Less may not be more, but is it ideal?

Minimalism graphic

Everyone has different pictures in their heads of what they want their life to look like in the future. This in turn means that everyone values a different lifestyle and aesthetic.

A recent trend in popular lifestyles has been minimalism. The lifestyle trend is defined as using and owning only items that really have a purpose to them; the aesthetic is defined as when something appears very simple and uses clean and minimal details.

With the rise of organizational sensations like Marie Kondo and the mindset that getting rid of things from the past is healthy, it is no surprise that people are beginning to fill their spaces less.

The modern housing market is fully taking advantage of this trend; modern homes are filled - or rather, not filled - with white walls and simple abstract art pieces, while maybe three books top the otherwise clear coffee table.

Junior in the College of Arts and Sciences Erin Pritza said they think “most minimalism is so viscerally unappealing” that they can’t stand it.

They emphasize that unique pieces of furniture and decoration should be used for the little someone has, as opposed to the all-white look that current marketing is pushing.

Kristin Clemons, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, would generally agree with Prtiza, saying, “It makes the environment look too sterile.”

There is also a question of sustainability when it comes to the lifestyle. Many people look at minimalism as just an aesthetic; the look is more important than the behavior to them.

Companies across the globe have taken this idea and run, capitalizing off of people’s need to have themselves and their spaces look “just right.” Although consuming less will in theory reduce your carbon footprint, many products are not made with that in mind.

“Simplicity is popular, which means that prices of simple items are on the rise,” Pritza said. “Since minimalism is so trendy and focused on cultivating the perfect aesthetic, mass produced products that are (perhaps erroneously) marketed as being ‘minimalist’ can often be produced using sweatshop/ cheap factory labor in dangerous conditions, or be made with a low quality and very wastefully.”

The most important thing to do when buying, whether that be minimalistically or otherwise, is to consider where the item came from and whether you actually need it and will use it. If not, don’t be wasteful of the product or your money. Remember to fit the lifestyle and aesthetic to you, and have fun with making it completely your own!

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