Tuesday, 17 January 2012

A matter of taste.

"Oh I love your scarf. It's gorgeous," she said. " Where did you get it?"
"Thanks," I said as I fiddled with the fringes " It was a gift"
"Well whoever bought it for you has excellent taste."
"Yes, they do." 

That was the brief exchange I had at work last week and I've been pondering over it ever since. Excellent taste? Hmm, bit of an assumption to be made based on one scarf don't you think. Also fairly egotistical on my part to have agreed, the inference being that I also had good taste since I was wearing it. Just what is good taste anyway and who gets to decide?

Picasso quote pendant on Etsy

My dictionary defines taste as ' a person's tendency to like and dislike certain things'

Okay, so everyone has taste then.

It then goes on to elaborate 
 'taste: the
 ability to discern what is of good quality or of a high aesthetic standard'

Ah! Now that changes things somewhat doesn't it. While good quality might be quantifiable I can't help feeling that a 'high aesthetic standard' may be a bit more subjective. If nothing else, working in the shop has shown me how ludicrous that concept is. One mans junk is another mans treasure (and aren't all charity shops grateful for that!).

After a moudie around the interweb thingy most of the images I found would seem to indicate that our concept of good taste in all things is minimal, neutral, highbrow and expensive. 
Well I'm sorry but I'm just not buying it! Whats wrong with a bit of clutter and colour? Good taste can be cheerful and cheap too you know.  

My two closest friends and I have different tastes. One fills her house with some of the most amazing charity shop finds. I doubt if she has a minimalist bone in her body. Her home has more in it than I'm used to but it works for her. The other is far braver with colour than I am and has a very definite style that mirrors her confidence. She has a voracious appetite for books and buys them anywhere, caring little for authors and the prizes they've won, recommending them only as long as the story is good.

I like to think of us as sine waves on an oscilloscope. Occasionally our wavelengths cross, we find a pair of shoes/painting/music that we both like, but in general we are more than happy to merely appreciate the others choices, offer admiring comments while continuing to travel our own path.

So what does that say other than our tastes are complimentary? Are they good, bad or merely mediocre?  What do our tastes reveal about us, if anything? 


Emma Thomsen said...

Good point!

A Time for Stitching said...

I think the phrase 'good taste' translates into snobbery. People will admit to liking things they don't really like and vice versa because of the impression it gives to others. 'Taste' is completely subjective and no-one's can really be good or bad compared to someone else.

Linnhe Mara said...

Thanks Emma

Theresa, I think you have a point there. I just wonder why some people need others to guide their tastes. I say if YOU like it , go for it.

Ali said...

I'm glad we all like different things..and appreciate the choices of others (even though it maybe tricky!)..and that sometimes we intersect (some more frequently than others!)..I think it all adds to the creative rainbow!
Linnhe your posts always make me ponder - I often have to revisit them to comment after I have cogitated..this one and the next are no exception!
Thanks for keeping the thought processes whirring!
Keep going for what you like!!
Ali x

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