From 2006 to 2011, I worked at a music store. Pret-ty cool, right? Kinda like High Fidelity and Empire Records and whatnot. Or it would have been, were I not ruining the cool vibe on a regular basis. Most of my coworkers would only play suave stuff like Serge Gainsbourg in the shop, while I was often booty dancing to Britney Spears. Sure, I like “cultured” music, but I also enjoy a number of things that many would classify as guilty pleasures. Except I don’t. Because there’s no way I’m going to feel guilty about my love of “uncool” things like King of the Hill and Pokemon games.
I’m going to make the broad assumption that you, reader, think of yourself as smart, and I’m sure you have scholarly interests. So tell me, is watching the occasional reality TV show going to eliminate those interests? Does having some Gaga in your iTunes make your IQ drop? Will knowing all the names of the Jersey Shore cast make you forget the monikers of your favorite authors? Both high and low culture can happily exist side-by-side in our brains. So why are we so embarrassed to admit our “guilty pleasures”? Can’t we just call them “pleasures”?
“Guilty pleasures” are the things people in basements are secretly Googling, not what you have on your DVR. If someone thinks less of you for enjoying low-class fare, then they probably aren’t worth your time. Do you want a friend that makes you feel ashamed for liking something as unimportant as a TV show? To quote Meatballs, “It just doesn’t matter.” A smart, knowledgeable and kind person is on the right path, and a little tabloid reading isn’t going to ruin that.
Sometimes we just like pure crap, so why not enjoy it instead of feeling bad? Life is too short to be constantly fussing over your image, so go enjoy reality TV/Cosmo/anime/romance novels with pride.
What are your supposedly “guilty” pleasures? Are you ashamed of them, or do you enjoy them with pride?