The 30-Day Karen Cleanse

by Leigh Anne Jasheway
Leigh Anne Jasheway

Karens are everywhere these days – demanding to see the manager, insisting that if they don’t get their roots touched up immediately they’ll set their KitchenAid mixers on fire, and calling 911 on anyone whose skin tone is darker than SuperWhite on the Benjamin Moore paint sample chart.

Now, sure, you can be named Karen and not be a “Karen.” In fact, there have been Karens named Becky and Lisa and even Chad (yes, male Karens ARE a thing). But when we say Karen, we all know that means someone who:

  • Believes they should get what they want when they want it (if not before);
  • Has clearly watched too many episodes of Cops (which, thankfully, is now off the air);
  • Is easily triggered by languages they don’t understand;
  • Uses a vocabulary that consists primarily of racial epithets, profanity, and the phrase “I’m scared for my life” (usually while fake sobbing);
  • Posts tear-stained faux apologies after having lost their job at Hobby Lobby or Chick-fil-A after being called out for their behavior on Twitter.

Chances are, if you’re a white woman reading this, you’re not a full-time Karen. But if you’ve been doing the kind of introspection called for by these racially unjust times, you may have discovered that on occasion, a little Karen has come out of your mouth. Never fear! This 30-day cleanse that will help rid you of any residual toxic Karenitis your body may still be harboring.

Day 1: Begin a meditation routine during which you chant the following mantra: “It is NOT all about me.” For advanced meditators, you may also add: “Other people DO exist.”

Day 2: Sign up for a language learning app and start studying a language you’re likely to hear in your everyday life. Not only will this help you to not react negatively to sounds you’re unaccustomed to hearing, but you may just find that the ability to converse with others in their own language will bring you joy. And one thing Karens seem to be low on is joy.

Days 3-9: Make a list of every television show, YouTube video, podcast or other audio or video content you regularly expose yourself to. When your list is complete, count how many hours you consume of media that glorify police violence, incite fear, or rely heavily on racist stereotypes. Replace all of those with something that is less toxic to your psyche, such as The Great British Baking Show or Queer Eye.

Day 10: Have more sex. With whom or what is of no concern, but it’s clear that most Karens need to get laid on the regular. In fact, why not get a remote-operated vibrator, and insert it before you go out in public? That way, whenever you might be tempted to scream profanities at someone for daring to sit on a bench or sell lemonade in your neighborhood, you can press a little button and have a little orgasm instead. In fact, perhaps that should be your slogan: “Have a little orgasm instead.”

Days 15-29: Read and/or watch videos about the history of other people who are not white and privileged. You could try any of the resources from this list. Or check out any of the books, articles or videos on this list. The Karen that resides in all white folks tends to think their experience is THE experience. And. We. Are. So. Wrong.

Day 30: Do something for others. Hopefully by now, your anti-Karen education has taught you the errors of your ways, as well as how hurtful The Karen Mindset is for anyone who isn’t a Karen. Host weekly “How to Anti-Karen” workshops at your home. Zip your lip and listen to a BIPOC talk without inserting your opinion. Donate to organizations where your dollars won’t inevitably reach the purse of a Karen.

That’s the full 30-day cleanse! But remember – whenever you feel a little bit of Karenitis resurfacing, revisit any or all of these steps, especially Day 10.

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