When intersectional activists try to get populist on beauty, proposing the idea that every woman is beautiful, they fail to acknowledge that historically beauty ideals have been rare, impossible, and often painful and unnatural (see corsets, foot binding, and neck elongating). There is beauty in real people inasmuch as inner beauty shines through the vessel that is human body, but the ideals of beauty trend unreal.

Contrary to fatness activists’ protests, Western patriarchy is not oppressing them. Western patriarchy keeps their unhealthy bodies alive (I realize medical conditions may make it impossible for some people to lose weight).

There is something incredibly sad about women demanding to be seen as beautiful. There is something wrongheaded about the assumption that beauty ideals do not arise in a society but are simply imposed by the fashion business, and that political clout can be exchanged for feeling good about one’s looks. It’s a simplistic view of beauty, a simplistic view of power, and questionable psychotherapy.