‘Hygge.’ Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about the Danish lifestyle craze of ‘well-being’ and coziness, which has spread through the UK quicker than you can say “pretentious.”
People think some sort of phenomenon has surfaced, whereby the concept of ‘hygge’ has suddenly taught people how to light a candle or buy a nice blanket. ‘Hygge’ literally just means ‘cosiness’ (I live with a Dane, she has confirmed this). You can walk into Waterstone’s and an entire bookshelf is dedicated to a whole idea that is essentially based on nothing.
Someone extremely clever decided to dupe people into a monetised state-the-obvious. First Deliciously Ella was preaching “wellness,” spiralising veg and ‘clean eating’ (clean eating is not a thing. Do not self-shame yourselves). Now, we’re being told that our lives will improve with a warm glow. Sit in front of a candle. Go on, stare at it.
Hygge books encourage people to adhere to a ‘palette’ of colours such as terracotta, beige, and “greige.” Yeah seriously, “greige.” As if grey and beige weren’t bad enough on their own as colours to entice joy. Hygge is about as useful as a lifestyle choice as it is useful to tell a depressed person to “just cheer up.”
People have literally whacked a name on something people already do and have cashed in on it, encouraging yummy mummy’s to flock to Waterstones to read their first book in 5 years and then enthusiastically discuss it whilst shopping for a new £140 pillow at The White Company. One hygge-ist writes about how she correlates hygge with “visiting her grandparents, who lived in a thatched roof house, being woken up during lightning storms…” Mate, this isn’t an Ernest Hemingway novel. People can’t sit on their commute to Waterloo with a Jo Malone candle on their lap or wrap themselves in a blanket to avoid reality. What on earth is with all this middle class bullshit? Go and find a hobby that doesn’t involve low-wattage. “Basking in a warm glow” is not a lifestyle choice.
‘Hygge’ is for people who believe in star signs and avoid gluten for no apparent reason. A lifestyle blogger’s wet dream, finally Amelia and Camilla and Celia can put their Instagram aesthetic skills to use and write empty words about soft blankets and hot cocoa.
I’m not saying we should sit in the rain, drink a can of lilt and then go to bed at 3am. Why can’t we just enjoy fluffy socks and pumpkin soup and an early night without being smug and irritating?