Saturday, March 23, 2013

Stop apologizing for the things you like, even if it happens to be British boy-bands

So, here's the thing: I am completely over the concept of "guilty pleasures". Here is a list of things that I believe you should feel guilty about: kicking puppies, kicking my best friend who does a great impression of a puppy, chewing gum loudly in public, shoplifting, thinking about how easy it would be to shoplift (because I mean come on, it is a tiny nail polish that I could just slip into my purse, and I'm not saying I would do it but I totally could if I really wanted to but just thinking about it makes me feel like a criminal), etc.

Pictured: my roommate being really disappointed in how often I imagine being a kleptomaniac
Here is a list of things that I am sick of feeling guilty about: liking certain movies/music/TV/food/anything that makes you happy and doesn't hurt anyone else.

Now I'll make a confession (but not an apology): this post is a little bit about One Direction. If you don't know who One Direction are, they are a British boy-band who rose to fame on the X-Factor and sing some of the most aggressively teenage pop music since Tiffany left the mall circuit. And I love it. Their music is fun, it is energetic, and I think that they are genuinely good singers. And when I first heard a song of theirs and started singing along, I was embarrassed and annoyed at myself.

Because come on, I am way too cool to have such bad taste in music. I told my sister that I liked them, and she replied "you are so gross". And oddly enough, that was the reaction I was looking for. I specifically told her to get it validated that yes, this is something that it is not okay to like. And then I listened to the song again and danced around my apartment.

I know all the words to this and I am starting to know which member of the band sings which part. No shame. 

But then, sometime around the fifth replay of this song, I reached a moment of clarity: I used so much energy enjoying myself, I didn't have any left to be ashamed for the way I was enjoying myself. Something that some of you know is that I have had struggled with depression in the past. Because of this, I try to take every good mood, every smile and every little thing that makes my day brighter as a blessing. And it hit me that it was extremely counterproductive to feel guilty about the things that I enjoy. 

Sometimes my roommates and I have 'wolf pack' nights where we cuddle on the couch and then go outside on our deck and howl like lunatics. I am currently watching the most melodramatically staged "reality" show I've ever seen, in which a monkey wearing plaid just brandished a gun at a man who legitimately calls himself Urban Tarzan. I often reread a children's book series called Unicorns of Balinor, and last week I ate two donuts, a muffin and two cookies over the course of one day. And there are a thousand other things that fill me with joy but that I normally would never admit to, or would temper with one of those self-deprecating "I know it's awful and I'm so silly for liking it but I was probably hypnotized anyway" expressions.  

Oh, I mean, yeah, those are my Avril Lavigne CDs but I only like her um...ironically?

Really, if you think about it, it is all pointless. What are we really afraid of, someone judging us? I can almost guarantee that every super-cool movie snob who you think will despise you for liking Crank: High Voltage goes home, locks their door and reads the Twilight books for the fifth time with the same sense of skin-crawling shame. Or something. The point is, we all have our things, and I think it is about time we embraced them. 

So here's my challenge: like the things you like. Try to have the most fun you can in this life. Find the things that make you smile, make you laugh, make you dance around the room like an idiot, and embrace them. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go watch this One Direction fan-made cartoon for the third time. And I'm not even sorry. 


  1. Did this mean you'll stop shaming me for liking Nicholas Cage?

    1. I'll try. I will at least pretend not to gag when I think about it.

  2. I agree witchu, Homes. I still have my Hanson cd from like '96.

  3. AAoOD! There is a two that will make you yawn all over the place (on purpose).
    -Signed the mother of a teenager and also someone who really enjoys their music.