Music Shaming Reinforces Genre Stereotypes

You pull up to a stop light, and beside you is a car blaring Selena Gomez’s latest hit. Automatically, you assume it’s a car full of teenage girls. But when you look over, there sits a 40-year old man jamming away.

We’ve all done it before. Whether it was something as harmless as picking on your best friend who is absolutely obsessed with that corny boy-band, or maybe it was something as big as refusing to be friends with someone due to their taste in music. We each have reasons as to why we listen to the music we choose.

Whether it’s because a certain song brings up fond memories, or because a specific genre of music motivates you to accomplish things in life — who are we to judge another individual’s choice of music? In reality, we have no idea what another person wants (or needs) to hear at any given moment.

Mckenzie Hutchins (’18) who is currently a junior at East Forsyth High, says she loves three things in her life: God, her family, and country music. “People consider country music to be about nothing but trucks and beer. Anyone who is a true fan, though, knows it’s so much more! When people associate me as a redneck or a hillbilly I just brush it off; people will judge you for everything you do in life. I love country music, and I’ll always love it.”

Perhaps you absolutely adore a celebrity or a popular boy-band. Maybe you’re too embarrassed to admit that you enjoy listening to that type of music, or maybe you proudly state your love for that type of music.

Ivonne Morales (’18) describes the process she goes through when she tells people her favorite artist. “I love Justin Bieber; I absolutely love Justin Bieber,” she said. “My friends usually make fun of my music taste, which is fine. But when other people make fun of my preference in music, they usually say something like, ‘Ew gross’ or ‘Why do you even listen to him?’ I used to be embarrassed to admit that I like him, but not anymore because their opinion isn’t going to make me listen to him any less.”

A source, that wishes to remain anonymous, enjoys listening to metal music and bands like Metallica. She too is often stereotyped and she shares her insight as to how she handles people criticizing her taste in music. “I usually just ask what their favorite genre of music is and stereotype them and ask how true it is about them,” she said.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what kind of music a person listens to if that’s what they prefer to listen to. In the words of a John Lennon, we should all just “let it be.”

Categories: FEATURES, Uncategorized

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