The Minimalism Movement needs more Diversity.

Practicing minimalism can be challenging if you do not have supportive peers (virtual peers count!). But what if most of your minimal peers & mentors are from developed countries, are white and are able bodied men? Currently few minimalists exist who are influenced by the values & pressures that are unique to India & developing countries, fewer are women and even rarer are differently-abled minimalists. I believe there is a void in the minimal world that articulates these differences & makes it part of the norm.

For instance, I LOVE but cannot relate to the white & black minimal look, because my colourful home & clothes simply aren’t minimal enough in comparison. I cannot imagine dressing in all white for a day at work, I’d coming back a sweaty, dusty rag – it’s simply not a practical color for Mumbai guys! Also, open closets, as beautiful as they are, don’t keep out the heat & dust damage making it completely out of the question. I’m also an Indian girl who enjoys dressing up for Indian festivals, so I have a set of Indian clothes that are bright & colourful & completely resistant to capsulating lol! These differences might not seem like much to a practicing minimalist, but they may be daunting enough to keep a novice from considering a simpler life. Our culture, our history, our lifestyle, our health influences our decisions and what our lives look like on the outside. Why then are there so few representations of the different kinds of minimalism? Why do all minimal homes on social media seem like some cookie-cutter version of scandi-chic? Does culture and our personal lives not play anything into what we retain and showcase in our homes? Isn't minimalism as unique to a person as their fingerprint? I believe it is. This uniqueness should be highlighted, celebrated and brought out from the shadows. Every home that is uniquely minimal, every closet that represents its wearer's culture and is sparse, every story that shows how they integrated or overcame their cultural bias to simplify their life breathes life into the minimal movement, encouraging more to downsize, deown and reduce. It's time for these voices to be heard.

While the general tenets of minimalism stay the same, no matter who you are & where you grew up, the way it is practiced & how it manifests are vastly different. Through my insta handle - mnmlgrl and my blog -, I hope to write about my experiences and thoughts about minimalism as an Indian girl. My hope is that provides a supportive platform for people of diverse backgrounds and stages in their journey to express what minimalism looks like for them.

-mnmlgrl publishes a new article every Friday.

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