I like Britney Spears. That's right -- I'm a fan. Not a ohmygod... her-new-album-came-out-and-I-have-to-get-it-now kind of fan. But I do like her music. I have a couple of albums, and they're good. Poppy, fun to listen to. I even have a Pandora station based around her music. I listen to it at work sometimes when I need an energy boost. I think it's good stuff. And, I'm not afraid to admit it.
When I was younger (isn't it always a little hard to hear a still-young person say that?), I owned my Britney fandom. When people made fun of her music, I always stood up for her and said, "hey, it's not so bad. I listen to her a lot." Later, my friend Nicole told me that she really respected that about me when she first met me. She said that was something she noticed right away, that I liked Britney Spears and did see anything wrong with it. In fact, I readily announced it.
Shortly after meeting Nicole, I started dating a guy who decidedly did not like Britney Spears. He, in fact, hated most things poppy. And, I slowly stopped liking Britney Spears, or at least admitting it openly and freely.
Years later, after the relationship had ended and I was slowly trying to find myself again, I realized how much of myself I had given up. How I had pushed aside things I liked because I let someone else's opinions overshadow my own. And, I recalled Nicole saying how much she admired that I owned my appreciation of Britney's music. And was unapologetic about it. I wasn't ashamed to admit that I actually enjoyed something that others might scoff at.
This is why I'm always telling people to "own it." It's easy to lose confidence in our own feelings and opinions when others don't agree with us and validate us. It's easy to let other people's values and preferences overshadow our own. But, it's so important to hang on that for yourself. To be your own person. No matter what, no matter how many people think you're lame or out of touch or have no taste in music.
So, there you go. I like Britney Spears. And, I was an 'N Sync fan before Justin Timberlake became the yummy man specimen that he is today. So what?