I take issue with the entire concept of songs as guilty pleasures. I’ve used the phrase on here, but only because I know by using that you’ll know what I was saying. However, I think it’s a stupid idea. Here is why:
The phrase guilty pleasure is generally used to describe consuming something that is bad for you, hence you feel the need to be guilty about having done so. The perfect example is food. Chocolate for example is a great guilty pleasure. It’s obviously not great for you, but it tastes so good you eat it anyway, and then, when you’ve consumed your own body weight in it, you feel bad about having done so. I don’t think the phrase should ever be applied to music though.
I’m a firm believer that I can find something I like in any song. As I’ve said before, songs are essentially a form of poetry set to music. The writer is trying to say something, and it would be rude of me not to listen. I might not agree with it, I might not like it, I might hate what they’re saying, but that’s the joys of freedom of speech and freedom of expression. Anyone can say something. I like to listen to as much of this as I can. It’s the only way you learn. Listening to ideas that aren’t your own, taking the parts you agree with and disregarding the rest. It’s what shapes us. So, with that in mind, why feel guilty for listening to something?
The only real reason you’d feel guilty about listening to something is if you thought it cast you in a negative light or was actively bad for you or something. Now, obviously, music isn’t bad for you. People may argue that it can be depressing, but that’s only if you let it be. This only leaves the idea that you’re worried it might cast you in a negative light, but why?
Do you think that if you admit to liking some Justin Bieber, people are going to think you’re a girl, or think that you’re gay or something. I take issue with this. Firstly, it’s not only girls that listen to Bieber. Sure, his fan base is firmly more girls than boys, but that still doesn’t mean he can’t be enjoyed by either. Secondly, there is nothing wrong with being a girl. I hear people say “stop acting like a girl” or “You’re being a big girl” all the time. There’s nothing wrong with being a girl and using phrases like that is only teaching the next generation that there is! Stop it. Thirdly. again, there’s nothing wrong with being gay. Musical taste isn’t completely linked to sexual orientation. Sure, there are artists that have big gay followings, but this isn’t because of the music as such, it’s because they feel a strong connection. Maybe they understand and identify better with specific groups. To say you were embarrassed about admitting you like a bit of Bieber because you’re worried you might be seen as homosexual is mad. Music is for everyone, by everyone.
When you look down a list of songs that often get listed as “Guilty Pleasures” I notice the same things appearing. All the songs can be brought together perfectly under the other heading of “Cheesy Pop” pretty much. Now, the main thing that this genre of music has is that it connects people, it brings them together. People all start singing these songs when they come on, everyone seems to know the words. Why would you be ashamed to like such a thing. In a world where people are addicted to staring at phone screens, why not embrace and show your appreciating of songs that bring people together. If you’re unsure what I mean, just watch this…
See what I mean? What I’m getting at is that you should never feel guilty for enjoying something you enjoy, especially when it has no bad effects on you as a person. Sure, feel bad for eating an entire pie that usually serves 8 people, but don’t feel bad for liking a bit of One Direction or Rick Astley. Essentially, by doing so is to deny a part of who you are, which you should never do. Embrace yourself and share it with other people. x