Monday, November 4, 2013

Let's Eradicate 'Guilty' Pleasures


I think we now call some pleasures 'guilty pleasures' because adding the 'guilty' in front of it, in some way, excuses the pleasure or almost asks forgiveness for it -- when none is necessary in the first place.

"I watch dramas, but it's a guilty pleasure of mine."

"I watch Spongebob, but it's a guilty pleasure of mine."

Heck, even, "I read 50 Shades, but it was just a guilty pleasure of mine!"

Something that upsets me is when people ask forgiveness for what gives them pleasure, doesn't harm anyone else (and doesn't really even harm themselves!), and they ask forgiveness from others who honestly don't have much of a say over what you do.

Here's the thing.

What constitutes a 'guilty' pleasure? Is it something that most of society has shunned (usually because of prejudices or preconceived stereotypes), but something you find pleasure in? Let's be honest: most of us who have bashed 50 Shades have never even read the books (I being included in that group). And even if we have read them, and even if we didn't like them, what allows us to make others feel uncomfortable about enjoying the books? Live and let live, no? (Even though it's really hard for books that I feel strongly against.)

It's just that I'm seeing so much of, "I like this author, he/she is my guilty pleasure." Who's making you feel guilty? It's not because you feel guilty about enjoying it; other people are making you feel guilty! And you haven't done anything wrong.

Take pride in your passions. Don't fear loving certain books or authors or anything. Why hide? And all of us (including me, because I really do need this lesson) who have quickly judged based on other people's likes: let's stop. Because not every single book has to be full of beautiful prose or three-dimensional characters.

If you enjoy it, then it is a good book: the author did something right to make you enjoy it. What did the author do? Investigate it, and it won't be a 'guilty' pleasure: you'll learn from the books. It'll be a nutritious novel, so to speak, and you'll feel better about reading it.

So let's break this crutch and answer this one question: What is your greatest "guilty" pleasure?

I'll start.

Don't hurt me or make fun of me, please, knowing that I'm a big Harry Potter fan, and also a male. I can't believe I'm about to say this, but here it is:

I actually enjoyed the Twilight book series.


They're just so readable! Not my favorite books by far, but still. I split my books in two categories: Am I happy I read this, or should I never have wasted my time? Twilight is in the former category. Some may not agree with me, but, yea... oh well. There are very few books in my 'I never should have wasted my time' category. In fact, I think there are no books in there; out of all the books I've read, there are only two that I strongly, strongly, strongly dislike. Urrggh. But I don't know if they were a waste of my time, so to speak.


Let's not be ashamed of 'guilty pleasures' anymore!

What is your greatest guilty pleasure? 

P.S. For those of us in Daylight Savings Time Zones, hope the time change went well!


  1. My hubby enjoyed the Twilight books too. He loved the sci-fi gore in book 4 (which I HATED). You are not alone.

    And I agree re: 'guilty' pleasures. Belittling our own likes/dislikes by labeling them 'guilty' pleasures is just an open invitation to others to do the same.

  2. I've never understood the guilty pleasure either. I don't really have any. What I like, I like, and I'm not ashamed of it.

  3. I enjoyed the Twilight books, especially the first one. Who am I to bash an author who had such success with her story idea? As you said, they're readable. My guilty pleasure might be chocolate. I'll even tell my kids they can't have it before bed but sneak a bite after they've gone to sleep. Hello! Halloween candy.

  4. Love this post! I'll admit, I have very little shame when it comes to "guilty" pleasures. I enjoyed Twilight and want to read 50 Shades, but I don't really care what others think of me because of that. That's their problem. I actually kind of feel sorry for people who look down on others because of their taste in entertainment, whether it's books, music, movies, or anything else.

  5. Great question! And I've often wondered why they have to be "guilty" as well. Don't be ashamed you liked Twilight--millions of others do to. Me included. I couldn't put the books down once I started.
    Mine would be house techno music. I can zone out for hours to it. Maybe cuz I love to dance. But most people turn their noses up at techno.

  6. I didn't read the books, but I watched all of the Twilight movies. I laughed at half of them, but I would probably still stop to watch them if they're on tv.

  7. I *still* listen to Rick Springfield. And I'm not guilty about it.