whenever possible.