“Be Yourself!”

I used to wonder what this even meant. I know a lot of people did. We’d think, ‘Who else can I be? Aren’t I just myself by default?’ 

Well here’s the thing: It is so very, very important to your relationships, your life, and your personal happiness, to be HONEST with yourself, specifically about the things that make you happy. What you enjoy personally is between you and that thing, and no one can take that away from you, just as no one can make you like something that just isn’t in your interests. I know, I’m sounding very vague, so let’s get specific.

1. You do not need to like something just because everyone else does. Do not feel ashamed because you just aren’t that into Frozen. Don’t take crap from people who poop on you because you aren’t crazy about Marvel movies. Same goes for food tastes, music tastes, and everything else under the sun. So you’re different. That’s great!

2. That being said, there is NOTHING wrong with getting into something just because everyone else is into it. Do it because you want to find out what all the hype is about and you want to have an educated opinion. If tons of people like something, maybe there’s something to it! That’s how I think, at least. I started watching Supernatural because I kept seeing gifs and photosets on Tumblr and I wanted to be in the loop. Now I love it. Yes, I did watch 8 years worth of television in 5 months. So what?

3. If you like an indie band, you are not obligated to stop listening to them as soon as they sign on to a label because they “sold out” and you don’t want to lose your hipster cred. Same goes for anything else you liked before it was popular. I’m feeling bold today, folks! This is the truth. Signing on to a label does not automatically mean your favorite band will fall to crap, and if anyone judges you for still listening to something after it’s popular, then they are not your friend and are not worth your time! You are allowed to like things that tickle your eardrums, or whatever other sensory organs that are affected by whatever things you like that are suddenly more popular. I mean hey, now you have more things in common with most of your friends! Isn’t that a good thing?

4. You do not need to hide your interests! I meant to write a whole post on how I wish to eliminate the term “guilty pleasures,” but it kind of morphed into this post because I have cohesion issues in the brain. Basically, if anyone makes you feel bad for liking something (that isn’t hurting anyone, including you), they do not have your best interests at heart. Whether it’s because it makes you nerdy, weird, or a crazy cat lady, no one can take away from you the things you love. Maybe you post primarily pictures of your Siamese kittens on your Instagram. So you love your cats! What’s wrong with that? Nothing. So you binge watch dramatic and repetitive vampire shows because you have to find out what happens next. Own that! Go public with it and I can guarantee you that fans of the same show will pop out of the woodwork and jump to discuss future plot points with you. Bottom line: If everyone hid the interests that embarrassed them, we wouldn’t really know each other very well, would we? And if anyone does make fun of you for things you love, delete them. You don’t need that kind of negativity. 

5. This is similar to the last point, but I still need to articulate it differently: If something you like or do makes you look like a stereotype, but it is still something you genuinely enjoy, be like Taylor Swift and shake off the haters! So what if you’re a teenage white girl who Instragrams her Starbucks and wears Ugg boots almost all year? You like those things! That’s great! You don’t need to be different just to be different. Liking something doesn’t make you one thing or another, and it certainly doesn’t make you lesser than anyone who considers themselves “above such basic culture.” Culture elitism is so 2005; let’s be real. 

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Has anyone ever made fun of you for something you like? What was it?

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