Mrs. Hinch and the Rise of the Domestic Influencer
‘Do you watch Mrs. Hinch on Instagram?’
That question came a few months ago from my sister, to which my answer was ‘no.’ Typically, as the full-time pop culture hot takes merchant and the one who spends almost her entire life online, I am the one who has to explain to my family who various internet stars and social media influencers are. It’s a tough living but someone has to do it. So when the conversation is flipped and I’m the one who has to be explained to, I know there’s something curious going on. When the world of influencers has spilled out into my own family, to the point where they are making decisions and purchases based on said figures, then that’s the biggest sign I know that this ecosystem is made an indelible impact on the general public.
My sister asked me about Mrs. Hinch because she had recently bought some cleaning products based on her recommendations and was trying to hunt down a particular cloth she used in her Instagram Stories. Apparently this cloth was the best one got getting out stubborn stains and it had recently become the most sought after product of its kind thanks to Mrs. Hinch. My sister then recommended that I buy some Zoflora for my own cleaning needs because Mrs. Hinch, of course, is crazy about it. if you know anything about my family then the idea of any of us having enthusiastic conversations about domestic work is a hilarious image, yet there we were discussing the merits of bleach and the various scented ones available. Truly, we had entered the darkest of timelines.
View this post on Instagram
AD |Hello my Hinchers!! I don’t know about you but the shine on a sink makes my day 😆😍 I could check out peoples sinks and cupboards all day mate .. (worrying)! Anyway .. As you may have noticed on my Stories I now use these specific Gregory gloves every time I Hinch! I was sent them to try but now I am genuinely in love with the things! They’re called the Killeen Grippaz! Do many of my Hinchers own these? I could be late to the party 🤣 BUT @killeen_ie who are the parents of these babies also have lots of other hinching products they sell! So show them some love , check them out and if you also use these Gregory gloves let me know your thoughts on them and I hope you’ve all had a wonderful day! Ps: Have you been hinching much? I can’t stop , I think I’m nesting 🙊 ATB 🙊 #killeeners 🧤❤
Mrs. Hinch, also known as Sophie Hinchliffe, is an Essex based hairdresser who started documenting the renovation and cleaning of her new home in March 2018. With impeccably manicured nails, Hinchliffe guides her 2.3 million followers through her daily domestic routines, showing off her essential cleaning products and offering tips on how to keep the bins smelling fresh. Hinchliffe’s house is impressively large and detailed in its interior design in the way that feels so very ready for Instagram. Everything is white and shiny and blended with shades of grey, except for the cleaning products with stand out like Andy Warhol paintings in her eye-watering bright colours. She looks great, the house looks great, and she’s managed to turn the typically mundane task of keeping up appearances into a highly lucrative business. Her book, Hinch Yourself Happy, book sold sold 160,302 copies in three days according to The Bookseller, making it the second fastest selling non-fiction title of all time in the UK. The last time I was in my local supermarket, the book section was chock full of Mrs. Hinch. The Minky MCloth anti-bacterial cleaning pad, a favourite product of hers, was essentially impossible to buy in the UK for several weeks, much to the chagrin of many people I know.
My instinct around the concept of the domestic influencer - and all the ones I encountered were white women - is to bemoan the potentially regressive nature of it all, a new aspirational status where the dream is to look good as you clean your house. The business of domesticity is one fraught with gendered oppression and deep seated stereotypes. Cleaning products are typically still advertised with women in mind, and the housework gap between men and women remains vast. Research done in 2016 by the Office for National Statistics, women did almost 60% of the domestic work on average in Britain. The unpaid labour of domesticity is still women’s work to the general population, and married men are congratulated for doing the bare minimum where women are simply expected to clean morning, noon and night. Simone de Beauvoir talked about the Sisyphian task of housework and its ‘endless repetition’ as an oppressive obligation for women way back in the 1950s. While things have improved somewhat, the unbalanced nature of cleaning and keeping up the home still hits women more than men, even as the hours we work overall go up. The expectation these days isn’t so much that we all be domestic goddesses, thankfully, although when the weight of these duties gets heavier with time, it’s understandable why we would want to find new ways to make it more bearable. Enter Mrs. Hinch.
Hinchliffe’s method comes with the same kind of life-affirming closure that Marie Kondo’s work offers, although the life-changing art of tidying up is rooted more in establishing routines than maintaining them. You keep what sparks joy thanks to Kondo, then Hinchliffe teaches you how to make what you keep sparkle even more. Watching both women do their thing with such verve has a certain appeal beyond the aspirational too. Hinchliffe, and various other domestic influencers like Lynsey ‘Queen of Clean’ Crombie, offer an unusually cathartic method of alleviating anxiety. The world is falling apart, politics is killing us all, and it’s too much pressure to watch talented people do things you know you’d never be able to do, but everyone can clean. Anyone can buy a £1 bottle of Zoflora and get the skirting boards shining with enough elbow grease. I hate cleaning like all sensible people, but even I can’t deny the flush of accomplishment that comes with getting everything done then sitting down to enjoy that fresh smell and a carpet free of biscuit crumbs. Mary Poppins made tidying up into a game. Mrs. Hinch makes it into a dream.
View this post on Instagram
I feel I need to say this … My Hinchers will remember this shoot day very well , you were all with me on my stories the evening before , on my way there , behind the scenes and on my way home , supporting me. I know I’ve said this so many times and I’m sorry if I sound like a broken record but without you all I wouldn’t have even considered doing a shoot like this. My family and friends know me inside out and they know how much my Hinchers have helped me and we’re ALL so grateful! 🙏🏼 Now this instagram “fame” as some call it , is not what I ever expected to gain from this account. Yes it’s true what you’ll read today in the you magazine interview .. I have turned down many TV deals and public appearances and this is because my biggest fear is losing my normal life (Tiny sewing machines n’all) But what I am doing is trying to grow myself and grow others on this Hinch journey until “hinching” no longer needs Mrs Hinch .. and I think I’ll know when that time comes in my own heart ❤️ So please .. to anyone reading this right now I hope you can take one very strong message from my interview today … do not body shame anybody! Never judge a book by its cover! Everyone’s cover is their own and that is what’s so amazing! In fact I can’t even believe I’m on an actual cover 😂 But Please my Hinchers .. never want someone else’s life or even their image .. because you’ll live your happiest life with the most simplest of things .. and if you look close enough you probably already have those things right under your nose. Trust me I know ..I’ve been there! But I’ll stop typing now and leave the you mag and my book to tell you the rest … All the best my Hinchers ❤️ Soph ❤️ AKA Mrs Hinch xxx #imahincher
There’s a wholesomeness to domesticity and its influencer nature that has proven immensely appealing to Hinchliffe’s fans. It’s like watching The Great British Bake Off or digging through the countless Twitter accounts dedicated to cute animals. Hinchliffe doesn’t pressure her ‘Hinch Army’ to replicate everything she does, nor does she chastise anyone who doesn’t keep their home as blindingly shiny as hers. Everyone is there for the simple pleasure of making ones house a home (although it does help that the Hinchliffe residence is the peak of middle class British aspiration, right down to the candles). On a dark bleak internet, there’s comfort to be found in the simplicity of nice people cleaning table-tops and talking about how calming it is. Things may suck but we’ll always have our home and we can always make them that much nicer.
For what it’s worth, I did actually buy some Zoflora.
Header Image Source: YouTube // This Morning
- With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: Voting for the Pajiba 10 Begins Now
- Spoilers: Digging into the Runes Throughout ‘Midsommar,’ What the Hell They All Mean, and the Easter Eggs Ari Aster Hid Throughout
- By Erasing Oasis for a Cheap Joke, ‘Yesterday’ Also Does One of Its Only Female Characters a Disservice
- Review: Tom Holland Is Perfect In 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Even as the Story Struggles
- On the Spectacular 'Evvie Drake Starts Over' and the Time NPR's Linda Holmes Twitter Shamed Me