As they like to say in my industry, I am going to put the bottom line up front: life is too short to feel guilty about enjoying things!
Yes, that is my take on guilty pleasures. We waste way too much time, energy, and effort on chastising ourselves or judging ourselves about the merits of what we enjoy. The only reason you should feel guilty about enjoying something is if it’s causing harm to someone else. If beating someone up is your guilty pleasure, then yes, you fucking well should feel guilty about it (also: stop doing that, and get some counseling!). Otherwise, please, just enjoy what you enjoy!
Is the prose in that book you’re devouring somewhat less than pristine? Who cares! It’s brought you hours of joy, swept you away from the dull pedestrianism of your daily life. Stop judging yourself for it! Is the acting in that series you’re glued to melodramatic? Who cares! Watching that with your SO next to you and a good glass of wine is the highlight of your week. Is the genre that you prefer looked down upon by those who “know better”? Yep, you guessed it—who cares! It’s what feels right and true for you.
So when people ask me what my guilty pleasures are, I shake my head. I know what they mean, that I ought to have reservations about the bodice ripper on my nightstand or the stash of chocolate in my desk, but I don’t. This life of mine is the only one I’ve got. My days and hours are limited, and the time I get to spend doing things for fun even more so. And so I shall continue to enjoy the things I enjoy without apology, without qualification, and most definitely without guilt.
Yeah, I had so much fucking fun, look elsewhere for apologies!