"If we insist on the primacy of beauty, doesn't that give the word "ugly" even more power to cause us harm? For years now, fat-positive activists have insisted that the word "fat" is morally neutral; that if you don't need to be thin to be considered a worthwhile or complete person, then "fat" isn't an insult, just a descriptor. Similarly, the answer to an oppressive and arbitrary beauty stand should not be to insist that everyone is beautiful, and more than the cure to weight stigmas is to declare that everyone is thin. It is to resist and counter the notion that thin and beautiful are the only acceptable things to be.
Instead of insisting that beauty is necessary for everyone, more body-positive activists are working toward making beauty optional- something we can pursue if it matters to us, but also something we can have full and satisfying lives without. We should affirm our bodies for what they can do, how they can feel, the tribulations they've survived. And the amazing minds they carry around, without having to first justify their existence by looking pretty.
While I stand with and support anyone who finds power, visibility, or joy in reclaiming the word and the concept of beauty, it shouldn't be compulsory. There should be space in body positivity for women like me, for anyone who wants access to confidence, happiness, and self-worth without having to use beauty as the vehicle to get there."
-Lindsay King Miller, from "Pretty Unnecessary- Taking Beauty Out of Body Positivity." Click title for the full article.