November 24, 2020

I hate minimalism: a letter to the fashion industry

Why is being boring such a trend now? 

Home makeover shows and organization blogs are ruining our country. 

I get it. I love watching Marie Kondo tell me I need to throw everything away. I love reading the articles about how I should stick to a strict color theme to feel organized. I consume this media like lots of young people in America. I cannot get enough of that sweet, sweet minimalism content. But I despise it. 

Why is being boring such a trend now? 

Minimalism has become a trend mainly targeted towards young people who feel overwhelmed in their lives that want some level of control: people who want to walk into their space and not feel stressed by clutter or gauche interior design. The idea behind minimalism is a wholesome one in the current consumerist society we live in: getting rid of what you do not need to appreciate what you have more. 

Modern Minimalism is a blog run by Ellen Penner, a self-proclaimed Minimalism Mentor. The blog is full of different, simple recipes and pieces on what the essentials are for your household (see: what in your house you should trash). She and her husband run the blog, talking about how they live embracing the minimalist mindset. She also has a great, intimate description of why her family got into minimalism. 

Penner describes the immense amount of stress she was under having multiple children, health complications in the family and moving states. She describes in her “Our Story” section the lack of control she felt at the time, and why she and her family ultimately turned to minimalism. 

“Simplifying has showed me that by having less, I actually have more. More ease in getting dressed every morning. More mental and physical energy to devote to our family. More open space to enjoy at home,” said Penner. “Minimalism brings awareness to what adds value to our lives and helps us let go of what doesn’t.” 

Minimalism is a personal choice. It helps people feel a sense of control and freedom in a world that does not offer us that very often. I get the sentiment behind it–I really do. 

But what happened to good ol’ American individualism? The new trend of having bare homes and simplified closets has left every single minimalist blog and Pinterest looking the exact same: plain and boring. I love the idea of simplifying and truly appreciating what you have, but what is there to appreciate about a white throw that every other young adult in America has?  

What kills me is the lack of personality and charm in minimalism. The idea that you can only have what you need and not what you want seems ironic in a culture so focused on appreciation.  

I wish I could be more organized, but if that means giving up the multitude of tchotchkes and seemingly stupid memorabilia lining my shelves that make for great conversation starters (and pops of color) then I guess it just is not for me. 

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