Indulging in guilty pleasure should not bring shame

By Richard Miler
Opinions Editor

Trashy television, impulsive shopping and tempting junk food — these are just a few common guilty pleasure items we often see people secretly obsessing over. 

A guilty pleasure is something that a person enjoys, despite knowing that the thing, item or activity is not very popular and may even be widely disliked or seen as unusual. 

Guilty pleasures can be the key to unlocking who someone really is. It’s easy to fall in line and enjoy something or someone that is already beloved by the masses i.e. Oprah, corgis, pizza, Baby Yoda — things like that. 

But interests and likes that are kept personal and behind closed doors help us understand someone a little better. 

Binge watching show is a valid passtime. (YouTube)

Nothing forms quite as strong of a bond as when two people stumble upon a mutual guilty pleasure. Mine right now? The Disney+ hit “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” and when I overheard a relative talking about at Thanksgiving, we instantly bonded — more than we ever had before. 

A recent New York Times article reported how taking part in these guilty pleasures should actually cause you to feel no guilt at all. The mental break and decompression you get from indulging yourself in this often mindless task or hobby can prove to be crucial for happiness and a good overall mental state. The mental health benefits of letting yourself enjoy your guilty pleasure are comparable to spending the same amount of time meditating or exercising. 

Guilty pleasures are an act of self-care — often an act that many of us skip because we are too busy and that’s the first thing to eliminate from a busy schedule. Self-care is one of the most important things we can do to improve everyday living. You deserve to feel good and treat yourself.

Often times, the only reason we feel the smallest bit of guilt about liking something is because we have been socially constructed not to. It’s time for us not to let social norms dictate what we enjoy and consume in our lives. 

Don’t let anyone judge you for your secret obsession. We all have them and it’s OK. It is part of what makes you who you are, and it allows you to learn more about yourself every day. 

Embrace the things you enjoy. Dance to that Taylor Swift song, cry while watching a Nicolas Sparks movie and take that second helping of mashed potatoes — do what makes you happy. 

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