Guilty pleasures are when people make us feel bad for loving things that aren’t regarded ‘sophisticated enough’ for society. I’m here to say we should stop calling them guilty and we shouldn’t feel bad for enjoying the things we love. Life can be tough, so we’ve got to make the most of the things that allow us to escape.
Here are 5 reasons why you shouldn’t have guilty pleasures.
1. You shouldn’t feel guilty about the things you love
This is the number one argument and the most important argument. If you love something, you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. You shouldn’t feel bad about the things that bring you joy, the things that make you laugh, the things you look forward to. There’s a lot of cruelty in the world, so finding an escape in something you love is important. If you’ve found something you enjoy, it makes life a little more bearable. Don’t let bitter old society make you feel guilty for loving something.
2. Don’t let others dictate what you should and shouldn’t love
Don’t let others rule your life. TV shows and movies and books are hobbies; they’re things we do in our spare time which we enjoy. If someone disses your favourite show and says it’s not cultured enough or it’s too immature, and then you go and watch a more ‘high brow’ show they recommend just to please them, you’re letting them have the power over you. You shouldn’t feel guilt-tripped into hiding your love for something and pretending you don’t like it just to please people. And besides, if they don’t like it, do you really want to be friends with them?
And if it’s about wanting people to think you’re ‘smart’ and ‘literary’ and ‘high brow,’ just quit while you’re ahead. Do you really want to be stuck playing that game for your whole life?
3. You’re belittling what you love if you feel guilty for loving it
If you can only love something in secret because you’re ashamed of what people think, you’re implying the thing you love is trash. And that’s offensive to what you love. You’re belittling it because you’re embarrassed to admit you love it. Calling a show a guilty pleasure may seem like a compliment, but it’s really not.
4. They help make you ‘you’
The TV shows and songs and movies and books you enjoy are part of who you are. They help shape your crazy self. If you publicly share your love for a TV show or book, then chances are you’ll attract people who like the same things, and you’ll spark new friendships. If you hide what you love, you’re hiding part of your personality and blending into the crowd, and you’re losing part of yourself. Don’t let society brainwash you. Own your uniqueness.
5. But they also don’t define you
Okay, so this is kind of contradicting my last point. Sure, the things you love make up part of your personality, but they’re not your whole personality. If you’re someone who loves indie music but occasionally likes the odd pop song and are worried you’re not ‘indie’ enough anymore, it’s just a few songs you listen to. You still love indie music. Your personality and actions say more about you than your music taste. We rarely fit into one box anyway, we all have eclectic tastes. And anyway, who really cares? There’s the whole illusion society cares, but people individually? I don’t think they really do.
Do you agree that we shouldn’t have ‘guilty’ pleasures? Or do you believe we should?
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Julie is currently studying s Bachelor of Arts (Professional and Creative Writing) at Deakin University in Australia. She's a hardcover book and journal collector, she owns way too many planners, and she keeps telling herself that one day she will go to Paris.