The Marie Kondo phenomenon of helping to tidy up a cluttered home seems to keep growing, even if some of her ideas aren’t always popular. One of those controversial concepts is the initial idea no one should have more than 30 books in their home to avoid domestic chaos.
Despite her being known for saying this, was she misunderstood in her meaning? Kondo is already shutting down rumors that she openly promoted the book idea.
After a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, how did Kondo put that book rumor to rest? Misconstrued comments can often take a life of their own thanks to social media.
The social media response to Marie Kondo wasn’t pretty
— Marie Kondo (@MarieKondo) January 1, 2019
Japanese-born Kondo is known for her trademarked KonMari de-cluttering process from a bestselling book she wrote four years ago. Once she became one of the most influential housekeeping experts in the world, it was inevitable she’d end up with her own show. Her new Netflix series has created even more fans, but also some rivals who disagree with some of her approaches.
It’s possible because Kondo doesn’t speak English well that her KonMari method is sometimes lost in translation.
After all, the American social media response to her “30 books” comment was snarky and vicious. Even Jimmy Kimmel had a little fun poking fun at her ideas when Kondo recently appeared on his late-night show.
So was her book comment really misunderstood, or was there just a caveat to her philosophy?
A Twitter meme created a misconception about tidying up
Hi. I wrote the original meme as a funny between Kondo (whose books we own and enjoy) and clergy (which I am). It grieves me it is being seen as racist. Can you help me see why the original feels dehumanizing or racist to you?
Original meme here: pic.twitter.com/ujDJ2Fpirk
— Rev. Jeremy Smith (@umjeremy) January 15, 2019
Kondo’s comment about books came (unsurprisingly) from a Twitter meme initially posted by a reverend of all people. When the meme was changed slightly by another person to create a joke, it soon went viral. In the initial meme, it showed Kondo making the above comment in a caption balloon.
With her creation of the new catchphrase “does it spark joy?” (as in deciding whether you should keep something), you could almost bring the same question to social media memes. Have these memes gotten to the point where we take them literally and begin to inflate perceptions about ideas or people?
Maybe not on a large scale. Still, it’s time to look at Kondo’s real housekeeping philosophy.
Kondo still fits in well on social media
— Marie Kondo (@MarieKondo) January 29, 2019
Recently, Kondo tweeted she’s been nominated for a Shorty Award based on her home decluttering content on social media like Twitter and Instagram. She’s active on both, which proves she has no hard feelings about any misconceptions instigated there.
It’s worth noting Kondo was only using her book stance as something she’d done during certain time intervals and not a suggestion for others to do the same. Just this slight change to her quote was enough to cause an uproar without digging a little deeper.
This is why anyone watching Kondo’s Netflix show should keep in mind a lot of her ideas, especially the “sparking joy” phrase, have more complex meanings than how we Americans often perceive them.
Most people will probably keep their books
Kondo’s Japanese philosophy on eliminating home clutter works if you apply it with some intellect. Since she was saying you should only keep books that spark joy at a given time, it likely means all the books you have now already do.
Most of us probably have more books than we know what to do with on our shelves. One thing Kondo maybe overlooked is the age of e-books and the ability to create an all-new library without having to worry about physical space.
Then again, the love for real books is still there for many people. Expect to continue seeing homes with large shelves loaded with books, including ones we read anyway, despite not sparking joy.