Writer’s Workshop: Don’t Feel Guilty About “Guilty Pleasures”

You know what expression I hate? “Guilty pleasure.” Why do you feel guilty about something that gives you pleasure? Because other people disapprove? You know what I say?

Seriously! No one has a right to make you feel guilty for liking something. Even you. Especially you. I like bubblegum pop music from the Sixties, disco from the Seventies, “beautiful” music (e.g. Mantovani, Lawrence Welk, and Percy Faith), and smooth jazz. All might be considered “guilty pleasures,” except I don’t feel guilty about them.

I was in high school when I first heard The Manhattan Transfer. They looked weird (I mean, Alan Paul in lipstick was a little much), but they made some of the coolest music I ever heard. I was almost afraid to admit that I liked them, because theirs wasn’t the kind of music teenaged boys listened to in the Seventies. One day I asked a friend of mine, “Hey, have you ever heard The Manhattan Transfer?” He said, “You like ’em, too? They’re fantastic!” That was the last time I felt guilty about liking any kind of music. And the last time I felt guilty about not liking certain kinds of music. I don’t like heavy metal. If you like it, great. No reason to feel guilty about it.

Music is just one example. Food? TV shows? Books? Hobbies? Same thing. You like to color? Great! You like to eat Twinkies while you do? Me, too! Like to watch fifty-year-old game shows or read books by Mickey Spillane and Danielle Steele? So do I! No reason to feel guilty about it.


The prompt was to write a post based on the word “guilty.”

36 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: Don’t Feel Guilty About “Guilty Pleasures”

  1. I personally love your Post today and I think I’m going to have my granddaughter read it. You have a very good point here today and makes so much sense. I hope she gets the point. I love the way you put it. Great job my friend and I totally agree. I’m afraid I was the same way in high-school and didn’t make too many friends I kept to myself mostly. I thought I was different so I went my own way. I had an old soul in a young body I guess. Well, that was then and this is now! I’m having a blast now! hehehehe! Have a great day and thanks!


    1. You can appreciate the fact that he enjoys it so much. It’s like with Mary, who is a tremendous knitter and crocheter. I can’t do it (bad hand) but I can appreciate that she’s so in love with it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. John,

    We are a society ridden with guilt but you’re certainly right, why should we feel guilty? Aren’t pleasures meant to be enjoyed? Sure they are, why else do we do what we like or listen to what we like, eat what we like, read/watch what we like? From this day forth, there will be no more “guilty pleasures” in my book! 🙂


  3. I am so with you on this point. You and I have a lot of the same eclectic tastes I think. You’ve probably noticed this in some of my BOTB matches. I still stand by my appreciation for Justin Bieber’s music, but I also enjoy my other B’s like Beethoven, Brahms, or Bartok.

    I have a wide range of tolerance for many things from the highbrow intellectual to schlocky pop. I think for me it’s often an admiration for the abilities of anyone with a creative intent as well as just enjoying creativity of a broad scope.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


    1. Sometimes it’s not so easy to separate the music and the performer. It’s like I said the other day, Miley Cyrus is a tremendous singer, but she’s gone way overboard in trying to prove her maturity, which might be an indication that she’s not quite there. Still, a great singer.


  4. I think this whole idea of ‘guilty pleasure’ starts with food. I mean, every truly tasty food is either bad for you or makes you fat. My guilty pleasure, though, has nothing to do with food. It’s taking a day to read. All day. Sigh.


  5. Totally with you, John. I’ve never understood guilty pleasure. A pleasure that makes me feel guilty? What for? 🙂
    Manhattan Transfer is awesome. Three generations of Manhattan Transfer fans is nothing to balk at!


    1. There were some great vocal groups in the Twenties and Thirties that inspired them, and Manhattan Transfer has taken the style and gone forward with it in directions people never imagined. I’m sure they inspired groups like Pentatonix, which have taken it even further.


  6. Yeah, guilty pleasure is scrapbooking and working in my craft room instead of vacuuming or doing the dishes. I refused to feel guilty. It’s my husband and I now so if he wants the dishes done, knock yourself out 🙂 — He never says anything to me about it so that’s kinda just a joke 🙂 Happy Thursday, John!


  7. Thanks for that! So then, listening to really old, sappy, country music (like Tom T Hall and Conway Twitty) is okay? What about watching “Wife Swap”? No? Good to know.


    1. Hey, whatever you want to watch. And I think Tom T. Hall and Conway Twitty, along with Marty Robbins, Lefty Frizzell, Buck Owens, and others play real country music.


  8. Hey! I love Percy Faith:) I enjoy the yodelling music fromthe German and Sustrian alps! I always did but I have to play it when my hubby is not home. I love watching some movies that people say are bad but I enjoy them….like Dodgeball:)


    1. I like bagpipe music (there’s a subculture for you). I never saw Dodgeball, but I’ve seen other movies in the genre, and they can be lots of fun and a good way to shut off your brain for a couple of hours. We all need that from time to time.


  9. Love, love this! We all have our “guilty” pleasures and nobody should make us feel guilty for liking something!


  10. I wonder who even began this idea of “guilty pleasures”…I always envision a woman digging into a savory piece of chocolate when I think of the term. It really is silly!


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