In Defense of Being Basic

It’s officially colder, and you know what that means. Seasonal Starbucks drinks, Halloween candy sales and ornaments reappearing in stores, the return of sweaters and cute booties, and pumpkin spice lattes.

How many of you groaned when you thought about all those pictures on Instagram of people frolicking in leaves? How many of you rolled your eyes at the image of Targets and Walmarts everywhere suddenly exploding with tinsel and lights and ornaments and pinecones?

Don’t get me wrong; I’m judgemental too. Sometimes too judgemental. I know it, and I’m trying to be better. 

But when did it become okay to make fun of other people for what they like? When did we start policing what’s acceptable for other people to publicly be fans of? I’m not talking sports rivalries. I’m not talking rightfully calling out other people if they’re doing something racist or sexist or homophobic.

But if they’re not out kicking puppies or chanting in front yards with white hoods over their heads, who are we to dictate what other people can enjoy in their free time? Who are we to scoff when people say they’re watching The Bachelorette, or laugh when we hear the coffee order of the person in front of us?

To me, the saddest thing in the world is when you’re talking to someone about their passions, and their eyes are lighting up and their hands are gesturing wildly, and all of a sudden it just comes to a stop. They blush and say, “Sorry, I know this sounds silly.”

Because you know someone once told them to shut up. Someone told them to put it away because whatever it is they love, it’s not edgy enough or clever enough or avant-garde enough. 

Listen, the world out there is awful. Terrible things are happening to people all over, every minute of every day. Not even huge international things – someone might be having a rough time with their family life, or going through a breakup, or be really crushed about a project they worked on that got a bad grade. Hey, midterm grades are starting to come in! You don’t know the whole story, and they’re not obligated to tell you. But anything that can light up their day, for whatever reason, is worth it. Sometimes you don’t need a Christopher Nolan film or a James Joyce novel. Sometimes you just need something light, entertaining, and a little bit cheesy. That’s okay. Who are we to tell them it’s not? Who are we to crush what makes other people’s days?

And if you’re that person who’s always cringing and apologizing for admitting you comfort-watch Gilmore Girls all the time and you really love vanilla bean frappuccinos? Stop it. Own your passions. Life’s too short to spend your time pretending you don’t like things and suffering through things you don’t love. And you know what? Most of those things are “basic” because they’re popular. That means people like them. People with great taste, people who you can find and talk to, people who are smart and funny and beautiful. People like you.

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