Wednesday, February 16, 2011

R U Serious, Etsy? AKA Candyheartgate

Etsy is making my job too easy.

In what could graciously be called a marketing misstep, Etsy published an article on their blog Monday titled "Found Objects: Candy Hearts." Written by Andrea Siegel, who apparently doesn't have an Etsy account, the article is a skewed and sarcastic look at the sweet Valentine treat. Ellison, in fact, likens the candy to prison tattoos.

She goes on to discuss the grade school custom of exchanging the hearts from schoolmates as "opening an emotionally masturbatory dialogue with you in their minds as they drizzled come-ons into your envelope." From there, she discusses the mental instability of her fifth grade stalker with his "warm, gamey pockets" and his "pungent home." A boy she wouldn't have even "borrowed a chewed-up pencil from."

Where do I begin?

Let's start with the fifth grade masturbatory come-ons drizzling, shall we? For a corporation that has become increasingly prudish about mature listings and forum decorum over that past six months, that's a fairly sleazy string of metaphors there. If Etsy members are as up in arms as they seem to be about seeing a discrete photo of pair of silk underpants on the front page, what must they think of this obviously disturbing language? I am no prude, but fifth grade deviant candy sexuality is a pretty heavy topic for a supposedly light-hearted public corporate blog.

Also disturbing is the superior attitude of the author to this imagined fifth grade paramore. The absolute tone of disdain is almost more upsetting than the drizzling. It's a mean-hearted point of view for a romantic holiday, don't you think? The heart giver is so beneath the writer that she wouldn't even touch is pencil? Sometimes a pencil is just a pencil, after all.

Furthermore, this article was accompanied by hipster hearts art, as seen above, making light of asking if someone is gay or has herpes. Again, fairly hypocritical from Etsy when they recently banned a line of humorous greeting cards for addressing similar topics in a supposedly wry manner. Those cards, whether you liked them or not, were at least not featured as a topic,
not only approved by, but published by, Etsy itself.

It's not necessarily the topic itself, but the disingenuous duplicity of Etsy that bothers me here. How about an article on homemade Valentine traditions? Victorian Valentine ephemera and how to upcycle it? Eros? Cupid? Frank Sinatra?

And there's a link to Valentine's candy on Etsy at the close of this article? Nasty.

Etsy, I'm so Not Into U right now.


  1. There is currently a very strong anti-Etsy vibe going on. So anything they do right now will be over alanyzed by over critical people. Any tiny flaw, or anything that could be turned inot a flaw will be pulled out, stuck under a microscop and over examined until something can be found to take offense at. Right now, no matter what Etsy does people are going to take issue wih it. this is a perfect example. A harmless article about stupid little candy hearts. And people are reading WAAAAAY to much into it, hoping to find yet something else to be mad at Etsy about, becaus that seems to be the popular thing right now for some reason. Yes I miss the forums too, I spent a great deal of time there and made lots of friends, and I was heartbroken when they were gone. But that's not enough of a reason IMO to completely trash the site that's been pretty good to me for the past 5 years that I've been selling on it.

  2. Hearttohearts, I completely respect your opinion. I wouldn't be as quick to judge Etsy if they were not so quick to judge AND mute their own customers for similar language.

    I'm just now reading about potatopotato's muting for defending gays in a forum post. Defending gays. Not making light. It's the hypocritical, random judgement from Etsy that I'm criticizing.


  3. I'm sorry but the way the article is written is pretty gross.

    Etsy is doing a pretty good job trashing the site all by themselves. Its ok to write an article with perverted sexual connotations about a 10 year old, but an adult male's penis must be blurred out?

    After reading the article, I feel bad-touched.

  4. Etsy is my favorite comedy site these days. They keep trying to maintain the facade of being edgy and hip while forcibly sanitizing the community, and have completely exposed the fact that the only soul Etsy ever had was in it's now splintered and alienated community. There's not an ounce of sincerity anywhere in the corporation itself (yes, that goes for Rob "friend" White, the committee-engineered mascot of Etsyland, too) and try as they might they just can't fake it worth a damn.

    Oh but it's funny to watch.

  5. Miss tatty, you are spot on, as usual.

  6. A harmless article about stupid little candy hearts.
    Perhaps to you but not to others.

  7. Potato got muted too???
    Goddamn. They are on a rampage.

  8. Muted for defending gays? What did *I* miss?


Dish the dirt here.