Driving down the road, Ed Sheeran’s voice is bursting out of the speakers and I’m doing a little dance. My brother’s in the passenger’s seat, shaking his head with disapproval. He says he doesn’t get why I like this “crap.” I, like always, ignore his comments.
I love pop music.
It honestly seems like such a simple thing for me to say–why wouldn’t I like pop music? The beats are catchy, the lyrics are cute and the songs are overall fun. The songs contain relatable messages and often convey my current emotion. I can’t help but sing at the top of my lungs while driving down the road.
Yet, when I openly admit that I’m in love with a Taylor Swift song or that I can’t resist singing along to Sam Smith, I am met with eye rolls and sympathetic looks. When I start belting Adele while making a snack for myself, my mom sighs in frustration. People have actually expressed disgust and sadness with my “poor choice in music.”
I used to deny that I liked pop music; I thought that it was uncool and unoriginal, and that listening to it would make me uncool and unoriginal. I used to refuse to sing along to catchy songs that came on over the radio, simply because they were “too mainstream” for me. I was stuck listening to music I didn’t even really like. In my mind, if you listened to a certain type of music you were a certain type of person.
I feel like that’s why people deny liking pop music. They’re convinced that the music that you listen to is a defining characteristic of who you are as a person. While I think that music says a lot about a person, sometimes music is just music.
I listen to Taylor Swift because I like listening to Taylor Swift. All that says about me as a person is that I like Taylor Swift. It doesn’t mean I’m “basic” or that I love every single artist who sounds even similar to Taylor Swift.
We try so hard to figure out who we are and define ourselves, that we compromise the things that we just simply love. Pop music is called pop music for a reason. It’s made to be popular and catchy; there’s no shame in liking something that is manufactured for us to like. There’s also no shame in admitting it.
I love pop music.
-By Bailey Miller