Why Being Basic Isn't Bad

Since when did “basic” become the worst way to insult a girl?


Nearly every day, I wear a t-shirt, Nike shorts, and Chacos to class. I get Starbucks almost as much. I love winged eyeliner and reality TV and insta-worthy pictures. You might call me basic.

“Basic” is a word that people use to describe girls who fit a cookie-cutter mold of a college woman—usually in a sorority, blonde, drinks a PSL, checks their snapchat constantly, and always wearing Chacos in the summer and Uggs in the winter. Girls go to great lengths to avoid being labeled basic by others. I’ve heard girls say, “I know getting a Pumpkin Spice latte is basic, but I want one.” Or, “This picture is too basic, I’m not posting it,” or any variation that shows how feared being viewed as basic is. People view basic girls as having no personality, no interesting qualities, nothing but a carbon copy of every other girl. However, I don’t see how liking certain shows, or even certain drinks makes me uninteresting or unworthy of someone’s time. Women shouldn’t be shunned for liking popular things.

Everyone has things that they have in common with others—that’s why its popular. I proudly rock the “white girl uniform” of Nike shorts and a t-shirt…because it’s comfortable. I enjoy an occasional yoga class. I am still an individual—I still have lots of unique interests and accomplishments that aren’t negated by my so-called “basic” attributes.  

College is hard, and it’s especially hard for young women. Trying to juggle relationships, homework, internships and our future is a struggle for anyone. Women our age, from teenagers to twenties, are not allowed to like anything. We are mocked for liking Starbucks and Taylor Swift, and we’re mocked as a “dumb hipster” for liking artisanal tea or obscure bands. Women are made fun of for basically anything they do—if you like video games, you’re a “wannabe nerd girl”, and if you like nail art and makeup and fashion, you’re fake and vain. Sometimes it feels like any genuine interest a girl has can be labeled and ridiculed. “Basic” is just another vein of that.

Not to mention how the term “basic” and especially “basic b*tch” only promotes girl-on-girl hate. As women we are constantly competing with one another instead of lifting eachother up. It’s a habit I’m trying hard to break. When we call another girl a “basic b*tch,” we’re saying that only her outside matters. You’re saying that her personality is not worth knowing because she’s just a basic, mainstream, boring chick.  We have got to stop labeling things as unoriginal and cookie-cutter just because we are enjoying simple things, things that make us happy.

Of course, I’m not saying I don’t believe in being your own person. I don’t think you should follow a crowd just to do what’s popular. I fully promote having unique thoughts and ideas, and I generally have my own interests that are far from popular. I don’t watch the Bachelor and I’ve never even been to Chipotle. I have very uncommon interests, but I have lots of common ones too. I am who I am, I like what I like, and if that’s basic, that’s okay by me.

Embrace you basic-ness. Embrace your femininity and enjoy those simple things. Embrace anything you like, even if it’s mainstream or popular or unconventional or weird. Go out and get a fro-yo after yoga. Or don’t. Do you, and love yourself for it.