When you open the fridge in search of something to put in your mouth, you are not looking, in principle, for any kind of aesthetic experience. But TikTok does not think the same. The platform, with its amazing ability to make any daily activity addictive, has made fridge organization a real visual delight.
Currently, the hashtags #fridgerestock —which could be translated as “restocking the fridge”— and #fridgeorganization accumulate billions of views on the social network. The videos hosted under these hashtags seem to be cut from the same pattern: transparent plastic containers that are hypnotically filled by depersonalized hands —you hardly ever see who is behind them— with fruits, vegetables, snacks or soda cans. There are even those who go a step further and decorate the inside of their fridges with flowers, figurines or photos of their cat. In these contents there are no useful organization tips and, in fact, you see things as absurd as putting bananas or potatoes in the vegetable drawer or washing strawberries and spinach before storing them, practices that go against the very preservation of those foods.
But, what does all this matter when it is so nice to contemplate those perfectly aligned yoghurts or those peppers arranged by color? Why is it relaxing to see a fridge this organized? On the one hand, there is the ASMR factor, that sensation of pleasure caused by certain visual and auditory stimuli, and which is undoubtedly triggered by watching these videos. On the other, there is the aspirational component of a good part of the content that is uploaded to social networks and that leads to wanting to imitate, within the possibilities of each one, the behaviors or routines that become fashionable. It is known that everything that has to do with order and organization is especially successful, which is why physical order helps mental order and to have a certain sense of control, even when that order is not put into practice in our lives later. . The mere contemplation of someone organizing their fridge can bring a lot of peace and it doesn’t matter that that peace lasts only until everyone opens theirs and realizes that it is nothing like what was just seen on TikTok.
The truth is that few refrigerators look like this and, in reality, many of them are pure display of status. At a time when the price of food is skyrocketing, which is causing the diet of many families to worsen —according to data from the consumer organization Facua, 8 out of 10 have been forced to buy food in recent months. products of lesser quality – the abundance that these refrigerators exhibit is almost obscene. Not only because of the variety and quantity of food, but also because of the storage investment involved in having a fridge like this and the time it takes to organize it this way.
The British Shabaz Ali, who has become popular on TikTok for reacting to videos of rich people displaying their lifestyle on social networks, has created a category called “I’m Rich, You’re Poor” (I am rich, you are poor) in which he comments, with irony and a class perspective, what this type of content is really shouting: “I am rich, you are poor”.
In one of his most illuminating videos on this trend of seeing wealthy people organize their fridges, Ali explains that the terms used to describe it matter too: “If you’re wondering why ‘restock’ (restocking) is something rich people do, I’ll tell you why. You’re poor. The poor don’t call it ‘resupply’, they call it ‘place the purchase’. You can’t afford to buy products you already have and purchase multiple products to ‘replenish’ the ones you lack, you simply replace what you have run out of at home”. He has also created a “tutorial” where he details what the fridge should look like if one is rich: when you open the door you should only find attractive and colorful food; all food must be out of its original containers, because the wealthiest have time to put them in new, more attractive containers; a refrigerator is needed only for drinks and in it there must be at least four different types of water. Ah, very important: the ice, which is of all kinds of shapes and flavors, always separated in different drawers, because “you are not an animal”.
“That fridge is more organized than my life”, the comment left by a user in one of these tiktoks, It sums up beautifully why users can’t stop looking at them. Like videos of people cleaning their homes, organizing your fridge can be comforting and give you a certain sense of satisfaction. However, the current context gives these contents an unexpected meaning, as if someone came to spoil us with their opulence with a gesture as simple as opening the door of their fridge. Internet does not stop serving daily a portion of unreality, either in the form of a filter that changes the face or the organization that is not easy to achieve in the homes of the majority.
In addition, these dream refrigerators are a “aesthetic” In herself. This term, born on the internet in the heat of Tumblr, refers to a type of identity that is recognizable not only visually, but often also by a series of ideas, tastes or activities associated with it, although the word aesthetic It is also often used to simply describe something pretty. The fact that the aesthetic has also conquered the interior of refrigerators is disturbing. It is as if, little by little, fewer and fewer aspects of private life —at least those that are shown on social networks— could exist peacefully in disorder and neglect. Although the refrigerator, with its light that turns on as soon as the door is opened to illuminate what is inside, has something theatrical, creating a canon of beauty that dictates how the purchase should be arranged so that it is aestheticIt seems a bit excessive. And yet, who can help but keep swiping to see what’s inside the next fridge?