Minimalism emerged in the late 1950s when artists such as Frank Stella, whose Black Paintings were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1959, began to turn away from the exclusive art of previous generations. A beautiful start to an agonizing trend, if you ask me. Minimalism was set to defy art’s societal standard of what is beauty to consider that less can be more; Minimalism was created with an inclusive approach to expression. Although the intent is thoughtful, it’s results have been bland white-on-white decorations for false relations to lower class individuals. Do you still financially suck your parents’ tits? Then minimalism is for you.
On the website ‘becomingminimalist.com’, which is a basic subject to only write about, there’s an article reeking of clickbait called ‘Minimalism: 8 Essential Principles’ I’d like to focus on the seventh principle ‘Problems aren’t External, But Internal’. First of all, the idea of external issues not mattering, but internal ones is a privileged mindset in a world where most people have obligations and responsibilities. Flaunting that a mindset can change an environment or persons life isn’t only wrong, but stupid. That’s not to disregard self help, internal reflection is healthy and recommended by 9/10 dentists, but claiming to have the solution to systematic problems through affirmations is a mindset most can’t afford.
On the same website, I noticed another article ‘Don’t clutter. De-own’ which is as valuable to me as saying ‘Don’t kill. Murder’. The article’s almost affirmational tone explains how the reader can learn to throw away most of your objects, as if it’s nothing at all. To some that may seem like an easy task, and to those people I say please get down off that high ass horse. Last Thursday, a 75 year old woman featured on the show Hoarders was arrested for animal cruelty, refusing to let their pet seek medical treatment until injuries occurred. Although it’s easy to excuse that individual as an unjust hoarder, we should first look at why it’s so hard to ‘de-own’ things as a poor person, than a rich one. Think about it, might you be hesitant to throw things away if you know that you can’t afford to replace them? Researchers have shown that significant financial setbacks, as well as untreated trauma (like being poor), can create hoarding behavior. You cannot choose to declutter if you are already living in a small apartment you cannot afford to furnish. You cannot reduce the food you consume if you are already only able to put one good meal on the table per day.
Let’s briefly discuss dandys, income redistribution vectors- the trust fund babies. Individuals who would never go near poverty with a ten foot pole, an undeserved class. In a recent survey, 64% of parents in a national sample stated that young adults should be financially independent by twenty-two. Yet, only 24% of young adults are financially independent by that age. If you’re thinking that’s unfair, either you’re a trust fund baby or a little socialist bitch. Money, sadly, controls how most function day to day. Whether you ride the bus or have a car, whether you rent or buy, whether you have a bed or not. In a country where 2.5 million children become homeless a year, to assume parental stability is obligated to you is to never face financial struggle.
It’s not minimalism’s fault for the majorities’ indifference to poverty, but when there are still people who believe homelessness is a choice then the responsibility is shifted. It may sound ironic for Minimalism to be luxurious, but the truth of the matter is, most people who work multiple jobs aren’t doing so to buy one item of decoration a year.