It really, really bothers me when people are ashamed of liking something. It bothers me even more when certain people think it's okay to hate on others for liking something. A lot of the time people will hate on fans of something, and they're joking. Joking's fine to an extent, but after hearing people jokingly hate on you for liking something so many times, that gets really old too.
I just wish more people would be tolerant of what other people like. I like a lot of things considered nerdy by most people. I don't think nerdy things are inherently bad, and I could care less if other people make fun of them. Yes, I watch Avatar, which is a cartoon that comes on Nickelodeon. It has a great plot and characters. Why does it matter if it's animated? Yes, I'm beyond obsessed with Harry Potter, which is technically a children's book. (A children's book that deals with death and tons of other complicated things, I might add.) I went to a Harry Potter convention. I have such an emotional attachment to Harry Potter that I can't even adequately explain it to people who don't see the books and fandom like I do. And I think that's the biggest thing here. We see things differently. My love for Harry Potter started with the books, but it's become so much more than that.
I think when people become huge fans of things, they have reasons that go beyond, "I just like it." They fall in love with it some how. It may be difficult for them to explain their feelings for it, but they shouldn't have to.
I hate Justin Bieber. I'm not hating on his fans, but I personally don't like anything about him. But I don't make fun of people who do like him. They obviously have reasons, and what does it matter to me.
I've kind of been dealing with stuff like this for a while, but it got worse after becoming a One Direction fan. People hate on One Direction fans all the time, and I'm part of a group that has it even worse because I'm a Larry shipper. Other One Direction fans even hate on us. It's ridiculous. First of all, if you hate on One Direction without listening to their music that's not on the radio, your opinion on their music isn't valid. (What Makes You Beautiful and Live While We're Young were basically written in order to sell as singles. I don't consider them accurate representations of One Direction's music as a whole. Same goes for any musical artist in my opinion.) But I'll gladly admit that, while I love their music dearly, there's more to my obsession with One Direction than just that. I love the five of them as people too. (And I don't mean that in an "Oh my God. I'm going to marry one of them one day!!!" way. Although I wouldn't complain...) Yes, I know that they're celebrities, so we can never know truly know their personalities. I think you can come pretty darn close if you actually pay attention and learn to realize what's crap made up by the media/their PR and what's really them. But this isn't even the point...
I just get so frustrated when people feel the need to bring others down based on what they like. First of all, what they like has no effect on you what-so-ever. Secondly, you can't possibly know why they like what they do. I know tons of people who were saved from killing themselves because of a certain something (books, TV show, band, etc.). They're probably not going to advertise the fact that they were once (maybe still are) suicidal, but how do you think they feel when they see you hating on something that saved their life? Tons of fans have stories like that, and tons more have similar stories that may not have been quite as severe. I was never suicidal, but I can't even begin to tell you the number of things Harry Potter (and other things I love) helped me through (especially in middle school), and I hate seeing people attacked for liking things that they probably have just as strong an emotional attachment to.
I don't even know what this post became, but I really do feel strongly about this. Just please never hate on someone for liking something, no matter what it is. You never know what their reasons are for liking it, and it's not your place to judge.