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Orthotropics and mewing was widely discussed on incel communities and now that the prominence of these communities has grown, the topic is trickling to the mainstream.

Why would they be popular with incels?

Incels generally hate women and the progress made in Western society. Part of holding women in subjugation is painting them as superficial, and one good way to do that is to convince everyone that male attractiveness is based on a very specific facial feature as if a single dimension of the face can make up for more serious personality flaws.

Why is it surprising that unattractive people try to become more attractive?

My impression of many incels is that their looks are not their problem.

It's not like their opinions are written on their foreheads. Hit on a woman on tinder she won't know. Hit on a woman in a bar she won't know. Clearly the rejection is for simply being unattractive.

Visible attractiveness just gets you past the first gate. Some guys fail spectacularly at anything beyond that. Will fall on their face when chatting.

Personality is often very obvious through body language.

Oh certainly. Having a boring or timid or otherwise unattractive personality can be a big hindrance.

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