By Vesper Henry | WASHINGTON – Since coming out as a trans woman in March, social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney has amassed a following of over 8 million people on TikTok who join her as she shares her transition journey day by day.
On October 13, Mulvaney joined genderfluid hairstylist and host David Lopez on Ulta Beauty’s YouTube series “The Beauty Of…” for an episode on “Girlhood,” triggering reactionary outrage that culminated in the hashtag #BoycottUlta trending on Twitter.
Each episode in the series is designed to shed light on people who fall outside the cultural norm of beauty standards (previous episodes include “The Beauty Of… Fatness with Virgie Tovar”). The episode with Mulvaney discussed her gender identity and recent experience transitioning throughout the 50-minute interview.
Trans Girls Can Do It All! Tune into the latest episode of The Beauty Of… where host @DavidLopezzz sits down with guest Dylan Mulvaney to chat all things girlhood Watch now: https://t.co/tCRfEryYkZ pic.twitter.com/uaXJqEBQI9— Ulta Beauty (@ultabeauty) October 13, 2022
Mulvaney’s comments about her ability to one day be a mother, as well as the Ulta Twitter account’s caption “Trans girls can do it all,” drew the ire of right-wing pundits and transphobic Twitter users, including Blaze Media podcast host Allie Beth Stuckey.
“I want to be a mother one day, and I absolutely can.” No, you cannot. You can buy all the eggs, rent all the wombs, and wear all the makeup you want, but you cannot be a mother. And that’s ok. Accept who you are and don’t try to be something you can’t. https://t.co/TPnSPeC6A8— Allie Beth Stuckey (@conservmillen) October 15, 2022
Stuckey even made an entire podcast episode about it afterwards.
And Turning Point USA contributor Lauren Chen suggested a woman being happy with herself is “creepy,” if that woman is trans.
The fact that an adult male is obsessed with girlhood (not even womanhood, but GIRLHOOD) is just straight up creepy.
Whatever happened to shutting up and selling makeup @ultabeauty? https://t.co/cmjt7xfLK7— Lauren Chen (@TheLaurenChen) October 16, 2022
Although Ulta hid and turned off comments on the episode in the face of digital harassment, the company followed up with a two-part Twitter post on October 16 defending both the episode and the premise of its series.
The premise of ‘The Beauty Of…’ is to feature conversations that widen the lens surrounding traditional beauty standards. We believe beauty is for everyone. And while we recognize some conversations we host will challenge perspectives and opinions, we believe constructive (1/2)— Ulta Beauty (@ultabeauty) October 16, 2022
The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh, who has faced recent criticism for comments defending teenage pregnancy and marriage, attacked the company for its response.
No they do not https://t.co/1iRxX4Vsfl— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) October 17, 2022
Stuckey got another word in, calling the episode “lunacy.”
You had two grown men tell actual women what it’s like to be a girl, as if they could have any earthly idea. That has nothing to do with beauty; it’s lunacy, and it’s insulting— Allie Beth Stuckey (@conservmillen) October 17, 2022
Other right-wingers continued doubling down in attacking Mulvaney’s interview.
Cassandra MacDonald, editor-in-chief of Timcast News and longtime alt-right troll, suggested that trans identities are “the gender equivalent of black face.”
This is the gender equivalent of black face at this point. https://t.co/Mr1avBOovm— Cassandra MacDonald (@CassandraRules) October 17, 2022
Her boss, conservative YouTuber Tim Pool, said the episode with Mulvaney was “the definition of mansplaining.”
two males doing a podcast called “the joy of girlhood” is the definition of mansplaining https://t.co/9lUUglZs9O— Tim Pool (@Timcast) October 17, 2022
The outrage wasn’t contained to just Twitter, however, as right-wing media outlets also piled on.
Fox & Friends as well as Stuckey’s employer, TheBlaze, both recycled the “biological men” rhetoric against Mulvaney and Lopez. PJ Media diminished the two people discussing their gender identities to “a weird sexual fetish that has nothing to do with being female,” and The Daily Caller labeled the episode an “epic fail.”
CARLEY SHIMKUS (CO-HOST): Ulta Beauty facing outrage and calls for a boycott after releasing a clip of two biological men discussing the virtues of girlhood.
DYLAN MULVANEY: I want to have a family, I want to be a mom one day, and I absolutely can. And that’s why the narrative still has a long way to go.
SHIMKUS: The beauty company says it wanted to feature women who come in all shapes and sizes. Critics however are calling for a boycott, saying it was a slap in the face to womanhood.
This isn’t the first time Mulvaney has been targeted by conservative vitriol. Just last month, OAN host Allison Steinberg misgendered and hurled slurs at Mulvaney on Instagram, inciting an online harassment campaign that Meta failed to curtail.