The Northern Writer

I don’t have guilty pleasures, and neither should you.

The phrase ‘guilty pleasure’ always rubbed me the wrong way, and I couldn’t figure out why for the longest time. Everybody used it at school, in advertisements, on TV. It was a perfectly common saying, but I hated it.

Why should I feel guilty or embarrassed for anything that I like? Why should I surround myself with people who make fun of me for liking certain things, because they’re considered ‘uncool’ or stupid? If I want to sing along to a strangely catchy One Direction song, or watch Scooby Doo: Zombie Island, I will. And I won’t let anybody make fun of me for doing it.

Let’s face it, ‘guilty pleasure’ just means ‘something I like that I don’t like talking about in public because I feel embarrassed and people tease me for it’.

I have a wide range of tastes. I like most genres of music; I like different themes in TV and film; I like a variety of clothing styles, though I can rarely afford anything more than the jeans and t-shirts that I’ve owned for years. My likes change over time, even over a couple of days, and life is far too short for me to pretend to hate some things and like others just because I’m worried about what people will think.

The point is; I’m going to make the most of my tastes. I’m going to listen to whichever songs I enjoy; I’m going to watch whichever TV shows and movies look enjoyable; I’m going to wear whatever I want to wear. If you have people around you who make you feel bad because of what you like, guess what? They’re not your friends.

You should feel free to enjoy whatever you want, (obviously assuming that it’s not overly problematic, but that’s a whole other post!).  Don’t let anybody make you feel guilty or embarrassed for enjoying anything.