Under guilty pleasure pressure

15-03-2018

There are some good and some bad things that came up during the 2000s. One of the good things, at least for me, is the music. And although a huge part of my current music taste is based on James Blunt and pop punk bands from the 2000s, I was too young to fully appreciate them at the time of their breakthroughs. The music of my childhood was way more strongly shaped by my older brother’s music taste, being R.E.M., Radiohead and Green Day. And, additionally, the soundtracks to some of my favourite TV shows at the time, being Hannah Montana and Zoey 101.

I could obviously make everyone believe that I nowadays preferably listen to Radiohead instead of Miley Cyrus’ The Best of Both Worlds, but that would be a lie. I recently re-discovered the old Hannah Montana songs and I enjoy the nostalgia coming with the music of my childhood. One might call it a guilty pleasure. But that is exactly what I have a problem with.

There are obviously some things that bring pleasure and that you should feel guilty about. It’s for example sometimes a real pleasure to skip lectures you don’t like, but you should feel guilty, because, in the end, you pay a lot of money for attending a university you’re ultimately not attending. But can we really approach music in a similar way? How many people ruin their lives because they listen to Hannah Montana songs?

The concept of guilty pleasure songs is, instead of questioning whether something is good or bad for you, often about what is perceived as cool and what not. Everyone can easily say that this question doesn’t apply to her or him. But ask yourself: have I not at least once in my life cared about other people’s opinions about my choices?

It can be hard differentiating from the norm, with your music, with your clothes or with something entirely different. And one of the good things about university is that it becomes easier to differentiate, because a lot of people do. But if you ever happen to be insecure about pleasure versus peer pressure: think of David Bowie. David Bowie wasn’t cool when he started. He was himself — and made cool what he was. So listen to the songs you like and, ultimately, live the life you like. Everything else is just a waste of time.

Every two weeks, Antonia will add the songs she writes about to the Spotify playlist below. This way, she creates a soundtrack to her time in Nijmegen. Click left and right for more songs.

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