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 could’ve even gotten Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s Grandpa Joe out of bed and frenetically chanting “and the Jay Z song was on.”
Guilt and pleasure are so culturally intertwined that we can’t help but be tempted by them. In fact, psychological research around the topic of guilty pleasures shows that stimulating feelings of guilt often activate the pleasure areas of our brains concurrently. This means that indulging in that Miley singalong or Swiftie dance party is actually good for your brain — even if we feel like 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 super jammy playlist for some unapologetic listening.