The divide between men and women has always been a noticeable one, even more so with women of color. Expectations and gender roles have been set, resulting in women being defined in a particular light that isn’t always realistic. Women today are far more than just reserved, pretty, or strong, and the era of expectation is coming to a close. Women everywhere stand up and flipping the bird at societal norms, choosing to redefine what it means to be a ‘lady.’ One such woman is Thao Lam, founder of Dirty Pop Cards, who has all but smashed the expectations of who she’s supposed to be with a sledgehammer.
From the get-go, Thao Lam’s entire persona defies the typical image one gets when thinking of a business founder. Not only is she a millennial woman, but she’s also a Vietnamese woman who took the reigns and led the creation and foundation of Dirty Pop Cards, shoving away pretenses of what it means to be a business owner and deciding that she doesn’t have to answer to anyone on how she should be acting or who she should be.
Lam comes from a long-running career in the business world where image and expectation go hand in hand, especially with women, even more so with women of color. The idea of Dirty Pop Cards is to embrace the crude and offensive humor that would commonly be considered “immature” and ignore those who’d complain about the defiance of social norms. The entire company is built upon the foundation of the “fuck’em” mentality, living and laughing at what you think is funny and letting go what other people think is right. Lam serves as a shining example of a pioneer in the movement to ‘redefine womankind’, and stop getting hung up on the way women should act and focus on the way women want to act.
She wholeheartedly embraced the idea of the crude humor scene, leading by example and never batting an eye at the people who frown upon the humor. Coming from a business background, she’d melded into the expectations, but as of July 2020, she stood up and said no more. With the growing support for women to be described as more than just ‘strong,’ Lam takes a unique and admirable approach, showcasing the raunchy side of humor and defying the stereotypes about women and comedy. Creating greeting cards that ignore the boring formula for wishing people well through warmth and instead choosing to embrace the idea of familiarity.
Lam saw a world full of sadness. Instead of choosing the stereotype of women being just strong and powerful, she decided to take the funny and inappropriate humor that can make people burst into laughter. Bringing happiness through humor no matter how obscene and embracing the idea that women of color are no different from any man at their core. They come in all shapes and sizes with minds of their own, and they can be just as raunchy and inappropriate as frat boys while still being brilliant. Just like a Dirty Pop Card, when it comes to Thao, you can expect the unexpected.