From Eating Baby Food to Sleeping with a Hair Dryer: Portraits of People Acting Out Their Guilty Pleasures


Laurie Saulnier. Guilty pleasure: Eating children’s food. I feel guilty because I know it’s weird to do this at 23 years old.


Rada Nastai. Guilty pleasure: Sleeping naked with the sound of the hair dryer. I feel guilty sleeping naked with the hairdryer blowing in my face as I know how crazy this sounds.

Show me your guilty pleasure. This is how Odeta Catana begins the conversation with her subjects. As a photographer, Catana is interested in bringing these suppressed issues to the surface and capturing moments when we feel simultaneous pleasure and guilt, for her series Guilty Pleasures.

A guilty pleasure is something we enjoy and consider gratifying despite the feeling of shame we get from doing it. We all have them. The reasons are endless: spending too much money on clothes, wasting time on trivial hobbies or intentionally eating unhealthy. The ‘guilt’ involved comes from the fear of others discovering ones lowbrow or embarrassing habits.

Here, her subjects bravely face her lens by putting their hidden pleasures on display. From body painting, to indulging in caviar and Champaign, to sleeping with a hair dryer – as a passive audience, it’s easy to pass judgement on these people for engaging in such frivolous or strange habits. There aren’t many people out there willing to show off what they secretly indulge in. That is, after all, why they call it a ‘guilty pleasure.’


Sonya Levin. Guilty pleasure: Self painting. I feel guilty because it might be weird for others.


Elena. Guilty pleasure: Leopard print. I feel guilty as not so many people like leopold pattern.


Guilty pleasure: Wearing makeup and women’s clothes. I feel guilty because of my womanhood.


Brenda Buyinda. Guilty pleasure: African Clothes. I feel guilty because I don’t feel comfortable wearing them here, in Germany, outside of my house.


Cristina Mutiu. Guilty pleasure: 60’s (teak) furniture. I feel guilty because I invest too much money in these jewels. 


Odeta Catana. Guilty pleasure: Eating french fries. I feel guilty because I have health problems, every time I eat them I get sick.


David Bloom. Guilty pleasure: Leather and fur. I feel guilty because animals are killed in order for me to wear these clothes.

All images © Odeta Catana

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