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Why I’m Tired of Being Called Basic

Okay here’s my problem: I’m tired of being called basic. No, I’m not going to be ranting about why I’m tired of being called basic, but rather I will explain why there is an issue with the phrase and with the fact that it is always targeted at women. Yes, I’m one of those girls who gets excited about fall and you will find me drinking a seasonal pumpkin spice latte. I also listen to Taylor Swift on the daily and occasionally watch The Bachelor and somehow doing or being interested in these things equates to being basic. I don’t get it. I should note that this is my opinion, as perhaps not everyone who’s been called basic feels this way, but I thought I would share why I do. 

So here’s my problem: as women, we are generalized into this category for liking certain things but men are never labelled basic. How come men that are interested in sports or fantasy football or those that are constantly keeping their eye out for the next sneaker drop aren’t labelled basic or anything for that matter? I’m not here to attack men, but I want you to think about that for a second. For some reason, being called basic is used as an insult towards women or for someone to put themselves on a pedestal. What for? So what if I drink Starbucks or watch romantic comedies every night; being labelled “basic” implies the person calling me that is not. 

Here is my point: there is nothing wrong with being “basic,” in fact, I think we should celebrate the idea. If being basic means being connected with people that have similar interests as me, then so be it. I think we should all take a step back and focus on ourselves and empower each other rather than try to tear someone else down. Sometimes I think people aren’t aware of the negative connotations associated with the phrase, but they do exist. Whether you’ve watched the entire series of To All the Boys I’ve Loved or drink a strawberry acai refresher from Starbucks or wear whatever is “trending” in fashion, embrace it. Don’t let anyone make you feel less than because you are doing something that makes you feel good and excited. I think that’s what hurts the most, being called basic feeling like a bad thing. I didn’t want to be seen as basic, I wanted to be seen as original and stand out of the crowd in a good way. At the end of the day, I no longer care what people think of me. 

Instead of worrying about someone calling you basic, we should be focusing on whatever we’re doing making us happy. I will gladly blast Taylor Swift in the car and if that makes me basic, so be it. Be you and you might be amazed at how happy you are when you’re focusing on what makes you feel good instead of worrying about labels. 

Sonia Tumkur is currently studying journalism and double minoring in public relations and sociology at Ryerson University. She is interested in all things social and tech and can't live without her daily cup of coffee. In her spare time, you can find her going on a run or exploring Toronto coffee shops.
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