Everyone’s got a guilty pleasure. Even if you think you don’t, I guarantee that you do, hidden somewhere in there amongst all the things you consider to be okay to like. The official Wikipedia definition of a guilty pleasure is “something one enjoys and considers pleasurable despite feeling guilt for enjoying it. The “guilt” involved is sometimes simply fear of others discovering one’s lowbrow or otherwise embarrassing tastes.”
So basically, people are afraid of what people will think of them if they found out they secretly have posters of Justin Beiber up on their wall. And they’re NOT 12 years old. It’s understandable why someone would feel guilty about that, right?
But why should we feel guilty? What’s wrong with liking something that you enjoy? Just because someone likes to watch Make It Or Break It – and they’re male – should not make them feel ashamed of themselves. This is a free country. People should be able to enjoy what they want without ridicule.
There are some people out there who will claim that they have guilty pleasures like Star Wars and pizza. First of all, let’s get one thing straight. Star Wars is NOT a guilty pleasure. While there are people out there who aren’t into it or haven’t even seen them, Star Wars is so overwhelmingly popular that it can’t be a guilty pleasure. People who are fans of it don’t try to hide it. The same goes for pizza, or all junk food for that matter. Have you ever met someone who was embarrassed for eating M&Ms? Highly unlikely.
Bottom line: Guilty pleasures are usually accepted as things that don’t follow the fold, things that aren’t super popular, but popular enough for people to feel embarrassed about it. And that feeling of embarrassment needs to stop. We live in a world of automatons who lack originality, only liking things because it’s widely accepted as cool. People who are proud of their guilty pleasures, or people who don’t even use the word “guilty” are the interesting ones, because they’re not afraid to like something different. And they’re not afraid to be themselves.
For example, I’m not afraid to admit that I still like Debbie Gibson, or that I love the movie Point Break. Debbie Gibson remains the youngest female to write, record, and perform a No. 1 single to date, and, well…there’s Kee-ah-nu.
And Christian Bale is great as the Dark Knight, but have you seen him in Newsies? That movie is AWESOME, and most people who’ve seen it are too afraid to admit it. I mean, come on…the boy does THIS:
My favorite movie of ALL-TIME is The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. Am I embarrassed to tell people that? HELL NO. The movie was nominated for 13 Academy Awards, for pete’s sake. And Return of the King won Best Picture! So I’m obviously not “weird” because I like those movies. But I like a lot of movies that aren’t considered to be the norm when it comes to what people like, especially for my age. Is it so wrong that I love Disney animated movies? That Sleeping Beauty is still one of my favorite movies of all time? That I have seen the movie Babes in Toyland no less than two billion times?
And speaking of Annette, I’m not afraid of telling anyone that in high school I was Obsessed – with a capital ‘O’ – with The Mickey Mouse Club, aka MMC for the cooler, hipper crowd. While other kids my age were listening to Nirvana and Pearl Jam, my HS bestie and I were busy pretending we were MMC members, recording every episode and having MMC marathons and recording songs from off the TV onto a cassette tape (archaic, I know), and even filming our own episode. I’m sure people thought we were insane – well, maybe we were a little – but did we care?
If you’ve read this blog before, you know that I’m a huge fan of young adult lit, especially of the paranormal, dystopian kind. And lots of people are, even my age. But I know a lot of other people of all ages who look down on my reading choices. And to them I say, “Well, show me what you’re reading right now”, to which they usually come up empty.
Just because I like – yes, I really do – like the Twilight series does not mean that there’s something wrong with me. Do I think Stephenie Meyer is the greatest author ever? No. But I do enjoy her stories, as I do most all vampire stories. It’s entertainment, people. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be entertained. So don’t roll your eyes at me when you see me reading some book about an angsty teen faerie. I don’t make fun of the mainstream James Patterson book you’re reading, so don’t make fun of the supernatural love story that I’m reading. Which is probably way better than your crappy book anyway.
So the next time you’re about the make fun of someone for liking something that’s considered “uncool”, take a look at yourself in the mirror and think about your guilty pleasures. How many times have you put in your Hanson CD in your car and sung along to EVERY WORD, secretly wishing you could roll down your windows and let the whole world know? Or how about that time you had a bad day at work and put in the movie Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, not because you like whales, but because you think it’s the best damn Star Trek movie of the whole series?
Think about that. The next time a co-worker of yours announces that she’s going to go home and watch Degrassi, don’t just roll your eyes and mutter, “Lame.” Just remember that Hanson CD sitting in your car, and remember that every one of us is different. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Or something like that.
To Each Its Own. Just remember that.