We all have done it. Either it’s a girl wearing Uggs and drinking Starbucks or a guy wearing white Converse. We judge them and label them as “basic.” This is not inherently evil or bad, but why do we judge people for things that they like? Why do we feel the need to judge everyone for what they wear or what they do?
Originally, the basic girls in high school were the girls who wore yoga pants and drank Starbucks frappuccinos. They would all congregate in the hallways and gossip about the most recent breaking high school news. If we weren’t one of those people ourselves, we would roll our eyes at them and gossip about them with our own friends later that day.
During the past few years, popular culture has really shifted. People have tried to become edgier. We see it with e-girls and boys on TikTok. We have seen a movement to push back against what is trendy or popular. We now hate artists like Ariana Grande because she’s so popular, and now we listen to underground bands that have under one thousand listens on Spotify. We hate on things that the majority of people enjoy.
Why do we do this though? Why do we waste so much time and energy hating on the mainstream and well-liked aspects of our culture?
I think that a lot of it stems from wanting to be unique, but some of it might come from our own opinions and attitudes toward what is popular. Things can be overhyped. We can get annoyed with constantly seeing these things in the media and hearing about them over and over again. It can get a little much when it seems like our own likes and desires do not gain as much attention. Some people might just want to rebel against society because they do not want to be like everyone else.
I can admit that I do enjoy some basic things. I wear Air Force Ones, I enjoy Starbucks, and listen to Ariana Grande almost daily. I am not harming anyone by enjoying these things. I like them because they make me happy. There is no need to hate on people for things that make them happy.
We should not hate on others for things that make them happy. We should support each other. I see a lot of this hate stemming from girls. To all the girls who act this way: Stop tearing each other down. Society does enough of that.
In addition to this, things become popular because people like them. Things are well-liked because they are good. They might not be the most revolutionary or unique thing out there, but they are well received by the public. Isn’t that the goal of most products or music? Most artists, producers, designers, etc. want their products to be successful. By becoming mainstream, they reached the goals set in place by society — they became a part of popular culture.
If you find yourself criticizing others, maybe ask yourself, “Why does this bother me so much?” When asking myself this question—because yes, I also judge people—I really think it has to do with our new anti-popular culture attitude. Despite enjoying some basic things, I do find myself with this mentality. This new perspective on popular culture has really been enhanced with apps like TikTok. We even want our For You Page to be different, and we want to be on “alt-TikTok.” There is such a push to be different.
We can like whatever we want without criticizing others. We do not have to comment on every little thing that bothers us in an attempt to put others down. I think a lot of people would be happier if they just kept to themselves and focused their energies on what they enjoy. Being a part of a group that enjoys the same things as you do can be so empowering. Find a community, either online or maybe on your campus, that enjoys similar things that you do! If we focus on our own likes and desires, we will be happier ourselves. Take all the negativity you feel towards others and focus it on yourself!
We as a society need to move to a better place, and this starts with ourselves. Being basic is not a bad thing and we need to stop criticizing others. The world already has so many problems, and everyone already has individual obstacles that society sets in place for them.