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Feminist columnist devotes entire column to s̶k̶i̶n̶ ̶c̶r̶e̶a̶m̶ “radical feminist self-care”

January 12, 2016

From my latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

Author Schuman: Spending $46 on a jar of moisturizer is “an act of political warfare”

It used to be called “primping.” Now it’s called “radical feminist self-care.”

So if you’re spending $46 for a tiny jar of face-moisturizer–hey, you’re doing it for the sisterhood!

It’s always fun to watch feminists twist themselves into pretzels trying to come up with a “feminist” explanation for indulging in the girly-girl things that are supposedly foisted on them against their wills by the evil male patriarchy. And so we have Rebecca Schuman, holder of a Ph.D. in German and education columnist for Slate, breathlessly enthusing about her discovery of “K-Beauty,” a Korean skin-care regimen that involves slathering your face with at least ten different oils and cleansers and enclosing it inside a rubber “sheet mask” that’s something like the mud-packs your mom used to apply in her pursuit of “A-(for “American”) Beauty:


“What I didn’t realize until recently, however, is that K-beauty is also popular with self-identified feminist academics and scholars, several of whom told me that they view the elaborate routine not as vanity but rather as an act of radical feminist self-care.* Indeed, Stockton University English and digital humanities professor and Web designer Adeline Koh published an entire blog post on the subject. She wrote:

“‘I’ve started to view beauty as a form of self-care, instead of a patriarchal trap. One of my deepest inspirations, the writer and activist Audre Lorde, famously declared that “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” For many women, especially women of color, we’re often told that we are only useful, only valuable when we devote ourselves to others; that caring for ourselves in the last thing that we should consider.'”

Read the whole thing here.

Posted by Charlotte Allen
  1. sestamibi permalink

    I believe this is a shining example of what Chateau Heartiste (formerly Roissy–remember him? you wrote about him for The Weekly Standard in 2010) called the “rationalization hamster”.

  2. Lastango permalink

    What Mz. Schuman writes is true. It’s the reason why feminists can now claim Victoria’s Secret models for their own team as fellow wagers of political warfare. Viewed through this lens, It is impossible to tell the difference between them. But eschew conflation. The feminists are guiding us to draw the Venn diagram correctly. It is not they are all now feminists. It is that they are all now Victoria’s Secret models.

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