Not Guilty, Your Honour


I was skipping along Buchanan Street to Natasha Bedingfield’s ‘Unwritten’ last month, smiling because it felt like I was finally living out the opening sequence of scripted-reality masterpiece The Hills, albeit with less sun and more pigeons. Then my heart sank. I realised, in one panic-fuelled moment, that I had forgotten to do something really important.

I had forgotten to switch my Spotify to ‘Private Session’.

This meant that my followers – all four of them – could see I’d been bopping to Bedingfield, Rod Stewart, The Vengaboys, and a cluster of show tunes all afternoon. I pictured how I would’ve looked to my pals on the most popular music streaming service that day: they’d see my name in the ‘Friends Activity’ section, right above the words Shrek 2 – Various Artists. I felt sick.

I have a playlist that consists mainly of ABBA and a lot of Eurodance. Recently, I’ve been thinking about why I labelled this playlist ‘Guilty Pleasures’. Why should any of us feel guilty or embarrassed for liking something? Who decides what’s embarrassing, anyway? Why, when someone asks me if I like the Kardashians, do I feel the need to concoct some sort of pseudo-analytical explanation? ‘I just think they’re really culturally significant!’ But perhaps, I just enjoy the Kardashians’ presence in the world because they’re hilarious and rich people fascinate me.  

I used to be a massive culture/music snob. But the whole notion of ‘guilty pleasures’ is something I’m becoming increasingly sceptical of. We shouldn’t feel like we have to hide the fact we watch reality TV. We shouldn’t feel embarrassed when someone hears the fresh beats of Daddy Yankee’s ‘Gasolina’ streaming through our headphones. Since coming to uni, I’ve even heard people trying frantically to justify their trips to Starbucks. “It’s because there’s Wifi! It’s not because I’m basic or anything!” Mate, it’s a coffee shop. C’mon.

University has made me realise culture snobbery isn’t cool, so the words ‘guilty pleasures’ are officially retiring from my vocabulary. Life’s too short to condemn people for appreciating the frivolous, generic, or slightly weird. So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to listen to Carly Rae Jepsen’s entire discography and write an article titled ‘7 Things You Didn’t Know About Kim Kardashian’s Knees’.

[Morgan Laing – @sm4shingpumpk1n]

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