People should not be ashamed of what they like, should not give into “guilty pleasure” culture


Cady Armstrong

For a long time, I’ve enjoyed making videos on the social media platform TikTok, where users can post 60-second videos. However, I have rarely posted the in fear of someone I know in real life seeing one and judging me. Additionally, whenever one of my family members has walked in on me filming one, they normally roll their eyes. At first, I would justify filming a video to have something to look back on later or because it was the “guilty pleasure” I allowed myself to have. However, now, I realize that I don’t have to justify what I enjoy doing in my free time to anyone, for any reason. 

In the past, whenever I liked something other people thought was embarrassing to enjoy, I felt guilty and internally shamed myself. In order to avoid feeling this way, I decided to stop for a while. I tried to pick up the piano instead. However, doing this activity that society thought was “better” didn’t make me feel any “better”. So I decided to stop and just do what made me happy to begin with, which was making TikToks. When I really thought about it, the only thing that made me stop in the first place was worry that other people would look down on me for filming them, and that really should not be reason enough to do so. 

So, while making TikTok videos may not be “productive” or be what society deems an acceptable activity to do in one’s free time, I think it’s fun. At the end of the day, we should not have to justify what we do just to be accepted by other people. Life becomes a lot more enjoyable when you simply allow yourself to like what you like instead of shaming yourself and feeling guilty when you indulge in something you enjoy. I hesitated for so long to start posting or even download TikTok because I didn’t want to be judged for it but now I realize that all I did was just miss out on it for longer. 

A lot of people look down on certain activities or pastimes because they do not hold a ton of value. However, I disagree because the value comes from the happiness that these activities can bring. As a teenager, I already have very limited free time and don’t really want to spend it doing something I don’t like just because it “holds value” and what I enjoy does not. 

And the same goes for liking items that are seen as “basic” or stereotypical. If you love Starbucks, you love Starbucks. If you like your hydroflask, you like your hydroflask. Don’t let someone calling you a “VSCO girl” stop you from enjoying your Carmel Frappuccino or Eno hammock. After all, sometimes things are considered “basic” because they’re great. Our lives are already so dictated by everyone else so we shouldn’t also have our free time be controlled by anyone else. At the end of the day, you like what you like. It’s that simple. Either way, you can catch me making TikTok videos and watching “The Bachelor” every Monday.

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