The Problem with Guilty Pleasures
I like the thing. You like the thing. So why are we afraid to own up to it? Think about the connections we're missing out on by not being open about what makes us happy.
The internet describes a guilty pleasure as "something, such as a movie, television program, or piece of music, that one enjoys despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard."
As someone masquerading as an "adult woman", I shouldn't admit that I enjoy listening to The Backstreet Boys, and I certainly shouldn't brag about driving 5 hours to see them in concert last summer. They are an aging boy band from the 2000s, and real adults listen to easy listening or something. But fuck that. They're awesome and Brian is my secret lover. BSB stirs up fond memories of singing too loudly in my room, and squealing with my girl friends when we got the newest Teen Bop magazine.
There is something inherently negative about the term "guilty pleasure". Guilt implies that you've done something wrong, but there's never anything wrong with enjoying life.
Why shouldn't I own my love of new millennium pop? Why should hide this piece of my personality to make others more comfortable, or out of fear that they will judge me negatively? Who am I to censor my life. Loving pop music doesn't make me worse at my job. It has no effect on my relationship. It doesn't make my jewelry any less awesome. What it does, is help me connect with others. And isn't that really the goal?
I once had a friend tell me her guilty pleasure was listening to Papa Roach, we high-fived, proceeded to rock out to Last Resort, and now I think of her whenever that song comes on. We share that connection.
Another friend hesitates to admit to his coworkers that he plays video games. Even though it has connected him with people all over the world, and made him more involved in his relationship.
So while you might be embarrassed to admit that you play with miniatures, there are thousands of overweight grown men, proud to show off their painted shirtless chests and cheer for other, more athletic grown men.
My challenge is for you to own your guilty pleasures, like grown men own their team colors.