Embracing embarrassing music choices


By Nora Swidler

When I ate dinner at Rathskellar with my teammates last week, the Nickelback song “How U Remind Me” came on and I exclaimed, “Yes! I love Nickelback!” My teammates burst out laughing and my captain wittily followed with “said no one ever.”

She revealed to me later that she too enjoys listening to Nickelback, but would never admit that publicly.

The next day, while at karaoke for my friend’s birthday, I chose to sing “Invisible” by Clay Aiken. I told the crowd not to pretend that they didn’t know the song, to sit back and enjoy.

I was pleased with the positive, enthusiastic crowd reaction as more than half of the audience sang along. While I’m certain that much of the positive reaction was for my stage presence as opposed to any natural vocal talent I possess (which happens to be none), the song turned out to be a hit. One of the karaoke-goers came up to me after my performance and told me that she loved listening to Clay Aiken, but never would confess that in any public capacity.

These two incidents are not the first that I have experienced regarding people not wanting others to know about their “embarrassing” music choices.

One of my best friends, an edgy, funky, dubstep-loving hipster, secretly likes listening to Hilary Duff.

Another friend, a quintessential tough-guy and womanizer, would be mortified if his fraternity brothers discovered his love for Broadway tunes. I see no shame in either one of these “embarrassing” choices.

When my friend Chris was rifling through my music library for the first time, upon noticing the 45 or so Backstreet Boys songs I have he said, “Oof, well that’s embarrassing!” Why is it, though?

If someone were to peruse through my iTunes library, he or she would find a considerably diverse assortment of music. I listen to artists ranging from Skrillex to Taylor Swift, from Queen to Gavin DeGraw, and from Maroon 5 to Ella Fitzgerald. There are only a select few genres of music I don’t like.

I do not even want to minimize my “embarrassing” music choices as guilty pleasures. There is nothing to hide if you want to dance to the Macarena or Electric Slide. Dream Street and Janet Jackson are still popular, right?

I feel comfortable enjoying my Weird Al Yankovic parodies as well as my Regina Spektor ballads.

There is no reason to ever insult someone else’s music choices or be ridiculed for your own. You enjoy the music you do for a reason, so play your tunes loudly and proudly.

If you are ever insecure about the song you are listening to, just remember that I revealed above all the embarrassing music that I love.



Leave a Reply