WHAT'S A GUILTY PLEASURE?

Sunday, 8 March 2015

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THE other day I was asked about my guilty pleasures. I stopped to think for a few minutes and then I came up with a small list ranging from TV shows and songs to food and habits. I've actually been thinking about this subject for a while now and inspired by some YouTube vlogs I've come across discussing this topic, I too have decided to jump on board and write about Guilty Pleasures. Lately this topic has been touched upon in televised media such as the dedicated episode of Glee. Watching this episode and seeing them perform some of my own guilty pleasures made me question whether a number of these pleasures are common amongst many. Has the concept gone mainstream with all this media exposure? If it has, would it still count as a guilty pleasure? Even more so, how can one feel guilty about something that they like?

Before we dive deeper into this discussion it's important to understand the meaning behind 'guilty pleasures'. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the phrase, a guilty pleasure is simply something a person enjoys (ranging over a variety of things or feelings) however feeling a pang of guilt over such enjoyment. It's highly likely that the same person wouldn't like to admit this out to the public, or even to themselves. Therefore, sometimes I see the term as a sort of defence against people's reactions rather than the actual guilty feeling.

Undoubtedly, this could also spark the possibility that certain people might actually be using the phrase as an excuse. This means that the person wouldn't really be feeling guilty of enjoying, say, a television show, but since it might be frowned upon by others they'd feel safer to just say that it's their guilty pleasure.

On the other end of the spectrum sometimes I myself am against the idea of guilty pleasures, and at times I don't believe in the possibility of feeling guilty about your pleasures. How is it possible to feel bad about enjoying something? Then I wonder if I'm using the term as defence. Furthermore, it could be the twitch of guilt I feet just after the thing has been consumed. Maybe a part of you feels like you've wasted valuable time you'll simply never get back yet you're willing to do it again. Could you have gone without watching that TV show or eating that piece of chocolate? At this point I should mention that chocolate is one of my guilty pleasures. I love it and I'm proud and guilt-less about it; but after devouring half of my body weight in chocolate, I'm bound to feel guilty about it even if the guilt lasts for 5 minutes.

Moreover, the idea of the media exposing some infamous guilty pleasures is unveiling a truth that might alter the definition of the said phrase. It might be concluded after these media discussions that most of these guilty pleasures portrayed are common amongst several of us and it is doubtful we should feel guilty admitting them out loud. A number of people, for example, would list Nutella and Reality TV as their guilty pleasures (me, for one). I think that this genre of entertainment in general (meaning not every single program under that division) receives heavy criticism by a considerable number of people when the stars of these shows go on to make a huge living and become celebrities just for having cameras follow them around. Personally, I think deep down I know certain Reality TV personalities have made a life for themselves over ridiculousness but that doesn't stop me from binge watching these shows.

When Glee made the Guilty Pleasures episode I chuckled at some of the music choices. If so many people consider the same songs as guilty pleasures, should we still feel guilty about them? Don't these likes become a norm them? Probably; however, not if you still don't approve yourself of enjoying such music.

To start concluding this post I'd like to mention some of my own guilty pleasures, and invite you to comment your opinion of this topic as well as your own guilty pleasures. Mine consist of Nutella (and chocolate in general), Reality TV (notable Geordie Shore), knowing the lyrics to ABBA songs, Fanfiction, and staying in pyjamas and lounge all day when I have to be more productive. Those are some of mine, what are yours?

Maria x

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