More on Being “Trashy”: the Urban Dictionary Version

Hello, dear readers!  Last week, I told you a rather embarrassing story about our inability to put the trash out–which then led to some questions about what it means to be “trashy”–and perhaps why one might associate being “trashy” with living in a trailer court (hence, the term “trailer trash”).

In my first stop on the journey of the meaning of “trash,” I decided to check out the Urban Dictionary.  (Maybe not the best place start, but certainly the most fun).  I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by what I learned.  According to Urban Dictionary, you don’t have to be poor to be trashy! Check out definitions #2, #4 and #5:

2. trashy
A person who lacks class. Trashy people exist among all races and socioeconomic levels. Trashy people lack meaningful goals and purpose in life. They are not very concerned with academic subjects, worldly matters, nor culture, but are more amused with unimportant matters and simple activities such as celebrity gossip, shopping for useless merchandise, and excessive partying into late hours. Other than spending money, trashy people contribute little or nothing to society, which is why they are associated with “trash”. Due to low self-esteem and insecurity, trashy people overcompensate and “try too hard”. Examples are wearing excessive amounts of make-up, wearing provocative clothing (whether they’re in shape or not), driving a vehicle that is excessively large for their needs (e.g. a Hummer), getting drunk and behaving obnoxiously in clubs and bars, yelling at strangers from car windows, making derogatory statements, promiscuity, and talking loudly in profane and explicit language in public. Although they may think they’re cool, most other people find them obnoxious, immature, irresponsible, and unattractive.

The cast members of Jersey Shore are trashy.

Richmond Street in Toronto, and rue Crescent in Montreal, are full of clubs and bars frequented by trashy douche bags and hoes.

4. Trashy

Little class, foul mouthed,folk.

There are two types of trash.

1. Trailor Trash

2. Rich Trash

…bottom line is ANYONE can be trashy. Someone can be rich as hell and still be a piece of trash, or poor and be classy. It’s all how you handle yourself.

5. Trashy

Trashy folk can be rich or poor, it doesn’t matter…you can be trashy have a lot of money (aka Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan)

Trashy women can be found: extremely dark fake tans, dyed jet black or bleached blonde hair, and little clothing. Usually butterfaces. Tounge piercings, facial piercings, etc.

Trashy men: This ranges greatly. Trashy men can be the natty-ice lovin, nascar fans with beer bellys and wife beaters, or the metro-sexual douche bags who overly groom themselves…..waxing eyebrows, tanning, making themselves “pretty.”

*in other words, trashy people leave little to the imagination and try to hard. Classy people follow the “less is more” rule*

Kelly is the kind of girl you’d bang on a one night stand, but she’s too trashy to date, or bring home to your a family dinner.

Yes, all very comforting indeed!  ANYONE can be trashy!  Rich, poor, man, woman–it’s all up for grabs!  I am glad that being trashy has no apparent boundaries either by gender or socio-economic status.  It’s also nice to know that we can tell if someone is “trashy” by looking at their clothes.  That makes it easy!  🙂

However, I am bothered by a couple of things in these definitions (and yes, I know that these definitions were created to be offensive and comically cruel).  Problem 1: in definition #2, it claims that trashy people don’t contribute anything to society.  But this brings me back to the confusion I had in a past post about what counts as a “valuable skill.”  What does it mean to contribute something to society?  Problem 2:  definition #5 claims that men who try to be “pretty” are trashy.  Is there a hint of homo-phobia there?  I think yes.

All in all, this probably brings me no closer to understanding the term “trashy” and its origins, but it does bring up a very important question:

If a large part of being “trashy” is in the clothes one wears (the “slutty” and “inappropriate” clothing that most of the examples in these definitions include), does that mean that dressing in skimpy clothing makes you trashy?  *Gasp* Does that make Pretty Woman “trashy”?

I certainly hope not.

In all seriousness though, I am glad to see that in popular culture, “trashiness” is no longer confined to the low income classes in society.  So, Urban Dictionary has taught me that “Trashiness” is an equal opportunity state of being 🙂

I apologize for the silliness of this post, and the fact that it is quite possibly incoherent.  More next time–until then, may all your homes be happy, and may all your searches on Urban Dictionary be hilariously informative!


About Cathy G Gilbert

I am veggie-loving, community college professor who lives, teaches, and writes in Central IL.
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