The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

That's What She Said: With Personal Tastes, Keep Judgement to Yourself

3 min read

“It’s so bad it’s good.”

“Oh…I don’t know how that got there. No, seriously. I swear.”

“She’s my guilty pleasure.”

Riiiight. How many times have you heard that while you were looking through someone’s iPod and something out of place popped up?

I’ve even known people to go so far as to actually change artists’ names in their iTunes so no one will make fun of them for deviating from the personal brand they’re attempting to create for themselves.

It’s time for someone to call bullshit. Guilty pleasures aren’t—or at least shouldn’t be—a thing.

For starters, you don’t feel guilt when someone discovers you’re a closet Insane Clown Posse fan. That’s embarrassment. If you actually felt guilty while listening to them, you would stop because there’s no pleasure in that.

Don’t let other people dictate what you should and shouldn’t enjoy, or the context in which you enjoy it.

When I’m walking across campus bumping Katy Perry and genuinely loving every second of it, I don’t want to justify this choice to some princess who thinks she’s interesting because she only gets her music recommendations from this indie blog you’ve probably never heard of.

Sorry, bros, but I don’t care if my taste in anything impresses you and neither should you.

To quote my future husband, Drake, “I’m doin’ me.” If, in order to do me to the fullest, I need to watch “Gossip Girl” every Monday, then please, everyone, stop telling me how much the show sucks.

I know the writing is terrible, the plot is inconsistent and the characters are insufferable, but it’s also incredibly entertaining. If I only wanted to watch quality programming, I’d invent a time machine and travel to the three years “Arrested Development” was on the air.

Everything doesn’t have to be clever or deep. Sometimes the only thing you want out of a song or a movie is to be entertained, so as long as it accomplishes that, I say do you and enjoy it.

No one is watching “Jersey Shore” to raise his or her IQ.

An eclectic balance of the highbrow and the more mainstream is totally acceptable and shouldn’t call for the validation so many people feel needs to accompany their “bad” taste.

To me, the most fun people are those who don’t really feel shame about such a trivial issue. They may acknowledge that their tastes are unexpected, but it never even occurs to them to apologize for that because they know it’s no one’s business but their own.

Besides, if you care enough about someone else’s entertainment preferences to make them feel so insecure they have to justify them to you, maybe you should re-evaluate your priorities.

The only thing you should be that invested in is yourself.

Certainly some people genuinely don’t enjoy pop music or trashy TV, but we rarely make them explain why. All they have to do is say they don’t find it entertaining and we’re willing to accept their seemingly more important opinions.

Why can’t the same courtesy be given to those of us who like “She’s the Man” just as much as we like “The Departed?”

Each serves an undeniably different purpose, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be equally entertaining.

I’m not saying that one isn’t objectively better than the other from a technical standpoint, but as long as someone is entertained, what’s the difference? If there really is no accounting for taste, let’s stop trying.

I may believe that Nicolas Sparks is a disgrace to literacy, and that his books (and the subsequent movies) are a far greater, and more imminent, threat to society than global warming could ever be, but if “The Notebook” legitimately changed your entire outlook on life and made you believe in love or something, please don’t tell me you’re only watching it to see Ryan Gosling shirtless.

We both know you could just Google that.