let people like what they like

Hello, everybody, and welcome back to Quote, Unquote!

In September, I wrote a post titled “please be a nerd.” Then in October, I wrote a sort of sequel to that post titled “are you passionate or possessed?” Both posts were very well received, I liked writing them, and I thought I was done, but there was just something missing. And I think I’ve finally figured it out.

I still think it’s great to be a nerd. You absolutely should be a nerd. But the addendum is this:

You should be a nerd about whatever you want.

Let me give an example.

I love Taylor Swift. I love her music, her style, how she puts it all together. In fact, she’s my all-time top artist on Spotify. And I think that’s great. I am not apologetic at all about being a Swiftie.

However, because Taylor Swift’s music is so widely appreciated and distributed, I often run into people who make it their life’s goal to put down people who like Taylor Swift, just because she’s popular and “mainstream.” Not because they dislike her music (some of them haven’t even heard her music) or even her–just because they think that people who like her are automatically–I don’t even know. Shallow? Also mainstream? I’m not completely sure what the reason for dismissing people who like Taylor Swift is.

I see this a lot with popular media. “I’m special because I don’t listen to Taylor Swift or Harry Styles or Olivia Rodrigo. I’m special because I only listen to 24-hour-long recordings of whale noises”–or whatever.

This doesn’t just apply to music. Maybe you love the latest Netflix series that everyone is talking about. Maybe you’re super into that new fantasy trilogy that everyone on TikTok and Instagram seems to be talking about. You’ll encounter this kind of elitism everywhere. “Oh, while you were reading A Court of Thorns and Roses, some bad book that you were tricked into buying on TikTok, I was reading this really underground, not-well-known fantasy series. What’s it called? Oh, it’s The Lord of the Rings. Yeah, you wouldn’t really know it.”

I think that this is honestly really sad.

Taylor Swift’s music brings me a lot of joy. I love dancing around the kitchen to “Cruel Summer” and singing at the top of my lungs to “Style” (and sobbing on my floor at “All Too Well”, but that’s irrelevant). That person is reading A Court of Thorns and Roses because they enjoy it. It makes them happy. And while I will probably never read it, who am I to take away their joy? Who am I to put them down just because they like something popular?

This popular media was made for this exact reason. The whole reason it’s popular is because it makes people happy. That’s literally the entire point of it being created.

I would urge you to remember this before you judge. If your first instinct upon someone telling you that they like to listen to Taylor Swift is to scoff and roll your eyes, well, you need a little bit of an attitude adjustment, my friend. Even if you don’t like the mainstream media in question, the very least you can do is be a polite and decent human being about it.

And then put yourself in their shoes. I guarantee you there is something super popular that you like that people will scoff at you for liking. Think about that.

I think that you should like what you like, and you should let other people like what they like. If their appreciation of something popular isn’t hurting them or you or anyone else, leave them alone.

If I have come across as rude or abrasive in this post, I do apologize to you. This is something I feel strongly about. I hope that if nothing else I have ever posted sticks with you, this is the thing you’ll take away from my platform as a whole.

Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you next Wednesday.


13 thoughts on “let people like what they like

  1. That Guy March 15, 2023 / 9:12 am

    Okay, to start off with, if I have ever made fun of you for liking Taylor Swift, or anything else for that matter, punch me in the face tonight, after I apologize, cause talking might be hard with a broken nose. On a completely different note, there is unfortunately no 24 hour whale noise recording that I can find, however I did find 11 hours 40 minutes…..

    I cannot confirm the whale nosie density of that video, as there ain’t no way I’m listening to all that. But if that’s your thing, you do you, boo💛

    Liked by 5 people

    • Mia Harden March 15, 2023 / 11:22 am

      Your comments are half of the appeal of Liesl’s blog 😭😭

      Liked by 1 person

      • That Guy March 15, 2023 / 11:50 am

        Aw, thanks! I guess if I’m helping her get web traffic, that’s a good thing…. But I hope I don’t become the main attraction. She’s the talented, important one, I’m just a comedian.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Mia Harden March 15, 2023 / 4:14 pm

        Ahhh, okay, I see why Liesl speaks so highly of you now *nodnod*


    • Rue March 15, 2023 / 12:43 pm

      this comment- shsjvdhscvgf 😂


  2. Saraina Whitney March 15, 2023 / 12:57 pm

    Hehe, sometimes I have failed to reveal how much I love something just because it’s really popular or because the other person doesn’t like it. XD This is a good thing to keep in mind when it comes to writing books, too, because it shows it’s impossible to write a story that *everyone* will like. That takes some of the pressure off. 😂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sarah Jayne Photography March 15, 2023 / 3:54 pm

    I’ve resisted becoming a “fan girl” about things because I got annoyed by how others acted with their fandom of choice and I didn’t want to have the label “fan girl” with its stereotypes. I’m definitely a fan girl, you just probably wouldn’t know it most of the time. Growing up and not participating in mainstream things, I was actually fascinated a little bit when my friends were talking about their thing (Hunger Games was big) but at some point I would start to feel left out. I would maybe add that, if someone can’t join in or is choosing not to join in, maybe try to dial it back a bit around them. Not deny you like it, but it doesn’t have to come up all the time.

    Great post. I can definitely see the passion coming through!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That Guy March 15, 2023 / 4:39 pm

      Me likey this point ☝️


  4. Chloe Ruth March 16, 2023 / 3:59 pm

    Hm, good point. I do find myself being a little annoyed sometimes when I like the “popular” stuff, but I guess there is a reason it’s popular, like you said.

    And personally I think Taylor Swift is a talented artist, I just don’t listen to her because I disagree with her. But that’s my opinion. ; )
    I’ll go listen to my 24-hour whale songs. XD


    • That Guy March 17, 2023 / 6:47 am

      Oi! You have 24 hour whale songs?!?! And you aren’t sharing?!?! Do you know how long I spent looking for that?! Like, at least 40 seconds!!!!


      • Chloe Ruth March 18, 2023 / 2:16 pm

        XD XD Here’s an eight hour and one second one I found:

        Sadly I couldn’t find a 24-hour one. : (


  5. Rachel L. April 21, 2023 / 7:53 am

    I’m late to the party, but this post meant so much to me! Might be one of my favorite posts on the internet right now. I hesitate so often to tell people what I’m into because it seems silly or I’ve had less than stellar reactions before, and I know so many people do the same thing. Really resonated with this! Thank you for posting.

    Liked by 1 person

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