Less Guilt, More Pleasure

cat tacopina

Over the summer, my friend Carolyn told me she had been giving the concept of guilty pleasures a lot of thought.

“If you like something, why would you feel guilty about it?” I remember her asking as the two of us and our friend Julie drove down Long Island’s Ocean Parkway with Ralph’s Italian Ices in our hands and Brand New lyrics blasting in our ears. “You should be able to enjoy something without worrying about what other people think.”

Maybe this isn’t the most novel of concepts. Maybe (there definitely are) several people who have already grabbed the opportunity to tell you and everyone you know that you shouldn’t feel guilty about passionately liking something.

But after coming off of a summer where I worked with a group of 12 to 14 year olds, I feel more compelled than ever to tell you that everyone around you has guilty pleasures they may or may not be 100 percent proud of.

And you have them too. Whatever that guilty pleasure is, it probably makes you really cool.

Let’s face it, all of us like pizza, all of us think “Game of Thrones” is great and all of us know that it’s un-American to dislike the Beatles (don’t worry, I’m in on the joke).

I’m talking about those weird and quirky things you might be hesitant to bring up when you’re around people you’ve never really met. Maybe even around people you do know. You shouldn’t be.

Some of the coolest people I’ve ever met have been into things I never would have ever thought they’d be into. The thing is, there may be plenty of people with the same guilty pleasure as you, but oftentimes that guilty pleasure makes you that much more interesting.

I know this isn’t something I alone carry as a guilty pleasure. And maybe I’m a little less cool because of it. And maybe when I go into interviews from now on, my street cred as the Editor-in-Chief is not going to be at the level I’d want it to be at.

But c’mon; “Avatar: The Last Airbender” is an amazing show, and easily one of the best cartoons to appear on Nickelodeon. Maybe even the best animated program for children in the 2000s.

I’ve marathoned it since its original run wrapped up. Totally cried when…a lot of times. The second season for “Legend of Korra” premieres on Friday and I’d be lying if I wasn’t extremely excited about it (I’m also looking for someone to watch it with me, so hit a grrrl up).

Oh, and also, dancing to Bollywood music at 1 a.m. in nothing but your underwear is awesome. So is running around your house with an avocado in your hand yelling “dracarys” because you realize it looks like a dragon egg. It does. You and I know it.

This isn’t the part at the end of the high school movie where the cheesy music kicks in and I tell you everything is going to be okay and you have to do you.

This is the part at the end of the column where I tell you that you shouldn’t let fear of people’s perceptions stop you from liking something.

You probably like something really weird and maybe a little unsettling, and you’re not alone. But if it makes you happy and after a stressful day of having to mingle and socialize with people in the real world, you might need it. The point of a guilty pleasure isn’t supposed to make you feel guilt; the point of a guilty pleasure is to be that thing you can enjoy when your alone or with a group of people.

Don’t ever feel ashamed of liking something that brings you joy and lifts your spirits when you need them to pick up. Your guilty pleasures as a whole are unique to you, and you should cherish those things that are so uniquely you.

But if you ever do feel ashamed, just remember that at one time, your college paper’s Editor-in-Chief makes impromptu dances to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake about three times a week.