Ask yourself if it sparks joy. If it doesn’t- discard it. This is the secret of the KonMari Method divulged in her bestselling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Marie Kondo has established herself as a Japanese cleaning consultant with a revolutionary idea- organizing category-by-category instead of room-by-room. She streams everyday on her Netflix show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”. Since she’s super busy building an empire, Kondo is no longer available for hire. However, you can commission one of her 200+ consultants to tidy your house.
The goal of the KonMari Method is to have a house full of items that spark joy by discarding those that don’t. An uncluttered life brings greater joy and prosperity to you. While tidying, she encourages you to visualize the life you want to live and what you need to do to get there. Anything that can’t assist you isn’t deserving of you or your space.
Her Japanese minimalism-inspired approach has six steps: (1) commit yourself to tidying up, (2) imagine your ideal lifestyle, (3) finish discarding first, but before getting rid of items, sincerely thank each item for serving its purpose, (4) tidy by category, not location (5) follow the right order and (6) ask yourself if it sparks joy.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, our categories around gender identity need “Tidying Up”. We have probed our heteronormative outlook predicated on a default gender binary belief. Additionally, we are familiar with negative tropes of masculinity and violence and the fact that some women have unlearned gendered behaviours that once rendered them invisible. Meanwhile, in some kingdoms, women have only just been allowed to hold passports or to travel without a man’s consent.
But we have yet to catechize the idea of a virtuous man. Manliness is ordinarily associated with virility- not virtue. Liz Plank is one of feminism’s most noticeable faces in the social media era. Her new book ‘For the Love of Men’ is a KonMari prescription for what she terms “mindful masculinity.” Mindful masculinity asks instead: “Does this spark joy for me? What kind of behaviours do I like? What kind of attitudes do I like, and which ones don’t I like?”
Twenty years ago, Pharrell Williams wore slimmer jeans, fitted skate tees, and mesh trucker hats that set him confidently apart from rap’s monolithic archetype. As he charted a stream of hit songs, his wardrobe mirrored the uncluttering of his categories. He special-ordered a Hermès Birkin bag in inky purple crocodile and wore it everywhere. He started wearing Chanel clothes and jewellery, and designs of the cultish Phoebe Philo OBE, creative director of Céline. In 2015, Pharrell was featured by the vaunted French fashion house Chanel, which has never been in the menswear business. Karl Lagerfeld allowed Pharrell to become the first celebrity to collaborate on a capsule collection with the maison. It’s called Chanel Pharrell.
Pharrell is not interested in wearing a chemise, but couture for women that looks great on him—that spark joy—he will wear. Religion decided attire, but no revealed book mentions a bustier. Moreover, the rules of the matrix in the age of revelation accepted unspeakable ungodliness that would be impermissible today. Today, non-binary visibility is increasing and androgyny in fashion is gaining wider acceptance as gender bending of runways and brand campaigns ooze with gender-nonconforming aficionados like Rain Dove and Hari Nef.
Rain was named one of Elle Magazine’s “12 Women Who Are Redefining Beauty in 2015.” Rain’s “gender capitalism” subverts expectations of both genders to maximise opportunities and earnings by walking both menswear and womenswear catwalks. Her break came after losing a wager to a friend and, as a forfeit, attended a casting. The bookers told her she had the wrong day. She turned up on the following day, but the models were all men.
She was given a foundation garment and directed to get dressed. Rain asked for the outfit. But- that was the outfit! It was a men’s underwear show. In that moment, the world made Rain.
Asia Dillon is a visual anomaly in the alpha-male onscreen world. Asia brings gender nonconformity to Hollywood’s first gender-nonbinary characters. In Showtime’s macho drama “Billions” Asia plays the intern savant, Taylor Mason. In John Wick’s Adjudicator, Asia is a nonbinary villain. These roles publicly elucidate the particulars of nonbinary gender identity for everyone from Ellen DeGeneres to Khloé Kardashian. Asia represents the liberation that people experience in building private meanings around masculinity and feminineness.
Thomas Page McBee is a transgender man. During his transition, he experienced a woman crossing to the other side of the street, to dodge his bulging body. She could not know, that a few months ago, he was a lady just like her. However, to be the man that he is at work, Thomas does the opposite of what is expected of him- so he listens more, talks less and hugs other men because they expect less listening, talking more and no hugging of men. Today, it is the environment that must adapt to humans as we naturally select things deserving of the life we chose to live and discard those that are not.