Should “Guilty Pleasures” be Guilty?

19 Jul

Passions, one of my earliest (and most ridiculous) Guilty Pleasures

What is a Guilty Pleasure? According to Wikipedia:

guilty pleasure is something one enjoys and considers pleasurable despite feeling guilt for enjoying it. Often, the “guilt” involved is simply fear of others discovering one’s lowbrow or otherwise embarrassing tastes, rather than actual moral guilt. Fashion, music, and food (especially unhealthier foods high in sugar and/or fat) can be examples of guilty pleasures.

I’m going to put emphasis on one part of that explanation, namely, “often the “guilt” involved is simply fear of others…rather than actual moral guilt”. That’s something to think about, isn’t it? While there are certainly some pleasures that should be kept away from (these things are often called vices…) guilty pleasures often aren’t necessarily bad, other than the fact that they are potentially embarrassing or not necessarily part of the norm. If you read secret-telling communities (outside of ones like PostSecret), many secrets consist of, “I really like [insert embarrassing fad/movie/television show/music artist] but I don’t want to tell anyone because I’ll be made fun of”. I don’t know about anyone else, but being that afraid that someone will find your taste levels questionable shouldn’t be allowed!

I’ve eventually come to learn that taking pleasure in things that people consider guilt-worthy just isn’t worth it. Why should I hide my cheesy unicorn poster in shame? Of course, I’ve given a few of my friends the side-eye for their interests (What is so interesting about the Real Housewives of Anywhere?) but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy them. The most effective way I’ve come up with to combat this is to keep it real and be open about it! No use hiding in shame because I enjoyed (okay, sometimes enjoyed) the ridiculous antics of Passions. By the way, if you don’t know what Passions is, it’s a now-cancelled soap opera that took soap operas to a whole new, poorly scripted, strangely written level. Note: I don’t necessarily think that these are quality products – sometimes I know what I’m watching is awful – but that doesn’t mean I have to feel bad about it!

So, in light of that, I’m going to open up! Here are some of my personal (past and present) guilty pleasures:

HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL – I don’t care, I loved this movie. I didn’t really like the second one (corny) and I haven’t seen the third one, but I enjoyed the heck out of this Disney Channel film and I even have the soundtrack. Of all the recent Disney Channel movies, I enjoyed this one the most. I also like the ones from my childhood, but that’s probably just nostalgia.

CHEESY POP MUSIC FROM THE 90’S –Seriously, that image up there is so hilariously late 1990’s, from their styling and hair, to the “extreme” flames, to the old-internet animated effects, I don’t even know what to do with myself. I feel like I’m viewing this in Netscape Navigator. Anyhow, this music is the kind I grew up with and I still have a fondness for it, no matter what anyone tries to say. From the standard fare like NSYNC, Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears to the more obscure, like 5ive, B*Witched, S Club 7 and Cleopatra (who knew they released more than one album? not me!), I’m all for it. Also, listen to Love Sensation by 911 if you want to see the depths of my pop obsession. It’s a song from a Casper the Friendly Ghost soundtrack (not even the original…some sequel) and was going to be my first CD purchase if I hadn’t opted for the more tasteful Good Burger soundtrack instead.

VH1 REALITY TELEVISION (or just VH1 in general)  – Up until recently, I used to watch this stuff – all the time. I’ve sat down to watch Celebrity Fit Club and even an episode of Celebrity Paranormal Project. I even know how we got to the depressing point of airing “I Love Money”. If you’re wondering, Flavor Flav and Brigitte Neilson got together on The Surreal Life, got their own reality show (Strange Love), which led to Flavor of Love when Flav ended up getting dumped. Flavor of Love led to spin-offs such as I Love New York (which needs to come back) and eventually Rock of Love. The crazy people from both shows got together for I Love Money (and Charm School). I’ve also probably seen every episode of I Love the (insert decade here) Series. I used to have a lot of free time.

OH NO THEY DIDN’TTo be quite honest, celebrity culture doesn’t interest me that much. But as the header says, “The celebrities are disposable. The content is priceless.” While it does have its share of problems sometimes, there’s a reason this very large community is so popular (it’s broken the comment limit for Livejournal that was previously unknown, and has taken the entire site down singlehandedly…twice.). I have wasted many an hour wading through pages of comments about celebrities, mainly for the hilariously biting commentary. (if you want a taste, check out the tumblr, I Love ONTD). There are reasons why this community is an acquired taste but I won’t lie and say I don’t join in occasionally, even though I’m sure I’d get a lot more done on a regular basis if I gave up ONTD altogether. Then again, what kind of jackal would I be if I did that?

So, now that I’ve shared mine, what are your guilty pleasures? Post about them in the comments!



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4 Responses to “Should “Guilty Pleasures” be Guilty?”

  1. Clare July 20, 2010 at 7:01 am #

    90s pop music rocked! It still cheers me up. And, I don’t think we should every feel guilty for finding pleasure in something. Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time, as a wise person once said.

    • Tara Melissa August 7, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

      That is wise! I’ll be sure to remember that. 🙂

      I think that as long as you enjoy things in a moderate, healthy amount – why bother feeling guilty?

  2. Angie July 20, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    I still love The Spice Girls and B*Witched (the Irish jigs they would do… :D) just for the nostalgia and reminiscing back to 7th grade, before life started getting complicated. All those late 90’s bands make me happy in that way!


  1. Vote for me! And here’s why! (aka, My Greatest Hits) « xoxo, tara. - August 30, 2010

    […] -Should Guilty Pleasures be Guilty? […]

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