Are you embarrassed of the things you love?
Recently, I watched a video called ‘Everyone hates what teenage girls love and it’s dumb’. This made me think about the concept of ‘taste shaming’, i.e. looking down on someone for the things they enjoy.
It is something that I hadn’t really given much thought to, but, upon reflection, it is something that I have been both guilty of and victim of. For instance, my friends make fun of me for listening to weird folk music, while I make fun of them for listening to nothing but the Top 40.
Why is it, as a society, we feel the need to shame each other for something as subjective as our choice of books, music, or movies?
This is particularly the case for teenage girls. As a society, we have been conditioned to associate both teenage girls and the things that they typically love, with being trivial and dumb.
This may sound harsh and far-fetched, but hear me out.
Twilight have been ridiculed for all of the things that make them inherently ‘girly’.
Take Twilight for example, both the books and movies were adored by teenage girls all over the world. I find it no coincidence then that, from the moment they were released, they have been ridiculed for all of the things that make them inherently ‘girly’.
Melissa Rosenberg, the screenwriter of Twilight, put it like this: "Because it [Twilight] is female it’s worthy of contempt. Because it feels female, it is less than."
Now I’m not saying that Twilight is un-flawed and merits no criticism, or that it is in any way a literary masterpiece. Nevertheless, there are many problematic or plain daft books or movies that don’t receive half the ‘hate’ that Twilight does.
Deeming a book or a movie to be stupid is a matter of opinion.
Deeming a book or a movie to be stupid is a matter of opinion. The problem comes with telling fans of those things that they are stupid for liking them. It creates the idea that people should be embarrassed about the things they love.
Specifically, the hatred for ‘girly’ things is toxic because it creates the idea that girls should be embarrassed for liking the things that are designed with them in mind. It makes the term ‘girly’ an insult.
For me, one movie that rebrands the ‘girly’ genre in a positive light is 'Legally Blonde'. Elle Woods, the main character, wears head-to-toe pink outfits and enjoys doing things that are deemed ‘girly’, like dressing up and getting her nails done.
However, instead of her ‘girliness’ being something trivial that she must leave behind in order to be successful, this actually works in her favour and she becomes a successful lawyer.
Girls can still enjoy ‘girly’ things whilst being successful.
This is such a powerful message because it shows girls that they can still enjoy ‘girly’ things whilst being successful in a typically male-dominated space.
Whilst I believe teenage girls are the recipient of much of the ‘taste shaming’, they are not the only ones. At some point in everyone’s life, they are made to feel embarrassed about the things they love. This is not okay!
You shouldn’t have to put your Spotify on private mode when you want to jam out to Justin Bieber, or keep it quiet that you secretly love hopelessly romantic teen movies. God created each of us uniquely, which is why we love different things, and that’s what makes us so interesting.
The Bible says, ‘God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.’ (Genesis 1:27).
Yes, we are all different, but there is one unifying factor about all of us; regardless of whether you are male or female, young or old, God created you in His own image.
You have been hand-crafted by the creator of the universe.
Knowing that you have been hand-crafted by the creator of the universe as a unique and loved individual, enjoy your individuality. Celebrate and feel confident to share your diversity of tastes, and give the same right to all those other unique and loved individuals you meet.
God never intended the world to have a bland colour palette of sameness, but a rich tapestry of myriad colours!