row of large similar houses on a hill

HGTV is sending me mixed messages

Guilty pleasure alert - I love decorating shows.

But for real, they’re setting us up for a lot of house shame. I don't know about you, but my house does not have a stadium-sized kitchen with loads of subway tile. Or an architect-designed all-season fire pit. Or even a breakfast bar!

 
What the hell, HGTV?

The worst part, in my opinion, is that we're being sold a one-size-fits-all beauty standard.

Hmm, sounds familiar. Fashion magazines may be the gateway drug for this particular envy-as-entertainment juggernaut...

 
I have a sneaking suspicion that the mass-media home-improvement industrial complex won’t rest until we’re all living in the same house. At which point they’ll decide that stainless steel appliances are out, and neutral walls are passé.
 
And then we’ll all have to redecorate.
 
Is it just me?
 
I feel like I’m constantly being told to BE MYSELF. Instagram tells me this on the daily. Blogs reinforce it. I’m being battered with messages of self-acceptance.
 
But at the same time I’m getting some powerful if subtle directives to be like everyone else. And this is particularly fierce when it comes to my home. (And my morning routine, but I'll save that for another rant.)
 
Citizens of the world, throw off your shackles!
 
Celebrate the dishes in the sink. Revel in the ugly shade of yellow painted by the former owners. Mow the lawn or don’t – maybe you’re busy doing stuff that matters.
 
Here’s what’s important when you’re at home: the way you feel.
 
Do you feel safe? Calm? Happy? Energized?
 
Is it a place filled with joy and laughter and delicious things to eat? Can you get some rest and shake off the burdens of your day?
 
If your house isn’t feeling good to you, let’s fix it. If it’s not conforming to some TV exec’s idea of fabulous, give the video device of your choice the one-finger salute and change the channel.

You know, don't you, that you don't have to live in my town to work with me? It's 2021, baby, and we're virtual!

Remember Trading Spaces? Now THAT was decortainment!