Why is being TACKY a bad thing?

I’ve recently been thinking about the perception of being tacky, and how tackiness is often tied to things that women enjoy.

Whether, it's excessive monograms in frilly fonts, preppy patterns, bold colors, glitter, Louis Vuitton handbags or caramel lattes - these are often viewed as feminine, and often tacky things. 

Personally, I feel like society views tacky things as cringey, embarrassing or something to feel shameful about. Often, any negative comments I receive on social media tend to fall into calling my artwork a variation of basic, tacky or ugly. Which is fine (engagement is engagement), but it got me thinking about why is being tacky a bad thing

When I think about tack I think about Fran Fine. Her confidence, authenticity, boldness, and eccentric personality - along with her killer fashion sense. It was obvious in the show everyone thought she was a bit much. She was intentionally choosing to be herself. 

I think there is power in being intentionally tacky. Shame-free tack. Fuck the man, kind of tacky. - The Fran Fine kind of tacky and authentic. 

But, I do understand how easy it is to participate in shaming women for being tacky.

I remember being about 10 years old and deciding that I hated anything pink and girly. That if I wanted to be "respected", I should adopt less feminine interests. For years I tried to be "a different kind of girl". But, HELLO my favorite color is freaking heliotrope purple. I prefer to dress in pink head to toe. The more glitter the better! 

As I got older, I started to think that things like monograms and Mackenzie Childs were the epitome of tacky and tasteless. Often judging the women that owned them. After moving out of the south, I started to realize that my issue wasn't with the checkered teapots, but actually that I didn't want to be associated with something (or someone) that other people thought was cringey or tacky.

Actually, I f*cking love monograms and Mackenzie Childs. That stuff truly brings me joy.

In retrospect, I can't believe how I shamed myself out of enjoying every little bit of life.

But, really - what do men do that is seen as tacky by society at large? Why is there less scrutiny over their monogramed dopp kits? Their Louis Vuitton bags? Their coffee preferences?

Why is the act of a woman enjoying "feminine" interests inherently tacky and shameful?

This might sound a bit radical - but I think being anti-tacky is anti-woman.  

(Of course, there is nuance to to that statement, and I'm not trying to speak in absolutes.)

Overall, I think we need to sit back and really ask ourselves - is this thing tacky because because it's not my taste, or because it's something that women tend to enjoy? 

Personally, from here on out I am choosing to embrace the tack. Bring on the tackiness, the frills, the gaudy. That is simply who I am. It brings me joy and excites me. - and I hope you indulge yourself in whatever style makes you happy shame-free



January 08, 2023 — Hadden Sharapov