March 21, 2016

My Favorite TV Show Is a Big SECRET!


Hi Brandon,

Ok, so I am a huge fan of Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu. I have watched all the episodes multiple times, I have the Lego sets, I collect the magazines, I have posters… Yes, I am a massive fan. My problem is, none of my friends know. Whenever I’m asked what my favorite show is, I just mumble ‘some cartoons’ and make a quick exit. I am a teenager. And teens don’t really watch shows like Ninjago.

I kinda want my friends to know, but I’m afraid that if they do, they’ll make fun of me. I can’t even tell them how my birthday went, because I had Ninjago sets for presents, and a Ninjago-themed cake. I mean, this show is one of my most favorite things. And these guys are my friends! But I don’t trust them enough not to pick on me for it. Please help me, Brandon! Should I tell my friends or not? And what am I going to do if they tease me???

Jake the Ninjago Fan

Hey, Ninjago Jake!

So first of all, a belated happy birthday to you! I’m sorry you didn’t feel like you could tell your friends about it, because it sounds like it was great.

So, first of all, you are not alone. Nikki and I both see a lot of letters from kids worried that something they’re into isn’t cool enough or mature enough or whatever enough. Nikki even gets letters from people who wonder if they’re too old for Dork Diaries! (But obviously they really love Dork Diaries or they wouldn’t be writing to Nikki!) Here’s what I think – I think people should enjoy what they enjoy and take pride in it!

My grandma is super into these mystery books that feature a talking cat that helps solve the mysteries. She calls them her “guilty pleasures” and hides them when her book club comes over to discuss more serious books. I think it’s weird—not the cat mysteries, but the fact that she thinks she has to hide them. I see her reading them and she laughs and tells me her theories about who’s guilty of the crime. She really enjoys them! Maybe some of her serious-book friends would enjoy them too! And even if not—who cares?

So, sorry I compared you to my grandma. I’m pretty sure you guys have nothing else in common, but I guess I’m saying everyone deals with this feeling that what they like might not be cool. It’s probably even worse at our age, when we’re still trying to figure out who we are.

So hiding something you think might make you a target for teasing is an option. I can understand it. But what if you shared your interest and it turns out some of your friends love Ninjago too?! Or what if one of them has never seen it, but checks it out because of your recommendation. Then you guys could enjoy it together. It’s fun to be able to share the things we’re excited about.

I’m into photography, and most of the guys at school are more into sports or video games or music. But I have a couple friends on the newspaper staff and it’s cool to be able to get their advice on a photograph or cheer when they place in a contest.

So I think you should tell them. There’s a chance they’ll be surprised or say that’s a kid show. But if they’re good friends, I doubt they’ll give you a really hard time, especially if they see how into it you are. And if they don’t get it, that’s okay too. Not everyone likes the same things. But at least it won’t feel like some big thing you have to hide. Because enjoying something like a TV show or a cat mystery shouldn’t make you feel embarrassed.

What do you guys think? Should Jake tell his friends how much he enjoys Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu? Have you ever been into something you worried wasn’t cool? Tell us in the comments!