On Reclaiming Not-So-Guilty Pleasures

Admission: I love The Carrie Dairies. More than a prequel to Sex and the City, it’s really just a well-written show about high school, ambition, friendships, and growing up that doesn’t condescend to its demographic (aka young adults).

Should I be embarrassed about this or any of my other pop-iest of pop culture favorites? While I know it’s not as critically acclaimed like Mad Men or as highbrow-funny as Louie (which are both amazing, obviously) I’d never say the show is my “guilty pleasure,” namely because I don’t think we really need guilty pleasures anymore. One of my favorite things about the Internet era we’re living in is the ever-shrinking gap between highbrow and lowbrow, cool and uncool, mainstream and indie. Thanks to our ability to curate our own media consumption though places like Tumblr and Pinterest, we can enjoy everything from a thought-provoking TED talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to LOL-worthy episodes of Workaholics to the bubble gum pop of Katy Perry, all within the same day.

Just like with the food I eat, it’s my aim to consume a well-balanced diet of music, TV movies, and books—including both my intellectual, New York Times-article “vegetables” AND my top-40 “sweet fix.” Just as we don’t judge our peers for reading up on current events or non-fiction books, there’s no shame in liking the The Bachelor or envying Kim Kardashian’s couturing skills, if it makes you happy. On that note, I’d encourage you to reclaim your “guilty pleasures,” and instead just call them what they are—your varied, wide-ranging interests. Because how boring would life be without dessert?

Photo: ©2012 The CW Network

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