…I think I might be one…
Snobbery exists in many forms, way too many to mention here. The main definition of a snob is somebody that looks down on others; in history it has often indicated looking down on lower classes. Though ‘the classes,’ to some extant, do still exist, I think snobbery has evolved into a bit of an uncontrollable beast that straddles geography, politics, education, and all the other things people take an interest in. But one of the very common snobberies I come across in this day and age is the Culture Snob.
Let me define what I mean by Culture Snob, as it is a kind of vague term. I mean somebody who judges others on, say, their interest in the Kardashians or their addiction to pop acts like Katy Perry or their need to dress like every reality star they come across. I’m referring to somebody who scoffs at Big Brother and the X Factor.
The Culture Snob is not necessarily a ‘hipster’ though; I know plenty of Culture Snobs that do not fit into the skinny jean bracket. Now, the difficulty I’m having with my own possible identity as a Culture Snob is where I draw the line between having an opinion (yes I think Big Brother has become a pile of televised drivel) and becoming a prejudiced snob (wanting the resume of a girl that reminded me of a cast member from the British series TOWIE thrown away).
For me, this kind of snobbery stems from growing up with the famous-for-being-famous Big Brother every summer (my mum still watches it), cheesy pop music I didn’t warm to, and a relentless bombardment of vapid tabloid papers and celeb gossip magazines.
I guess I grew to resent that kind of culture, and that I don’t apologize for. What I do apologize for is the ‘guilty pleasures.’ It shouldn’t even be a term, really. If I take enjoyment in, say, having a glance through Perez Hilton’s site every now and then, I shouldn’t keep it on the DL while talking trash about shows like Jersey Shore. That makes me (and many others) hypocritical.
Let me just state—for the record—that I have spent time enjoying watching shows like Geordie Shore (the UK version of Jersey Shore) that offer an element of escapism from the every day grind even if they are ridiculous. So fair play to people who watch them; life is hard, escapism is good sometimes. I also secretly enjoy dancing around my room to the likes of Katy Perry and Taylor Swift—acts of which I apologize for because I deem such regressions a guilty pleasure. Because I’m a Culture Snob. But how does that even work? There’s no rule book that states that I can’t like them and also be keen on Bowie, Rachmaninov, and Tom Veck.
It’s in our nature to be prejudiced. And in some ways, it’s in our interests to be. Prejudice is a by-product of learning from experience and thus having preconceived notions of things. It’s when it’s a negative preconceived notion that the notion becomes a prejudice.
Someone wise (though she may have got it from somewhere else, I forget) once told me that everyone has prejudice. It’s the act of acknowledging that prejudice and trying to make an extra effort to combat it that makes you a good egg. Until I heard that, I’d always maintained that I wasn’t prejudice because I was raised by my mum to give everyone a chance—and I hope I’m still that way. But now I know that I do have prejudices, like everyone else! I’m just going to try and work around them.
The point of all this is to say: have an opinion, have lots of opinions, the more the merrier! You can love Kim K’s ass on the cover of Paper or be convinced it’s a Photoshop nightmare, but don’t hate on a girl because she talks and looks like someone from a reality show you dislike. Try having pleasure without it being guilty. Try not to be a hypocrite. And at least try to not be a total Culture Snob.
Feature image sourced from tvguide.com