“I hate minimalism.
I hate it as a personal artistic performance, but I also hate it (minimalism) as aesthetics: white-on-white-on-white, and a closet meticulously assembled with correct, basic, neutral clothes and shoes.
In terms of visual merits, or as a style with a capital E, minimalism as a result of hyper-curation only conveys a message: “I wanted to take the safest route to the chic, cut out all possible mistakes or risks. I need to reduce my look even further until literally every item I buy tells people ‘I could have something more interesting, but I have enough money to choose’ no ‘. “
Because let’s be clear about what minimalist aesthetics, at least as a personal style choice, actually is: a mockery of connotations of simplicity and even, to some degree, asceticism, without really giving up on luxury.
Minimalist: “Stop wasting money on all cheap furniture! With this $ 4,000 dining table you will never need another piece of furniture!” – which means having enough money to invest in your wardrobe, reduced to a cupboard with expensive basic tops. The vaguely oriental decor – because we assume that anything that is not full of color and pattern is automatically oriental – that has taken an incredible amount of time and attention to put together, with a result that looks casual.
Minimalism like that is just another form of consumption, a way of saying to the world: “Look at all the things I refuse to buy, and the incredibly expensive, sparse items that I thought worthy!” I believe we have the right to buy whatever we want, but pretending that the intention and cost of a minimalist-chic life is not a privileged posture is ridiculous.
The minimalism-like-luxury-good phenomenon is all about the minimalism-like-false-spiritualism phenomenon. Minimalism as a secular type of religion, a complement to the cultures of Yoga and green juices and general well-being, brought together in the same dish of cultural and spiritual practices, without ever fully committing to each one.
The implication of this type of minimalism is obvious: the only people who can “practice” minimalism are the people who can afford it. You cannot choose to “let go” if you already live on a small budget, and you cannot refurbish. We cannot pretend that the performative reduction of consumption, or the option of just consuming in certain ways, is not an exhibition of privileges, and framing it as a moral choice is offensive.
But the truth is that, as with so many other social phenomena of white men, this spiritual minimalism has essentially become a competition, which in this case is that of “who has less shit”.
Even ignoring class cut-outs, this idea that any “detachment” is automatically a positive thing is simply an aesthetic choice being placed as moral, because, let’s be honest, it’s really easy to look at what (almost always) women have as being totally futile. Make-up, more elaborate cabinets, cozy decor, art, craft supplies – it’s no coincidence that most of the things that we say we should let go of in our lives are things that most women accumulate.
And yes, it is important to buy ethically and reduce consumption, as long as the argument is for a more equitable society in which people consume in proportion to their needs.
(If you need an example of the sacredness of minimalism, note the fetishization of the “simplicity” of the ultra-rich: their clean lofts, their branded capsule cabinets, their elaborately reduced diets.)
The point is, minimalism is as superficial as anything else that could show at Fashion Week, just with an additional layer of condescension. We must not be mistaken: this kind of “minimalism” is just another product that rich people can buy. ”