What's So Wrong with Being Basic?

     Okay people, let's talk for a second. I'm the type of person that loves to indulge in a Strawberry Acaí drink from Starbucks every once and a while and I will show up to class in leggings and an oversized shirt most of the time. Why is it that the things I do for comfort (or when I'm too lazy to care that my hair looks like a rats nest) have deemed me "basic." Being "basic" is a common phrase used to call someone bland, not having enough personality, or boring. 

     Other "basic" things you may see a girl doing is wearing leggings that are tucked into Ugg boots, drinking seasonal lattes, Instagramming their brunch, and doing yoga. Being "basic" isn't just calling someone 'girly,' though, it's putting a label on someone as not being enough of an individual to be unique. The underlying meanings behind calling somebody "basic" sometimes don't even have to do with calling them bland but putting yourself on a higher pedestal. Why do we have to tear other people down?

     This isn't just a label put on girls though, in that men are considered "basic" for loving football, or wearing ugly sneakers with ankle/calf-length. After talking to multiple men on this subject, the general message was clear. While a man wouldn't call another guy's new balance sneakers "basic" they would probably call him "basic" for getting a sweet drink at Starbucks. One guy in particular said that this term, "in some ways, could be compared to using "gay" to describe something bad" and that it replicates the "same process of associating a culture -- one seen as potentially undesireable or different -- with a norm that's seen as too repetitive, annoying, or feminine." 

     I want to challenge each and every one of you to focus on yourself and empower each other rather than try to tear everyone else down. You may not even realize the negative connotations associated with calling someone "basic" but the message is still there. Whether you like ordering sweet drinks from Starbucks or wearing whatever is "trending" in fashion, embrace it. Don't let anyone shame you for being comfortable in your own skin and finding happiness in the things you do. 

     If someone's ever called you basic for posting your acaí bowl on your Instagram story, mentally slap them in the face and keep your post up. We are all complex individuals, meaning no one is truly ever "basic." Love what makes you feel empowered and happy without feeling like you need to hide that from the world.