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.