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White Loyola Professor Claims New ‘Pantry Porn’ Trend Is Rooted In ‘Racist’, ‘Sexist’ Behavior

A Loyola University professor has claimed that cleanliness and tidiness, tied to the latest “pantry porn” trend on social media is connected to racism, as well as classism and sexism.

Loyola associate professor of marketing Dr. Jenna Drenten made the claims in a Tuesday piece for The Conversation, titled “‘Pantry porn’ on TikTok and Instagram makes obsessively organized kitchens a new status symbol.”

The so-called “pantry porn” trend shows users post to social media their kitchens perfectly organized, many times in different shaped glass containers neatly placed together with labels.

Drenten wrote that this “new minimalism” movement “means more is more,” a reason to buy more products, from containers, to labels and more storage space.

“Storing spices in coordinated glass jars and color-coordinating dozens of sprinkles containers may seem trivial. But tidiness is tangled up with status, and messiness is loaded with assumptions about personal responsibility and respectability,” she wrote.

“Cleanliness has historically been used as a cultural gatekeeping mechanism to reinforce status distinctions based on a vague understanding of ‘niceness’: nice people, with nice yards, in nice houses, make for nice neighborhoods,” she went on.

“What lies beneath the surface of this anti-messiness, pro-niceness stance is a history of classist, racist, and sexist social structures,” she added.

‘Pantry porn’ trend rooted in racist, sexist behavior: Loyola professor

Denten stated that pantries as a status symbol emerged in the late 1800s, noting that 85 percent of newly built homes in America over 3,500 square feet feature a walk-in pantry, and credited celebrities like the Kardashian-Jenner family for its prominence.

Drenten wrote that the majority of the influencers she viewed posting such pantry productions were white women “who demonstrate what it looks like to maintain a ‘nice’ home by creating a new status symbol: the perfectly organized, fully stocked pantry.”

The professor also connected the popularity increase of pantry porn to the Covid-19 pandemic, stating that “Keeping stuff on hand became a symbol of resilience for those with the money and space to do so.”

The work of keeping up a stocked pantry “often falls to women in the household,” she wrote, later concluding, “Pantry porn, as a status symbol, relies on the promise of making daily domestic work easier. But if women are largely responsible for the work required to maintain the perfectly organized pantry, it’s critical to ask: easier for whom?”

 Dr. Jenna Drenten claims the recent “pantry porn” trend relies on centuries-old sexist, classist and racist social structures. LinkedIn

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Ella Ford is a mother of two, a Christian conservative writer with degrees in American History, Social and Behavioral Science and Liberal Studies, based in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.

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