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An Inspired Life with Sherri -
Just A Mom Living Life Out Loud!
This Month, We're Talking About . . . Fascism Creep!
Greetings, chickies! Well, it’s January. Christmas has been packed away with the last of the tinsel. I can’t help thinking that the season will be back before we know it — it seems to come earlier every year. Did you know there’s a term for this phenomenon? It’s called Christmas Creep. And Back-to-school Creep is just as bad! As soon as the kids are out for the summer, I’m seeing ads for pencils and composition books. Let me enjoy my poolside days!
There’s a new development that many of you have noticed, too — Fascism Creep. I know what you’re thinking — It’s too early! I don’t want to think about it yet! But Bibbi Tarnagan, a style influencer who studies social trends, notes that with the presidential election coming up, fascism season will be here before we know it. “You might be tempted to say oh, I’m just not gonna participate,” Bibbi told me over Zoom. “But those attitudes won’t stop it from coming. Like it or not, Fascism Creep is here.”
If you’re anything like me, you might be wondering if it’s time to get a jump start on preparation. Do I need a new wardrobe? Where do I begin? I’ve got you covered! We’re devoting this entire issue to an in-depth guide on everything you need to get through fascism season.
WHAT IS FASCISM?
Fascism – an authoritarian system of government marked by extreme nationalism, the establishment of a dictatorship, and the suppression of opposition – can seem overwhelming at first. The key is to break it down into manageable chunks, says life coach Caitlin Rutherford. “Think of other things you’ve done that felt daunting, like starting kindergarten, or giving birth,” Caitlin advises. “This is another season of life that with the right preparation you’ll be able to handle like a pro.”
I dug in to get a little more background. In his book, How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them (Tip: go with the audiobook — the narrator’s voice is like molasses, mmm!), Jason Stanley defines fascism as “a cult of the leader who promises national restoration in the face of humiliation brought on by supposed communists, Marxists and minorities and immigrants who are supposedly posing a threat to the character and the history of a nation” and that “The leader proposes that only he can solve it and all of his political opponents are enemies or traitors.” Though I was mostly focused on that deliciously smooth audio, this definitely rang a bell!
Some other facts: Historian Ian Kershaw (He’s technically a British knight, OMG!) is an expert on Nazi Germany (Imagine being married to him? What a downer). Kershaw says that common factors of fascism include “the ‘cleansing’ of all those deemed not to belong.” There’s basically demonization of an “Other” (Jews, homosexuals, ethnic minorities, immigrants) and a belief in political violence as a means to national rebirth, plus social indoctrination and propaganda through media outlets to hammer these messages home. I’ve definitely caught a whiff of these trends when I’m out and about. And there’s, like, an obsessive thing with the nation being basically a god or something. The whole thing ends up with a leader holding absolute power — hello, dictator! — and changing the laws so he can do WHATEVER he wants. This is called a totalitarian state. Ick!
Last night I climbed into the tub with a eucalyptus bath bomb and all 920 pages of The Heritage Foundation’s Mandate for Leadership: The Conservative Promise. This document from the Project 2025 Presidential Transition Project lays out Trump’s plan for a second term, and lovelies, I read it so you don’t have to — you’re welcome. I came out like a prune! The detailed strategy for a conservative takeover has all the fascist tendencies we’ve been talking about super built in. He’s preparing to increase presidential power over federal agencies, centralizing greater control and giving the president direct command to the entire federal bureaucracy. He plans to cut tens of thousands of government workers (specifically firing Treasury staff who participated in DEI training) and appoint recruits who, through Project 2025, have already been ideologically vetted and promised absolute loyalty. With only yes-men around him and the Supreme Court tipped in his favor, he’s literally designing it so nobody holds him back from enacting extreme policy plans on day one. It’s like a Mean Girl who only puts her friends on the student council committee so that her vision for a retro 50s prom can move forward. Only way more serious.
Not to mention the promise to send troops into Democrat-run cities. I have to say it, autocratic regime uniforms lean BORING. Can we not with the beige?
Okay. We’ve got a basic understanding of fascism and evidence that the season is approaching. But with all the changes a totalitarian state will bring, how will it impact my day to day? What’s essential? What can I delegate, and what can be removed from my to-do list altogether? And why does Perfect Charlene from next door make it look so easy?
OUTSOURCE — AND PLAN!
The first thing I can’t stress enough is — say it with me — outsource! You’ve all been through my walk-in closet overhaul (what a journey that was!) so you know how much I love delegating to skilled professionals. The startup FascisEasy agrees, and is ready to take on any of your seasonal needs, from paper shredding to travel plans. Company founder Trisha Mackleby says that women often take on the bulk of the “mental load” under a dictatorship. “Authoritarian states tend to crack down harshly on gender roles,” Trisha tells me. “Women are seen primarily as childbearers — we’re already seeing rollbacks on reproductive freedoms.” The expectation for women to take on even more on the domestic front will be present. Where to start?
“Sit down and do what I call a fascism season inventory,” Trisha suggests. “List all the things that it might entail: Homeschooling when the Department of Education closes and schools stop teaching accurate history and science; a clear-out of any tie-dye clothing, and so on. Now go down the list and see what you’re willing to cut. Answer honestly. Maybe you love a certain tradition, like parades, and don’t want to miss out. The key thing is to know what your priorities are. There’s a perception that you have to do fascism perfectly. I’m here to say you can put your own spin on it.”
I take notes and make my own list. No more annual Drag Brunch for my birthday; I’ll have to come up with a new tradition. And the Jonathan van Ness show will be canceled, so I’ll need to refund my tickets. But this is good — I’m getting so organized! I make lists for Hubby Bryce (home security, potable water supply) and the kids (pack a to-go bag with two outfits and ONE toy — no Legos!). And I book a session with Trisha to do a purge of my New Yorker magazines. She’ll take them away to dispose of in an environmentally friendly manner so I won’t risk being seen with them. After my time with Trisha, I feel much more prepared. If you get organized now, you can sit back and relax when the season arrives, knowing you took care of everything!
AND NOW … MY MUST-HAVES FOR THE SEASON
Don’t fear Fascism Creep! I’ve rounded up my favorite things to help you embrace the era in style!
GET THE LOOK
-For fascism season, I’m loving versatile pieces like this elegant, supersoft cashmere traveling cloak that doubles as a sleeping blanket. The shacket is another staple piece that can take you from school pickup to mandatory reprogramming assemblies — I like this long cut with a muted plaid.
-My longtime readers know I LOVE a Birkenstock. Unfortunately, they’re a no-go for an authoritarian state. Stick with UGGS in a neutral shade. My friend over at Posies and Pearls blog also shared this super-handy Pocket Guide to Totalitarian Footwear and How To Wear It.
-Swap your headband for a short brimmed hat or helmet with pearl studding. Embrace hardware, and don’t be afraid of armbands — have fun with it! Tyranny can look good on you!
-What about the kids? Our whole family loves these sweet brown jumpsuits with built-in bulletproof vesting. A monogram adds just the right touch – keep it monochrome. (Affiliate link!)
BEST FACE FORWARD
-Authoritarianism can wreak havoc on your skin — those who live in fascist states report 30% more dryness. Start your regimen now with a nourishing moisturizer and these papaya-infused undereye patches, 20% off with code DESPOT. And remember, HYDRATE!
-A brow balm is great to have on hand if travel disrupts your grooming regimen, and I love this liquid bronzer brush for an anytime glow. With EPA regulations rolled back, it’s a good idea to choose a signature scent — sweeten up the smell of dirty air with a roll-on scent balm like this one from Wanderlust in Spearmint.
-Just because fascism is happening, doesn’t mean you have to have bad hair! This on-trend hair tutorial for maiden braids is deceptively easy. Tuck in a wheat stalk for a feminine touch.
More: Fight Fascism Skin with New Collections from These Five Brands
INTERIOR STYLE BUT MAKE IT FASCIST
The last thing you want is your mother-in-law or Perfect Charlene from next door questioning whether your home is sufficiently ready for the season. (Just kidding, Charlene! I’ll return your Pyrex soon.) I’ll help you get the basics covered!
-Replace incriminating yard signs with this Welcome Fascism felted garland banner for a pop of color, and for celebration days, this Dictator-Friendly Balloon Arch How-To shows you how to construct colored balloons into the shape of an eagle (Tip: I skipped the talons and it looked just fine!).
-Give your basement a refresh to create a welcoming bunker area. Walls painted with Pantone’s 2024 Color of the Year, Peach Fuzz, provide a cozy glow in the light of DIY soy candles, hand-dipped with essential oils of Geranium and Bergamot. For a closer look and candle-dipping how-to, watch Tour My Bunker!
-The kitchen brings its own challenges — with the roundup and deportation of undocumented immigrants, good luck getting any farm-grown produce or takeout delivery from restaurants! Check out my Grow Lettuce In Your Window Box and How to Boil Spaghetti guides to get you through. Speaking of, that means we’ll lose our weekly housecleaner (we looooooove Olga!) so make sure to interview your cleaner for all her tips and tricks before she’s gone (how DOES she get the wrinkles out of the curtains?!). And when it all feels like too much, take a break with my Milk Cocktail recipe.
MORE MUST-HAVES YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU NEEDED
-I’m obsessed with this lighter - it has an elegant gooseneck design with gold plating. The books on your shelf could be outlawed anytime, so be ready to burn in style.
-Up your travel game with this smart tote, great for when you have to pack quickly – it has the perfect amount of zippered pockets and works from day to night. A tasseled zipper lends some frill.
-Speaking of travel, other must-haves include these chamomile-scented cleansing wipes from Oui Garden, organic dark cherry lollipops to keep the kids quiet if you’re hiding somewhere, and this carry strap for your Stanley (y’all know he goes where I go!).
-No matter where you end up, if you’ve got this miraculous silk pillowcase with you, everything will feel just fine!
For more ideas, check out What I Packed For Internment
TAKE TIME FOR SELF-CARE
With all the whirlwind of a totalitarian takeover, self-care can feel like the last thing on your to-do list. Don’t forget to take time for yourself! Whether it’s a mouthful of turmeric or a shower steamer (I like this lavender scent from Mermaid Breath), claiming a moment for yourself can help you find balance. Give yourself permission to lick a salt lamp and do some breathwork.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
What do you think? Do you feel ready for fascism? Let me know in the comments! I’m planning on trying out some new one-ingredient recipes in Perfect Charlene’s Pyrex, so I’ll report back! Until next time … keep a smile on your face and your day will fall in place! Toodle-oo, chickies!
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