I decided recently that I do not believe in guilty pleasures. See, I used to be super embarrassed by certain things that I liked. You grow up, and people know what your personality is. They expect you to like things in “your” strain, and not go outside of it.
I grew up a bit of a tomboy, an outdoorsy person, and a horse girl. I’m a christian, in a fairly conservative, republican area.
I still strongly identify with those descriptions. It’s not like I’ve lost my religion, or hate being outdoors. I love going on a good horseback ride, or hiking with the dogs. I wear jeans and a t-shirt most of the time, because you never know when you’re going to have to climb a wall or do something else that is tough in a skirt (that said, I have climbed my fair share of walls while wearing a skirt).
But I love dressing up in feminine clothing. Especially a nice saree…
I love scary books and movies (know of any I need to watch or read? Comment and let me know).
I like to watch shows like America’s Next Top Model, and Dancing with the Stars.
I think that cemeteries are fascinating, and have spent hours wandering in them, exploring and taking pictures. The darker and more eerie, the better. I especially love European cemeteries, where they have benches so you can sit with the deceased and whatnot.
I knit and bake like a stereotypical Grama, and definitely want to learn to quilt.
I used to avoid talking about my “guilty pleasures” around people that I thought would judge me for them. I wouldn’t talk about scary books and movies, or taking pictures in cemeteries around church friends. I didn’t mention dressing up, or watching ANTM around people who looked at me as a tomboy.
But now I don’t care. If I want to say that I like something, I say it. If people don’t like it, or don’t think that I should like it, how does that affect me? It really doesn’t.
If I like something, I should like it enough to not care what anyone says about it. If I genuinely feel guilty over liking something, maybe I should rethink liking it. See, guilt is a negative emotion, showing that there is something wrong with what you are doing.
For example, I think it is wrong for me to watch a show like ANTM simply to lust over the guys on the show (some people may not think that this is a bad thing, but for me, it is). If that was my only reason for watching the show, then yes, it would be a guilty pleasure, and I would need to make a decision.
But I watch ANTM because I enjoy it. I’m not wild about the hissy fits that some of the contestants have, but I like the challenges and the photo shoots. The look behind the scenes of the photos shoots are fascinating to me. It’s not a guilty pleasure, it’s just something I like, but have been a little embarrassed by.
But why am I embarrassed by these things? Because other people think that I shouldn’t like them? Heck, it can be hard to tell people that I think I’m actually more of a cat person than a dog person (don’t get me wrong, I have 2 dogs, and love them to pieces, but if I had to choose to only have cats or only have dogs, I’d likely choose cats.), because I was always more of a dog person growing up.
What I should feel guilty about is letting the opinion of others make me embarrassed about the things that I like.