Following backlash regarding an episode of an Ulta Beauty-hosted podcast in which two biological males discuss girlhood, the definition of beauty, and their experiences of femininity, the beauty company has doubled down, stating that “The intersectionality of gender identity is nuanced.”
“We believe beauty is for everyone. And while we recognize some conversations we host will challenge perspectives and opinions, we believe constructive dialogue is one important way to move beauty forward. The intersectionality of gender identity is nuanced, something David and Dylan acknowledge themselves within the episode. Regardless of how someone identifies, they deserve our respect,” a statement from the company read, according to InStyle.
The beauty company is facing backlash and boycotting efforts after the company posted a podcast episode titled “The Beauty of Girlhood” featuring David Lopez, a gender-fluid celebrity hairstylist, who interviewed Dylan Mulvaney, a comedian-turned-TikTok influencer famous for the series “100 Days of Girlhood, which documented Mulvaney’s transition from nonbinary to being not a “girl.”
Ulta Beauty describes the podcast series as going “beneath the surface of nontraditional beauty topics,” and that they do in this episode which delves into the meaning of beauty through the lens of gender stereotypes.
The interview, which was seemingly intended to show how progressive of a company Ulta Beauty is, took place on Mulvaney’s 167th day of “girlhood” and explores what being beautiful means to Mulvaney, who began identifying as a girl when a fully grown adult male.
“I never saw myself as beautiful before this gender … journey started because I didn’t think boys were allowed to be beautiful,” explains Mulvaney. “I was like trying to be handsome and yet that didn’t feel right either.”
“I don’t think beauty is, like, an end goal or, like, one thing, you know, one look or one specific moment,” Mulvaney rambles on. “It’s the ever-changing potential to see myself in a light that makes me really happy.”
“That’s so special,” responds Lopez. “It’s one of the many reasons I love you and adore you and what you do.”
“There’s this idea in this concept that as queer people, we are the stewards of change of this new world because we are willing to live our life joyfully through adversity, and willing to love ourselves despite the world telling us we shouldn’t,” Lopez continued.
Matt Walsh chose this particular clip to comment on, pointing out that Mulvaney, like so many members of the modern gender movement, puts the self at the center of everything.
“Beauty is simply whatever makes them feel good,” Walsh explains. “Truth is also whatever makes them feel good; womanhood is whatever makes them feel good. Literally, all of life, every part of life is defined by its ability to make [Mulvaney] feel good.”
Thousands of women took to Twitter to express their disgust at the podcast episode and with the company, with many referring to Mulvaney’s self-proclaimed identity as a woman as “womanface.”
“Sorry ladies, looks like we no longer corner the market on girlhood. Despite being male, Dylan Mulvaney was just featured on Ulta's show ‘The Beauty Of…' to discuss what it means to be a girl. Now women are threatening to #BoycottUlta because of the promotion of ‘womanface,'” said Lauren Chen of Turning Point USA.
“I am the mother of three little girls. Their lived reality is being fetishised, appropriated & turned into a mockery by these two adult males, who are valorised, promoted & paid vast sums of money to do so,” said lawyer and gender-critical feminist Katherine Deves. “This [is] offensive to every female on the planet. Women say NO @ultabeauty.”
Others shared some of Mulvaney’s most offensive TikTok videos, which include one post on “day 74 of girlhood” in which the 25-year-old TikTok star refers to women’s crotches as “Barbie Pockets.”
“I forgot that my crotch doesn’t look like other women’s crotches sometimes because mine doesn’t look like a little Barbie Pocket.”
Mulvaney also talked about wanting “to be a mom one day” and how that is possible.
“No, you absolutely cannot be and never will be a mother,” responded Alexandra Lains in a video posted to social media. “Renting a womb of a woman will not make you a mother. Not even adopting will make you a mother. You know why? Because you’re a man. 99 things a man can be, and a mom is not one of them.”
Ulta Beauty spent a large part of the days after the release of the podcast hiding the replies of angry women telling them how offensive they found the show.