Stop feeling guilty about your guilty pleasures

Hi, my name’s Amanda, and I consider myself an intellectual with an appreciation for many types of music and literature and a wide knowledge of current and historical events.

I also primarily read romance novels. I watch YouTube makeup tutorials. I never miss The Bachelor. I enjoy building houses in the Sims and own almost every expansion pack available for Sims 3 and Sims 4. I enjoy pop music that music snobs frown upon. Some of my favorite movies are considered trashy in most circles.

This is not anonymous, because those are my “guilty” pleasures. And I refuse to feel guilty about them.

Things that used to be uncool are cool again. Board games and nerd culture are trendy. However, some items still inspire the instinct to hide them.

I postulate that there are a varying number of reasons for this.

For one, there appears to be this wide spread theory that my ability to quote all of 10 Things I Hate About You and A Knights Tale means I can’t appreciation classics and foreign cinema. In other words, if you like “trash,” then everything you like is trash. Attempting to fit in with people who have alleged good taste, means hiding the “trash” you enjoy.

Another theory I have is that we keep our guilty pleasures quiet because we have no one to share them with. I only share my excitement about the upcoming Sims 4 pets expansion with few, select friends. Even so, I’m unsure if they realize the depths of my enjoyment of the game.

If we have no one to share our opinions and joy with, then we keep them to ourselves. There’s an added element of fear to this silence. It’s not just that my coworkers and Tinder dates would think this hobby is lame, it’s also that there’s no way to come back from that level of uncoolness. It’s one thing to come from a position of trust and respect with someone then share the nerdiest parts of yourself. It’s another thing to open with what’s uncool.

This is why most online dating profiles are boring and unimaginative. Oh? You like travel and working out? So does apparently everyone. Too often I’ve seen someone start to shine as they discuss a hobby they’re passionate about only to shut down when they realize it’s not a “cool” thing to talk about.

How do we get rid of the stigma around guilty pleasures? The only way I can figure is taking the force of will to stop feeling guilty and stopping yourself before shaming anyone else for their “uncool” interests.

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