Britain has been taken over and ultimately as consumers, been taken in by Hygge. Based on a Danish concept of calmness and being content with what we have. As the second most used new word in the UK, after Brexit, it’s clear that us Brits bought into the theory. Big time. The thing is, the concept we’ve bought into isn’t strictly speaking Hygge; a marketers dream, the word has no literal translation so retailers have proffered “coziness” drawing us in with cashmere blankets and cushions, all bathed in the golden glow of flickering candlelight.
It’s a trend, and a hugely marketable one at that, fourteen books on the concept were published in the latter half of 2016, several of which making the best sellers list. Frankly, if you need a book on how to be happy with what you have, you most likely need one to teach you how to make toast too.
Sure, the concept is very real, as you know I’m of German and French heritage and the German living concept gemütlichkeit, said to have inspired Hygge, is the OG model for happiness in direct correlation to coziness.
Me? I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy that Hygge is a dying trend. It’s the antithesis of everything fun, carefree and glam, it’s the enemy of excess and in terms of fashion, it’s bullshit. Throwing on a pair of ripped jeans and your favourite heeled mules to go window shopping with a large American = anti-Hygge.
Already the Swedish concept of Lagom (“just the right amount”, or “in moderation”) is creeping into social media and lifestyle blogs, almost hinting that Hygge equals laziness. Marketeers in the U.K. will be conjuring up a masterplan for Lagom as you read this, I’m thinking candles with a hint of spice, some sort of Lagom Ginko Biloba dissolvable drink and a relaxing downloadable mixtape. Job done.
While the lifestyle gurus and serial trend followers buy into this BS, I’ll be here, refusing to live my life the way marketing strategies dictate. I’m not saying there aren’t cashmere blankets in my home, there are, I use them when I’m pretending to be ET & I burn through at least two Jo Malone candles a week, but as a concept Hygge itself has no place in my house. I do however welcome chaos, craziness and unpredictability, so I’ll be living by my own concept that I’ve called scheiß drauf, I wanted to call it Pixmania but I’m told that’s already taken.