wtf is hygge?

Hygge is so trendy that it’s almost obnoxious, but recently on three (!) occasions, I found myself struggling to explain it to people who hadn’t heard of it (probably because they do more with their lives than read Apartment Therapy).

hygge

Anyway, the Danish concept of “hygge” (which I guess you say HUE-geh or HOO-guh depending who you ask) roughly translates to a feeling of coziness, connection, and contentment. (Conveniently alliterative, eh?) A slew of books recently came out about it, and the one I’m reading calls itself “a cure for SAD in book form,” which is kinda true!

From what I can tell, hygge means the feeling you get while sipping a steaming mug of tea on your couch, snuggled under a soft fluffy blanket, while having a good conversation with a friend…or your cat, I might add. Lots of faux fur, candles, shaggy & cozy textures, muted blush tones/neutrals, li’l cookies, and true crime TV shows, for some reason. (Those Danes gotta pass the cold dark winter somehow, I guess.)

hygge-vibes

No coincidence that IN THESE SCARY TIMES [glare in Trump’s direction] people are “cocooning” and embracing something that makes us feel safe and warm and comforted. There’s something simple, kind, quiet, and gentle about it, almost meditative. A nice contrast to loud, bright, flashy busy-ness and endless smartphone scrolling.

I confess reading The Book of Hygge has given me MAJOR Denmark envy. I know it’s romanticized and probably oversimplified, but Danish society sounds so utopian!

hygge bedroom
via Tumblr

In lieu of moving there immediately, a few little prezzies for myself have boosted my home’s hygge factor: some special tea, battery-operated candles that turn on at the same time every night, and one of those ubiquitous Ikea fake sheepskins. I’ve also been making small attempts to be a better listener & be more present in the moment–more mindful, if you will.

AHH. Feeling more zen already.

Further reading: BBC + NYT

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Where my basic bitchez at?

ugg-boots

Confession: I am listening to Dolly Parton and reading a Harlequin romance novel about a librarian titled Love Overdue.

WHAT THE FUCK

(Yes, moooost of my blog post ideas of late are just retreads of the same theme: “OMG I just realized I can stop hating XYZ and repressing myself and just like what I like and stop trying to be a hipster! MIND BLOWN!” Yes, this is another in that vein. I WARNED YOU.)

You know what else I like, other than cheeseball books and the Gilmore Girls soundtrack? PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES. WEARING FLUFFY SLIPPERS. GREY’S ANATOMY. YOU’VE GOT MAIL. LIFETIME MOVIES. TOP 40 CHRISTMAS SONGS.*

All of which makes me want to stab myself in the face.

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rumi: the guesthouse

guesthouse

Turns out Rumi was one cool cat. Evidence: this poem my therapist read me…

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

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not it

Most “websites for women” (EYEROLL) are full of headlines like this:

it-girl-headline2

Or this:

it-girl-headline1

The “it” girl species (Homo itgirlius) is always well-dressed, always on the cutting edge. Fashionable, flawlessly made up, “effortlessly” dressed, minimalist rose gold jewelry, blond-streaked hair gently tousled or piled in a bun on top of her head. (Her Instagram is amazing.) For a small fee, you too can dress like the ‘it’ girl (Alexa Chung, apparently the “Man Repeller” woman, maybe the Olsen twins?). On the “it” girl’s thin frame, ugly things like frumpy trousers and burlap sacks look sexy (especially when styled with the requisite 4-inch heels). Oh yeah, she’s usually white too.

For a while my eyes turned all swirly and hypnotized–I too wanted to look like an “it” girl. What colors are in? What length of skirt is hip? Where can I find affordable high-rise cropped flared jeans in the right wash? How can I wear a romper without flashing everyone? And then failure and exhaustion set in. Trying to be an “it” girl, much like trying to be popular in junior high, is TOO MUCH WORK (and ultimately impossible without changing, like, who I am). Expensive, tiring, just not me. And “it” girls all kind of look the same.

So many "it" girl lewkz on stock photo sites. Who knew?
all via free stock photo sites

I’m not dissing all fashion bloggers by any means. I LIKE fashion bloggers if they have their own style, some personality behind it (like Midge at Modern Girl Blitz). If you change too much with the trends, who are you really? Who are you without them? Do you have any creativity of your own?

I want to dress for ME. Maybe drawing inspo from trends…but not letting them dictate my wardrobe. From Eleanor & Park:

she-looked-like-art

I think confidence, being happy with yourself, not needing the fashion approval of others–THOSE are even better than being an “it” girl. The trade-off is less immediate shallow gratification, but it’s a lot less fleeting. ❤

Updated 6/20: Awesome quote from actress Constance Wu on Vulture about this (well, acting rather than fashion, but still relevant):

Hollywood likes their girls to feel like, Oh, I discovered her in a pizza parlor. Fresh plucked. New. Still sweet. Not battle-tested and wise and smart and strong. There’s an “It” girl every year because there’s a slot that needs to be filled, and this girl gets all the parts, and she gets them because she is so new and she’s having her moment now. But an “It” moment only lasts X amount of time. Some of them are able to transition into leading-lady status like Charlize or Angelina. But how many “It” girls haven’t been able to do that? And why is the “It” girl even a thing?…The “It” girl is a very fucked-up idea when you think about it.

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Pitch Perfect and attachment theory

I love Pitch Perfect. It has plenty of problems with race. But it also has a cast full of talented, awesome women (Rebel Wilson, pre-Super Fun Night…those were the days), a female writer, and a female producer. And Beca (Anna Kendrick), its main character, has a really refreshing take on relationships.

pitch-perfect-anna-kendrick

attached-bookLet’s back up. Have you read the book Attached (subtitle: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find — And Keep — Love)? Kelly leant it to me a while back and it’s no exaggeration that it changed my life. Basically, the book’s authors use attachment theory to trace how childhood experiences with your parents (did they give you enough love/attention?) shape your adult dating life. To sum it up, which of these three examples from U of Illinois is closest to how you act in relationships?

  1. I get a bit uncomfortable being close to others; it’s hard to trust them completely or allow myself to depend on them. I feel nervous when anyone gets too close.
  2. It’s fairly easy for me to get close to others, and I’m comfortable when we depend on each other. I don’t worry about being abandoned or about someone getting too close to me.
  3. Love interests are reluctant to get as close as I’d like. I often worry that my partner doesn’t really love me or won’t want to stay with me. I want to get very close to my partner, and this sometimes scares people away.

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