At some point in the last few years, I decided to stop needlessly hating on things. I began to think that hating is a waste of time and energy. So, rather than be mean or insensitive toward whatever model or actress is being lambasted or slut-shamed in the media this month, I’d rather think about the reasons why this is happening, why women are so often vilified by the general public, and I’d rather stick up for her.

The same goes for music—I used to be a bit of a music snob. When I was younger, my music collection consisted of the Spice Girls, S Club 7, and compilations of the year’s best-selling songs. I found it hard to relate to people who talked of their superb music taste as a youngster—yeah, I listened to Abbey Road, but I skipped all the songs till “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” came on. But what happened next is like what happens after your “pink phase,” when you can’t stand the sight of pink and you hate on it as much as possible. I hated whatever Next Big Thing everyone was listening to.

Now I think: if there is enjoyment to be gained from a catchy song that you can’t get out of your head, is there really any point in denying it? Why not just give in and, in my opinion, live a happier life?

I was recently in a conversation where the talents of Led Zeppelin and Nicki Minaj were compared and debated. To me, that is akin to comparing a football (soccer) game to a tennis match. Or an apple to an orange. Different skills are involved, different flavours are tasted. Does that make one greater than the other? Not really. Why would I want to be denied the various fruits of life? People sometimes say songs like “Starships” have no great meaning or purpose. Well, maybe that’s true. But personally, I like songs I can sing and dance to and that are simply there to be enjoyed.

It all feels so obvious to me now, but how hard is it to agree that Nicki Minaj and Led Zeppelin are both valid? How hard is it for people to enjoy art without limitations? I’d like to be able to enjoy Shakespeare AND The Hunger Games. I’d like to be a moody, thoughtful teenager AND a massive football (soccer) fan. Mainly, I’d like to listen to Led Zeppelin AND Nicki Minaj. Variety makes life so much more beautiful and less boring. ♦