There’s a reason the 1950s was referred to as the golden era of TV. Not only was TV increasingly accessible, but many of the programs are still beloved today. Arguably, some of the programs were problematic because they reinforced gender roles that were ditched during WWII. However, most of it was designed to create a sense of calm amongst American viewers–viewers who were fatigued from the turmoil experienced throughout the War, and eager to return to a simpler life.
Many of my friends, family, and acquaintances report being fatigued by society. From social issues to political differences to student debt, the pandemic, and the inflated housing market, our feelings of anxiety and exhaustion are valid. This fatigue has organically influenced a variety of trends, trends which bring joy because, like 1950’s television, they romanticize simple pleasures and cozy, down-to-earth experiences.
- Watching Hallmark Movies:
With the holiday season approaching, many people are eager to begin watching Hallmark movies. Some already have (raises hand slowly). Similar to the programming of the 1950s, the plot of these films is never too complex, and any points of contention are quickly resolved. Viewers always know that the movie will have a happy ending, and usually, the film focuses on things like small-town life, and the importance of simple moments with family and friends.
2. Celebrating Seasons & Holidays Early:
When I was a kid, Christmas wasn’t generally celebrated until after Thanksgiving, and fall wasn’t celebrated until late September or even October. Now? People are celebrating their favorite holidays and seasons as far in advance as they please. It’s a way of embracing what feels good to us, like wrapping our daily lives in a warm security blanket. Somehow, life feels less stressful if there’s a glowing tree at home, or a pumpkin spice latte in our hands.
3. Cottagecore and Farmhouse Style:
These are both primarily aesthetic trends. In its most basic sense, Cottagecore romanticizes rural life, living sustainably in a cottage in the countryside, while farmhouse style romanticizes life on a farm. The idea is that living off the land and away from society is a simpler and more relaxed lifestyle. Some individuals have gone so far as to literally move to a cottage or start a farm. Many of them report increased happiness, but warn that to truly “live” these trends involves a lot of hard work. Whether these trends would actually bring us joy depends not on the lifestyle being inherently free of stress, but how we choose to process the different stressors that are present–like making bread from scratch or feeding and collecting eggs from chickens every day instead of driving to the store to purchase them at the supermarket.
Hygge is a Danish concept that is used to describe things and experiences that are warm, comfortable, and cozy. Candles are Hygge. Blankets are hygge. Making dinner with your friends is hygge. Playing a board game with the family is Hygge. Talking politics, bragging about promotions, buying more stuff than you need, going “out” all the time, staying late at work, and worrying? Definitely not hygge. You can see why this trend is so popular–it encourages people to seek comfort and close-knit experiences.
Arguably, this trend has been gaining momentum since the advent of leggings. However, it has gained even more steam since the onset of the pandemic. People are less concerned about looking perfectly put together than they are about comfort. Luckily, the world of fashion has caught on so that those of us who don’t want to go out into public wearing pajamas can go out in slightly cuter but equally as comfortable garments. Gone are ultra skinny jeans and wearing a bra every day of the week. Somehow, life feels more manageable in leggings and a soft T-shirt.
6. Working From Home:
I’ve been reading a lot of articles about how companies who refuse to offer work-from-home options are going to struggle to find and keep dedicated employees. Why? During the pandemic, many employees realized that not only is working from home possible, but it has its perks. Life feels more manageable when we can use the time we’d ordinarily spend commuting doing something more fun or productive. We have learned to enjoy using our lunch break to take a walk, go to the grocery store, or pop in a load of laundry. For some, working from home even allows them to take better care of their health issues, or escape office gossip. This isn’t the case for everybody–but for those of us with a hygge home environment? Working remotely is a wonderful, cozy trend.
What trends do you partake in that romanticize coziness and simple joy?