I live for me, not for you: The toxicity of ridiculing others’ interests


Shriya Vanparia

Ridiculing other peoples’ interests can often be more hurtful than one would think. Entertainment editor Anthony Cesario shares his and other Coppell High School students’ experience of being judged for their interests and why they feel it is wrong.

Anthony Cesario, Entertainment Editor

I love music. I jam out to multiple albums on my phone every day, keep track of and complain about the Billboard charts (probably too much for my own good) and love talking about music with anyone who will listen.


While I also love hearing others’ opinions on music, what upsets me most is when someone insults my own music taste.


Many students at Coppell High School, and many people in general, have dealt with similar issues: being judged for their interests, and sometimes even being unfairly boxed into the negative stereotypes that come with them.


“Even recently at the school, I’ve received some judgement for some personal interests I have,” CHS junior Jacob Morse said. “Music taste, what I’m into personally, what I like to watch, what I like to play, just what I like to do in general, I’ve been judged a lot for that [by] people in this school specifically.”


Morse has been judged for his enjoyment of music with more chill beats, such as songs by hip hop artist Jinsang, because of its simplicity.


People hold interests, whether it be in music, television, books, extracurriculars or more, because it provides them with enjoyment. Ridiculing someone else’s interests can trivialize their enjoyment of them, which is an extremely insensitive thing to do.


“I don’t think it’s really respectful to [judge people’s interests],” CHS junior Penelope Gummelt said. “Everyone has their own interests, and it’s very personal, so to have somebody bash it kind of sucks the fun out of it. It doesn’t make it as enjoyable, especially if you’re sensitive to people. It’s not criticism either. It’s not constructive.”


Gummelt experienced judgement for her enjoyment of K-pop and the boyband One Direction, fans of whom are often seen as the immature, shallow, even “crazy” fangirl type.


“Just because I like a certain type of music doesn’t automatically mean I’m the stereotype that comes with it,” Gummelt said. “If you’re going to judge me, judge me for my personality, not what I like to listen to or what I like to read.”


High school is already a difficult experience for many students who struggle to fit in. Having people look down on them for their interests can make them feel insecure and turn their high school experience into a negative one.


However, this issue does not only apply to teenagers—nobody should make fun of other peoples’ interests, in any situation.


“There is a difference between understanding and respecting,” CHS senior Alex Goodwin said. “I don’t understand the language French, but I can respect it. The judgement towards others’ interests is unnecessary and can be harsh. As long as someone’s interest is not hurting anybody and it makes them happy, it does not matter what other people think. No one should have to feel shame over something that makes them happy and no one should have to hide themselves.”


Goodwin is passionate about writing. She maintains an Instagram poetry account and has accumulated over 1,000 followers, but even with so many supporters, she is not immune to being judged for her interest in the subject.


“You can make fun of me for my interest in writing poetry, but I do not write for you, I write for myself,” Goodwin said. “You can judge me on any of my interests, but I have had these interests long before I have met the person who has picked on me for it.”


Nobody should have to feel ashamed for their interests. It is perfectly fine — and normal — for everyone to have their own opinions, and they can and should be able to share them with each other. However, when the exchange of these opinions turn into tearing each other down, they have simply gone too far.

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