Sometimes, when I take a break at work, I have occasionally been known to browse Pinterest. Being somewhat of a sheltered woman (we don’t own a TV and, since home ownership, we spend a lot of time rambling around our house), this habit has been somewhat eye-opening in the sense that I find myself thinking, “Really?” THIS is how people spend their time? THIS is what people like?” It’s made me realize…American pop culture can be really, really shallow. It’s also made me even happier about the fact that we don’t watch TV and aren’t planning on changing that anytime soon.
I keep a somewhat satirical mental list of fads, trends, and general silliness that I come across and can’t help but wonder, “Why…?” So, to get the writing juices flowing again, I thought I’d share my list with you.
Disclaimer: Please understand that I’m not trying to be a hater. While I get a little weirded out by intense fandom, if you happen to really enjoy/get satisfaction out of something on my list and keep your appreciation somewhat sane in nature, chances are I won’t judge you for it. These are, after all, simply my preferences.
(These are not in any particular order, by the way)
- The Hunger Games series
I read them all, hoping that there would be some redeeming quality somewhere in the series. And while there were a few moments worthy of applause, I finally concluded that I wasn’t going to find the deep, redemptive moral of the story that I was looking for because these are Young Adult books and they aren’t supposed to have some intense meaning. They’re supposed to be exciting, action-packed, fluffy tales about an indecisive teenager having to choose between two hot boys, wearing lots of designer clothes she doesn’t really like, and somehow having to figure out how to save her post-Apocalyptic nation from self destructing on itself. The writing was fairly stale (on par with the Twilight series, which I also read), but again, they aren’t written to be critiqued on an adult level by someone whose favorite author is Steinbeck.
- Harry Potter everything
I read the first few books and they were actually really fun and well-written. Again, they’re kids books, but they sort of reminded me of “The Chronicles of Narnia”. I’d like to finish reading the series at some point. Heck, I’d even do a weekend movie marathon where I watch all of them. What weirds me out, though, is people who have whole Pinterest boards or photo albums dedicated to all of the actors in the movie, recipes for butterbeer, and ideas for Harry-Potter themed parties. Tone it down a little bit, kids.
- Channing Tatum (or whatever his name is)
Why do women think this man is attractive??? Ugh. I mean, if you want to marry a six-pack, then I guess he’s your guy.
I hate cupcakes. I’m sorry. It’s probably because I dislike cake in general. In my opinion, it’s far too fake-tasting and laden with sugar. My teeth hurt just thinking about eating cake/cupcakes. I’ve even tried some of those fancy gourmet cupcakes and they were alright…they just don’t have enough depth to them. I guess I’m kind of a dessert snob; I tend to prefer desserts with a few different flavors/textures going on, and I have yet to eat a cupcake that was worth the sugar/calories to fit the bill.
- The Beatles
You can harass me about this one, I get it. I know they were (and still are) a huge phenomenon that changed rock music. And don’t get me wrong, they’re OK. Shrug. I just don’t find anything particularly amazing about them. I think there were much more complex, progressive musicians from that era that I’d rather spend my time listening to. Besides, I will always be a Dylan girl at heart. He did write a song about me, after all.
- Zooey Deschanel
I know I’m a wacko here because I once tried looking for memes that made fun of her and they don’t exist because seemingly everyone loves this chick. Except me. And my sister. She’s that quintessential hipster girl with big bangs and blue eyes that everybody worships but nobody can manage to maintain a relationship with (including poor Joseph Gordon Levitt). She always plays the same type of character in every movie, going around batting her long eyelashes, seducing poor under-achieving boys, and moping about, well, everything. If I hear one more person talk about how she’s so “quirky” and “endearing” I will vomit.
- Pregnancy Announcement photos
Someday, if I have a kid, I would like to find some creative way of announcing it. But it should preferably be something that doesn’t involve bows, baby blocks, baby shoes, gender-reveal balloons/cupcakes/drinks, me vomiting while my husband holds a sign saying “We’re pregnant!” or a tire pump.
- Pink things for girls
I was raised with no concept that girls were supposed to like all things pink. By the time I was six, my favorite colors were blue and green and I had no idea they were “boy” colors. I don’t get it. I like blue, on boys and girls. I like green and yellow and red and brown on them, too. Why do I have to decorate a girl’s room in pink? Why do I have to dress her in pink onesies or pink legwarmers? I mean, I get the whole nurturing of the feminine nature, but to me, pink screams “Barbie” and that is not the feminine nature I want to instill in my daughter. Shudder.
- Fitness/skinny motivation photos
This is setting you up for some sort of eating disorder or compulsive behavior. Yes, I read (and sometimes pin) workouts that make sense to me, especially yoga sequences. Yes, I think it’s important to find motivation to exercise regularly and eat healthy. But that motivation should be YOUR own body and what’s right for it – not someone else’s body. Do I get jealous and a little bit insecure when I see photos of women with perfect abs or toned legs? Well, yeah, of course. But I wouldn’t want to use that to motivate me to work out for two hours every single day and never eat grains or potatoes or whatever is supposedly making me fat these days. What motivates me is that, by taking care of my body in the form of exercise and healthy eating, I am helping MY body be the best that it can be. And on that note, I get really, really sick of seeing one particular workout described as something that will “blast belly fat in two weeks!” Or, “Lose the thunder thighs in five days”. That’s crap. Nothing does that for your body aside from a long commitment to taking care of it.
- “Easy” DYI projects
You know, those projects that usually involve spending $30 at Michael’s on unsustainably-produced goods to make something you could have reasonably bought at a thrift store for $5. Those projects that take hours. Those projects that never, ever look as good as the photos on someone’s blog. Those no-sew projects that involve an ungodly amount of hot glue and loose threads. Be curious, be willing to try new things. But take some of these tutorials with a grain of salt, my friends.
So, to end on a positive note, I will also list some things that I regularly see on Pinterest that I actually like:
- Jennifer Lawrence
Despite my stance on her big-deal franchise, I actually really like this girl. She’s played some diverse roles, she doesn’t look anorexic, and she seems genuinely down to earth. I can get on board with this one.
- Engagement/Couple photos
Jason and I are terribly awkward in front of a camera (just ask our wedding photographer) but occasionally, I see a couples photo that kind of makes my heart melt because you can see that the photographer “caught” them just being in love with each other. There are a couple of photos from our engagement/wedding that are like this, too. Anyway, I’m always looking for inspiration so that next time we end up in front of a camera for some reason, we’re not like, “Uh, let’s hug, I guess?”
- Vinegar’s greatness
I use a spray bottle of vinegar for cleaning almost everything in my house. I’m so happy the whole rest of the world is catching on to the great, inexpensive, non-toxic wonder of it.
- Baking swaps
Yes, you can substitute Greek yogurt or pumpkin puree for almost anything. This was life-changing for me. And remember that whole complex dessert thing? Some baking substitutes totally do this for me. Pumpkin puree with brownie mix is one such example. So much yum.
Anything that makes fun of Paula Deen, hipsters, dinosaurs, owls, the list above, and cats is totally acceptable.
What are some things that you dislike that other people go crazy over? What are some things that you actually like?