In an ideal world, people would be able to like what they like, and no one would give a flying fuck about pleasing another person’s opinion of what is deemed acceptable to enjoy. Unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world and so god created the term Guilty pleasure.
No, for real though. Why are guilty pleasures a thing? If it’s pleasurable, why are we feeling guilty about enjoying it?
I don’t do guilty pleasures. I don’t know if it’s the age, or if I’m blessed with an exceptionally high amount of self-confidence (I‘m not) or whatever, but I stopped giving a fuck what people think about the things I like years ago. This may sound pretentious and vain, but wow, sue me. (please don‘t, I‘m a broke uni student, i don‘t have a lawyer) We should all love ourselves anyway. I just like what I like, man. Now get over it and move on, nothing to see here.
Except there is, Cause this attitude seems to be a rarity. Why is it that we feel the need to be ashamed of stuff we thoroughly enjoy? I’m so over having to justify my love (it‘s more of a hate-love relationship to be honest) for Glee (which, basically, would qualify as a HUGE guilty pleasure) or that, yeah, in fact I still really enjoy the Backstreet Boys (All you hipsters kinda brought that back though, thank you people.) So what if I like watching a show about singing, dancing teenagers that is basically a rip-off of High School Musical or if I bop my head along to some boy band song, fight me about it. (I‘m only 5‘3 , you would probably win.)
I like to write in English. That would be the closest thing to a guilty pleasure I have. I enjoy writing in English and I get confronted about that a lot. I like the flow of the language and how writing like this just comes a lot easier to me. Also, how much better does swearing sound and look this way?! (Yeah, I swear a lot.) Sometimes I prefer to update my status on facebook in English, My closest friends and me ALWAYS text each other in English and occasionally I have facebook conversations with german speaking friends all held entirely in – you guessed it – English. One of my closest friends (not one of the aforementioned close friends) thinks that’s ridiculous and maybe it is. To her at least or possibly even to the majority of people, but seriously, what the hell? Do you expect me to feel bad about it? Because I refuse to. Why would I. Maybe I think the fact you like to literally drink a whole fucking package of whipping cream is strange. There, I said it!
I think guilty pleasures are what makes you you.
I like having weird people around me. All your little quirks and habits and strange taste in music and the season of teen wolf you secretely binge watch make you approachable and likeable and human. I think it’s nice that you enjoy musicals even though most guys don’t and I think it’s adorable that you put more bacon than pasta on your plate, even though it’s called spaghetti carbonara, not Bacon carbonara.
I won’t apologize about wearing a shitload of bracelets, even if you say it makes me look like Wolfgang Petry or my obsessive crush on Darren Criss, despite the fact it makes me sound like a lovestruck teenager. I mean, have you seen/heard the man? (Probably not. Or, if you’re friends with me – yes, too many times. I’m sorry. No I’m not)
Just think about it for a minute: We actually hide away things we love, just because someone else thinks it‘s not okay to be into it. Where‘s the fun in that?! I am not hurting anyone by liking my thing – Let me do my thing and enjoy it, too.
If you‘re one of those people who shame others for liking certain things: Why would you do that?? Stop! Don‘t you remember that time in 3rd grade, when someone made fun of you for your kitty sweater? Laughing about someone is terrible in general, laughing about the fact that someone enjoys something is plain mean. You are a mean person. STOP AND LET OTHER PEOPLE ENJOY THEIR THINGS.
Society sets rules and measures we’re expected to live up to. We’re far past the days, where guilty pleasures were the occasional smoke you have after an argument or the huge piece of cake you eat after a long day at the office.
Reasons for these hidden preferences vary throughout different generations, social status, age range, gender. God forbid a girl really enjoys her starbucks and Ugg-boots. From what I gathered on the internet, there’s no bigger shitstorm-educing thing, than a teenage girl with a starbucks cup. If it’s a pumpkin spice latte, even worse. You know what, I dig my pumpkin spice, you fucking hypocrite, thank you very much.
Guilty pleasures are a thing. No one is safe! (people screaming, children crying.)
Don’t you dare think you are allowed to like children’s movies when over a certain age or listen to music that is not deemed cool. We feel the need to hide things that bring us joy, because they are labeled as embarassing, childish or „unusual“ in any other way. Oh, you like posting random pictures of your cat on Instagram? GUESS WHAT, YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO! You’re a guy and your favourite movie is some chick flick? Sorry buddy, guess you need to look for another one! If you find yourself shaking your head vigorously, thinking „I‘m not like this!“ more power to you! You go, Glen Coco! (I hardly think Mean Girls qualifies as a guilty pleasure)
All this isn‘t just about Guilty Pleasures. Just like the root of all evil always lies way deep, this is also a debate on respect, gender roles, heteronormative thinking, peer pressure and being a fucking decent human being in general. Think about it for a minute. Unless you are hurting someone in any way, there should be no reason not to be allowed to like something in peace. Live and let live.
Stop this madness! Let‘s just rebel a little and celebrate ourselves. That‘s not happening enough. Wow, I‘m sappy.
Foto: Sanjin Zamola