Here's to the Basic Girls

As a Millennial who prides herself on her extreme (and often excessive) use of slang in everyday conversation, I'm embarrassed to admit that I still don’t have a great grasp on the term “basic.” Don’t get me wrong–I get the general connotation of the term, but if you asked me to actually describe what a basic person looks like, I’d probably just laugh and quickly change the topic to something I actually understand, like the cultural significance of Beyoncé’s latest outfit. Because honestly, all I know is that:

1. my friend called me basic a few years ago when I told her that I didn’t listen to Lauryn Hill much and

2. the term has led to a whole lot of articles entitled, “How to spot if someone is basic,” “Signs you’re being basic” and “857 ways to stop being basic.”

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The more these articles popped up, the more curious I became. What did this mysterious term mean? Why did it generate articles with so many views (and so many Facebook reposts)? Being the journalism student that I am, I decided it was time for some serious research. When I checked Urban Dictionary (my go-to source), most of the entries talked about girls who are uninteresting, ordinary, and unworthy of other’s time. There was also a lot of talk about cowboy boots, Starbucks, Taylor Swift and an excessive (and unwarranted) love of Paris.

The thing is, when I finished my research, I only came to one conclusion: basic is a really stupid adjective. Yeah, I said it. I think all the basic trash talking is dumb, and not just because my body is about 75 percent Starbucks coffee. Seriously, what's with all the hate? I don’t get what makes one person’s interests are any better than other person’s. You don’t like cowboy boots? Don’t wear them. But please, spare me the headache and don’t complain about how everyone who wears them just wants to conform or whatever. We all conform to society in some way or another. So why is this so-called "basic" bad?

I don’t know who decides what makes a girl better than others, but it’s a concept that’s all over the blogosphere. I’m tired of seeing articles all over my Twitter feed about why basic girls are the worst and why complicated girls are better or why country girls are better or why girls who wear fierce makeup and ride motorcycles are better. You want to know the truth? Beyoncé is better, and the rest of us peasants are left to fight over the title of second best. And it's all just a losing battle, because there is no second best.

We’re all just women, and we all have different interests. We all have different things we like. And we all have different people who are going to love us exactly the way we are, whether we write on typewriters in quirky coffee shops or spend every weekend playing sports or, yes, even if we wear cowboy boots, drink Starbucks and love Paris even though we’ve never actually been there. Any of those options are fine. But do you know what’s not so fine? When you actually take the time to decide what material objects and interests make a woman (because let’s be real–this term mostly refers to women) less worthy than other women. If you care so much about what other people are doing that you feel the need to read or write articles about why basic is so bad, then maybe you’re the one who should reevaluate your interests. You can be proud of who you are without discrediting who others are, even if that person still wears Ugg boots with their shorts. I may not like it, and you may not like it, but apparently it's good enough for that person, and that's all that really matters. Believe it or not, they're probably don't care enough about you to spend their time trying to please you.

And despite how that sounds, I think that's an incredibly good thing. Instead of worrying about other people, we should worry about whether or not we're making ourselves happy. Taylor Swift makes me happy, and if that makes me basic, then so be it, because nothing makes me happier than screaming the lyrics of Blank Space as I'm driving home after a long, grueling day of classes. Just be who you are and who knows - you might be amazed at how happy you can be.

So here’s to the badass babes, the country chicks and the wonderful women who just live and let live. And here’s to the basic girls who don’t give an eff about being basic.

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