Like What You Like

Do you ever feel embarrassed admitting you like Iggy Azalea and Ariana Grande’s song Problem? Greeted with furrowed brows when confessing to rereading the Harry Potter series? Laughed at when coming clean about your love for anal?

 

NOT ANYMORE!

 

hayden j weal naked queenstown

FREEDOM!

 

You don’t choose what gets you going any more than you choose to be heterosexual or Asian or have freckles, dimples, crooked teeth, red blood or brown poo. It’s ingrained in our genetic code, meshed and melded by various life experiences . We have no control over it, so why must we have any emotional protectiveness over what other people think of it?

 

I dig The Beatles despite my parents never listening to them in the house. I never listen to The Bee Gees although their hits were on every family cassette tape and played on a constant, screeching loop in the car. My favourite colour is purple and I have no idea why. I’m not gonna question it. Why would I? Why should I?

 

The Beatles. Purple. The dream.

 

Okay sure, I kind of understand certain associations. If you say you genuinely like Justin Bieber as a person, you’re putting yourself out there for scrutiny because you’re saying you feel some level of parallel thinking toward him and the silly mistakes he continues to make. I’d also cringe and jump to assumptions about you as a person if you told me you were a fan of Hitler. Unanimously, the world agrees Hitler’s views were evil so if you feel an affinity for that dude, we’re gonna look at you with scared eyes and you’ll have a hard go of it making friends.

 

Hitler and Bieber

 

However, let me paint a picture and let’s dissect it. This actually happened.

 

I’m at work. Standing behind a counter, serving movie tickets, making coffees, flirting with ladies over 60, the usual. I’m chatting with workmates about films when two young ladies approach us. I turn, flash my winning smile and ask them how I can help.

“Two tickets for the 6:30, please. Students,” one of them says. She’s got straw coloured hair and little stud earrings. She’s pretty.

“No worries. You heard much about it?” I ask.

“‘Sposed to be good,” she says.

Her friend pipes up. “Awesome soundtrack apparently.”

“Yeah, the music is great,” I say. “It’s kinda like Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, you ever see that?”

Blank looks.

“You know, Josh Hutcherson and The Rock team up with Vanessa Hudgens and they go on an adventure…” I continue. “It’s awesome. The Rock does his pec-pop of love in 3D and the berries come out at you…”

An awkward silence.

“Isn’t that film for kids?” the pretty one asks, lip curling in an ugly sneer.

I shrug. “Yeah. It’s good fun.”

Her eyes bug out and she draws in a big breath. “Okay…”

 

Hayden J. Weal About Last Night

Wut…?

 

Alright. What the fuck happened there?

I was made out to feel like I should apologise for not being cool. As if enjoying a film made for kids means I have inferior tastes to someone who exclusively enjoys classics. This is not an okay way to make people feel. Everybody is allowed to like whatever they damn well please.

 

LIKE WHAT YOU LIKE

 

And relax if it’s not synonymous with everyone else’s likes. Yes, I like the song Problem by Iggy Azalea and Ariana Grande. I love the Harry Potter books and reread them often. I rewatch the movies too.

As for the anal thing, I’m actually unsure. But if I had a penchant for it, I’d come out with it.

I also like The Hunger Games and Zac Efron and went and saw The Equalizer the other night and loved it. Denzel Washington kicking arse and taking names in an R18 violent vigilante flick that critics scoff at but audiences love. Some of these things are considered uncool for a 26 year old male to enjoy but I’m stoked! I dig them!

 

WHOA!

WHOA!

 

A lot of people are so concerned with how they’re coming off to the rest of the world, poring over status updates, rewording tweets and applying filters to photos that they have no idea how to react when somebody unashamedly states they enjoy something that’s deemed ‘uncool’ by a ‘cool’ demographic.

 

Same goes for the pressures to like something. Don’t enjoy smoking? Sex? One Direction? That’s entirely up to you and don’t let anyone tell you it’s strange or embarrassing. I’m lucky I have a relatively fortified self esteem so insults about my preferences tend to bead off my feathers onto the dusty ground. But for a lot of people, the ridicule sinks in and they find the best solution is to alter their likes according to what’s acceptable in their social group. Fuck ’em. Like what you like.

 

When you’re watching that cheesy romance film or listening to that guilty pleasure album, what do those people’s views (I believe the modern term is ‘haters’) matter?  Besides, their scoffing faces blur into the background when placed alongside Zefron’s rock hard abs.

 

ABS ABS ABS

ABS ABS ABS

 

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