Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fangirl Confession: I actually kind of (really) like Twilight and other guilty pleasures.

I know I know, I’m not supposed to say it. I realise we are all supposed to pretend that a few years ago we weren’t entirely obsessed with an insipid teenage girl and her stalker vampire boyfriend. But I never was much good with social etiquette. Besides I have always advocated against hiding our pop culture shames because of that one time Hansen were awesome and then suddenly I wasn’t allowed to like them. I’m not ashamed to admit it, I liked Twilight when it first came out and I still like it now.

I can hear your arguments now... no the reason I like Twilight is not because I am a 15 year old girl (and I wasn’t when I first read it either). It’s not that I don’t know any better, I have a degree in English and I’m working my way to a PHD. I’ve read a library worth of books, so I have plenty of things to compare it to. I’m a feminist and an atheist but that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to like a silly book about a sparkly vegetarian vampire stalking falling in love with boring teenage girls.

Look, I’m the first to admit that Twilight is not exactly Pulitzer Prize winning fiction. Yes, OK, it’s pretty bad. I can understand why people like to make fun of it. Heck I like to make fun of it and I’ve read it three times (except for Breaking Dawn I only suffered through that crap pile once and then cried out of disappointment and sexual frustration). And don’t even get me started on my #Bellaistheworstrolemodelforyounggirlsever rant. The thing is, Twilight has sold a LOT of books, and even more movie tickets, and there has to be a reason.

Sure Twilight has one of the most annoying protagonists ever, the prose is incredibly overwritten (the adjectives - dear god have mercy) and the message are questionable but these problems are not at all uncommon in the supernatural romance genre (or the romance genre all together). A genre that I was already fond of before I read this series. The problem is that people keep raising these books above their rank. You can say what you want but Twilight does what it does and does it well.

Anyway the point is not why I like Twilight, or even why you don’t like it, the point is that I should be allowed to love it in the same way that you are allowed to hate it. Twilight in this instance could be substituted with any number of so called guilty pleasures... like say Glee or the Spice Girls. The problem is when you feel the need to put down other peoples tastes just because they don’t meet your own standards.

I am willing to bet that everyone has their own dirty little popular culture loves that they don’t want anyone to find out about. Those songs that are hidden in the depths of your ipod that cause you to have a panic attack every time someone decides to look through your playlists. That television show that you don’t want to miss, but your too ashamed to admit that it’s your reason for cancelling plans. The movie that you have to see by yourself, during the day, on a weekday, because you’re too scared to ask anyone to come with you. God, it’s exhausting trying to keep up with what’s culturally accepted as cool.

Now I don’t think you should stop liking trashy things because let’s face it trashy things make us incredibly happy. I just think we should stop trying to hide them. I mean if everyone just came out and admitted that they liked those things then we wouldn’t have to go to all this trouble to hide them and I wouldn’t have to feel bad about enjoying Twilight and watching Glee.

So what exactly am I suggesting?

I’m suggesting that we all get our heads out of our asses and embrace our popular culture shame. Stop being ashamed for liking stuff that lets face it the majority of people love as well! Popular culture is part of us we should be able to enjoy it without irony.

I am not ashamed to admit that I love Twilight and you shouldn’t be either. In fact I am not ashamed to admit any one of my popular culture loves, which is why every Sunday on Pop Culture is Not Art is not all about embracing the trash! I will admit to liking something that is supposedly uncool every week and I want you to do the same. Come out of the guilty pleasures closet and finally speak out about the TV shows, books, movies, or anything else, that you really love but have been too scared to admit it. It's a liberating experience, trust me.

I showed you mine now you show me yours...

P.S read some more Fangirl Confessions here.