Written by: Winona Young, Arts Editor
“What White, Western Audiences Don’t Understand About Marie Kondo’s ‘Tidying Up’” — Margaret Dilloway, Huffington Post
Dilloway’s article is a searing call-out to the backlash against the titular host of Netflix’s Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.
First, Dilloway recounts her Japanese upbringing and the reverence for Shinto gods. Dilloway affirms that Kondo’s KonMari method is rooted in the basic respect Japanese Shintoism holds for inanimate objects.
Dilloway does not hold back — she fiercely defends Kondo against the backlash she’s received for her methods. She asserts that no, Washington Post critic Ron Charles, Kondo is not a book-hating monster who believes people should have 30 books. And no, BuzzFeed writer Anne Helen Petersen, Kondo’s insistence on decluttering is not just for the sake of a minimalist aesthetic and doesn’t contribute to Millennial burnout.
Dilloway affirms the KonMari method is meant to re-evaluate one’s belongings, not to haphazardly cast them aside if they don’t impulsively “spark joy.” She elaborates on how many of Kondo’s critics paint her as a judgmental, pushy, trash-hating maniac, when in reality, Kondo is non-threatening, gentle, and even encouraging when clients choose to keep belongings instead of throwing them away.
More importantly, Dilloway calls out the underlying racism thrown at Kondo. Dilloway asserts that white, Western audiences are criticizing Kondo harshly because she is an accomplished woman of colour telling them to re-evaluate their choices. Audiences seem to think this off as too aggressive for a woman of colour, and in turn, they completely delegitimize her work and methods. I personally applaud Dilloway standing in solidarity with Kondo, and her article proves the necessity of writers of colour.
The quality of this article is only superseded by an exemplary Points in Case humour article by Felipe Torres Medina, titled “I’m Marie Fucking Kondo and You Can Keep All Your Fucking Books, You Ingrates.”