There are few worse feelings than playing a treasured favorite song on aux only to have people mock it or laugh at you for playing it. At the same time, we’ve all been guilty of groaning when our friend blasts a country song, or rolling our eyes at a party when “The Middle” plays for the hundredth time.
Music shaming is making people feel bad about liking the music they like. It can happen to people for liking popular, mainstream music. It also can happen to people who like unpopular music most people have never heard of. In either direction, it’s mean and pointless.
Music shaming tends to be about more than just the actual song, artist, or genre that’s being played. When people who wouldn’t be caught dead listening to a Today’s Hits playlist bash Taylor Swift, they are trying to elevate themselves above people who do. They are trying to tell you that because they listen to more unique music, they are somehow more special or deep than people who can’t get enough of “Reputation.”
On the other hand, people also judge others for listening to unpopular music. They act like a person is weird for liking music that sounds different from what they’re used to. If they opened up their minds and ears, however, then they may find that they’re missing out on music that they would love but never listen to because they cast it off as being uncool. Because these people don’t have the guts to like music their friends don’t like, they think everyone should follow suit.
Country music isn’t for dumb southerners. Pop music isn’t shallow. EDM isn’t just clanking metal. Whatever genre you listen to, you have nothing to be ashamed of. The only people who have a problem are the ones who take it upon themselves to be the music police.
There’s no such thing as bad music, only music that isn’t for you. Taste is subjective. Just because people love an artist you hate doesn’t mean they have bad taste. It means that they have different taste.
Listen to songs that move you, not songs that will impress or please other people. A person who music shames you probably has a private Spotify playlist made up entirely of cheesy throwback songs. And if they don’t and their music taste really is that fine- tuned, then they’re seriously missing out on some bops. Whether you listen to Beethoven, screamo bands, mumble rap, or whatever is on the radio, turn it up proudly.