The Commodification of Wellness
In the early aughts, there was a sharp focus shift to wellness. Things like Dr. Weil, Dr. Oz, and the Master Cleanse, became synonymous with getting healthy. Then we saw celebrity online magazines like Goop, and all natural products from celebrities like Jessica Alba started surfacing and promising no harsh chemicals, and a wellness close to Godliness.
In the 2010’s, something wonderful happened, people got more cynicle and all of these so-called gurus got called out for their bullshit. Goop is considered complete crack pot science at this point, Dr. Oz and Dr. Weil have both been called out for their pseudo-science claims and quackademic medicine, and even Jessica Alba is now in cahoots with business folks from Clorox.
And while I don’t often revel in the downfall of others, I can’t help but smirk when folks who constantly warn others that their diet, thoughts, and way of life caused their cancer or early onset Alzheimers. Sure, if you smoke a pack and a half of cigarettes a day, you are increasing your chances of lung cancer. However you are not doing yourself a disservice by avoiding vaginal steaming, and not consulting your astrological sign for your health issues.
KonMari and Hygge
Fast forward to 2019 and the rise of KonMari and the Danish practice of Hygge, and now you’re talking! Also, Gilmore Girls fans knew all about Marie Kondo back in 2016, so get with the times the rest of you, lol.
KonMari is the art of organizing and decluttering. Remember that show Hoarders? Well this is the opposite of that. The best part about KonMari is that you are encouraged to only keep things that spark joy. There’s no boogeyman, there’s not scare tactics, and there is nothing to purchase. Even if you visit Marie’s website, the only thing she has for sale is her book.
And she could try to sell you all sorts of shit. Little boxes for your stuff, special hangers, and exclusive checklists, but her method is simple. Hold all of your stuff in your hands, one at a time, and see if it sparks joy. If it does, keep it. If it doesn’t, toss it. It’s all about your joy. Your experience, with your own stuff.
Also, this is the best things I’ve seen all week.
OK, I’m new to this one. I mean, I am not new to the concept of getting cozy, but I didn’t know it had a Danish name. Also, I still don’t know how to pronounce it.
Just like KonMari, this doesn’t require any new stuff. This is all about your state of mind in your own space.
Hygge is about being cozy, comfortable, and happy. And it’s Danish. Two things, Danish people are always on the list of happiest people in the world. And Danish, like the morning pastry, is delicious. If that doesn’t sell the case for Hygge, nothing will.
Think about it, you know the whole yoga pants revolution? It’s all about Hygge, but Americans don’t have a word for something that makes you feel ‘comfy’ and ‘cozy’ so we just celebrate the things that make us feel that way.
So What’s the Difference
The difference between the old world commodification of wellness, and the finding joy and Hygge of today are miles apart. The former focused on consumerism, you always need more to be happy, and healthy, and well. The latter focuses on less. Keep what makes you happy. Surround yourself with the positive. And that’s it. That’s all that’s required.
At the end of the day, I’m going to trust an ethos that requires me to spend nothing, and teaches me to enjoy the little things, over one that requires me to spend hundreds of dollars and promises infinite wellness.