Taylor Swift, doe-eyed country songstress turned reigning goddess of pop and token best friend of fashion’s most elite, has sold out nearly every show of her 1989 World Tour. The tour has grossed over $17 million to date with many Swift groupies attending not only one show, but a whopping two, leaving an inevitable gaping hole in the bank accounts of many tweens and their parents.
For the majority of us, Taylor Swift songs are more of a guilty pleasure. We find ourselves listening to them on the final mile of an exhausting jog or as the popular sing-along song during a solo ten-hour road trip. Along with Taylor Swift on the list of guilty pleasure artists is our other daddy’s girl, Miley Cyrus, who has refused to take a photograph without her tongue out since 2007. “Party in the USA” was so catchy that it would’ve had the ability to get even Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s Grandpa Joe out of bed and chanting along to the chorus “and the Jay Z song was on.”
Urban Dictionary, 2015
Research around this topic shows that stimulating feelings of guilt often activate the pleasure areas of our brains concurrently. Guilt and pleasure are so intertwined in our brains, which is perhaps why our vices are so tempting. Simply, because we know they’re off limits. But according to pop culture’s definition, listening to a guilty pleasure song in public can immediately diminish our musical credibility and should only be listened to in private for risk of losing social currency.
However, if only for today, I’d like to encourage everyone to embrace your inner fan girl and start noddin’ your head like “yeah!” to your favorite, guilty-pleasure artists. If you need some help, we’ve created a sinful playlist for some unapologetic listening.
Maya Friedman is Account Executive at Man Made Music. Tell her about your guilty pleasure listening habits on Twitter @mcfried7.