Why we shouldnt feel guilty about our "guilty pleasures"
Why hello internet, I'm Matt and welcome to today's topic.
So why is this a thing I want to talk about with this whole blog being about mental health. Well as some of you know liking what makes you happy is, in all intents and purpose, is common sense. For some people though, it's a bit harder liking more niche things and trying to find acceptence. Now I'm not talking about people who like illeagle things that no one should like, those are outliers and we'll have issues all their own. It's just, people who have to hide their love of certain genres, or style of music, or favorite TV shows, or anything like that are the ones who I'm mainly focusing on here.
Take me for example, I'm now 28 years old, I'm a big burly bearded man who is loaded with tattoos and usually has a look of annoyance on his face. You wouldn't look at me and go wow that is a guy who likes to cry at movies. This idea that who we are on the outside skews our views of what people genueinly find joy in. I spent alot of my youth hiding my nerdy side, I mean I had those few people who I could talk about all this stuff with, but as a whole to most people I casually played games and watched movies. I knew people in highschool that openly wore anime t-shirts, or had their waifu on their bags and yeah they took shit for it, but they liked what they liked and didn't care about what others said ( I'm sure they did but they never showed it). I always envied those people, I wore plain shirts all though school (elementary and up) and I just tried my best to blend with the crowd. Anything to make me stand out or be (weird) in the public eye was something I tried my best to avoid because being different meant getting made fun of. Even amount the super nerdy people I knew even they judged sometimes. Talks would always be some form of “ oh you watch that show or anime? But it's for girls?” Or “wow you like boy love manga? What a weirdo” I could go on and on.
It didn't hit me untill rather recently in my life (I'm ashamed to admit) that I shouldn't have to defend myself anytime I brought up a show, or a book, or a movie I liked because it didn't fit this viewpoint that people had of me, or what is and isn't popular. I can freely admit, I love Asian dramas, their cheesy in all the right ways, I find myself connecting and getting invested in these sometimes 30ish 1 hour episodes about love and struggles that I get giddy talking about them. While it's starting to become a bit more acceptable to talk about your love of manga and anime, there are such broad genres that there is always one that is regarded as inferior to some. In my experience that genre is Ecchi anime (in short it's anime that has gratuitous fan service) but honestly I love it. Sure not all of them are great, but when you find a good one that you really enjoy it's hard to recommend it to people cuz you're expecting them to judge or question you about it.
While making the podcast last year me and daimon often bickered about what shows we're good or bad, and alot of times it was in good natured fun of just talking about shows, there were times though where either he or even myself would go “wow you like that trash” or something else similar. Usually these fights started because he would make a reference to a show called Gurren Lagann, which was easily his favorite anime. And well I personally didn't like it. Now i didn't have this horrid distaste for it to the point of hate. I just didn't like it, but I knew it got on his nerves when I would harp on it, thus started our heated debates. Those times though I would usually back down out of the arguments because I would have this memory of trying to defend myself about something that I would then get made fun of for, and I would just feel like shit afterwards.
I mean how many of you reading this can honestly say that you didn't feel hurt when you recommended something to someone only to be met with jokes or someone talking down at you for liking it. Hell I've done it to people (again I was kind of a shit head for a bit in school, I've already discussed that) but like when twilgiht came out, or when 50 shades of grey blew up, all I could think was “how did such trashy writing really become so popular” but it was just never a thought in my head that, well I wasn't the demographic for those stories, of course I wouldn't like it. That doesn't give me the right to actually judge people for liking those stories. It brought them joy and happiness to read them, so why Sully that by talking bad about it.
It's a confusing time for people when you have all this media to consume and everyone likes what they like, but if it isn't mainstream then it's bad, you can't help what you like and don't likes. Opinions are always had and shared and ya know, ya don't always have to listen to them or fight them. But most importantly you shouldn't feel bad about liking what you like, this term guilty plaeasure has always bugged me, I just never really learned how to fight it. No one should ever feel guilty because they like reality TV, or beciase you use Taylor Swift's shake it off as a gym track. We should be free to like what we like without the fear of being judged for it. I cry during sad movies or shows, hell I've teared up at books, but I often find.myself avoiding those types of things when I'm with my lady cuz well I don't want her to see me cry, and honestly I have no idea why that is instilled in my brain. I never made that a concious effort, it's like my brain auto pilots away from those cuz I have the be the Man for her. It's a dumb stupid mindset that well shouldn't exist in the first place, but toxic masculinity is a whole can of worms for another entry entirely.
TLDR: So with that my disjointed thoughts and opinions all written down. I guess what I'm trying to say is this, love what you love, like what you like, and fuck anyone who tells you it's bad or wrong to like that. If something you do brings you joy, don't let others crush that joy.
And with that, good night internet.