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What’s Wrong With Being Basic?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

The basic girl. We all have a similar idea of her in our heads. In 2016, she was to be seen in her fold-over UGG boots, Victoria’s Secret PINK leggings and matching hoodie, with her iPhone in one hand and a grande iced latte from Starbucks in the other. In 2023, she’s still wearing her UGGs (this time they’re the ultra-minis), and her leggings have also been upgraded to a flared pair from Aerie, along with her Aritzia puffer jacket and a claw clip in her hair. Her style has evolved, but she has stayed the same: she’s still what we consider basic. And while many like to criticize and condemn her for it, is there really anything wrong with being basic? 

I wish I knew why, but as a society, we love to make fun of women. No matter who they are and what they may be interested in, women are just so funny to us. Especially women who happen to like basic things and indulge in popular culture; I think they might be our easiest targets yet. Let’s think about this. Do you remember that “basic girl starter pack meme” that circulated on Instagram and Twitter a few years ago? Or perhaps, have you seen the American girl doll TikToks, in which the doll is dressed up to represent the stereotypical girl of X city? There’s definitely a theme in these memes. Both aim to make fun of women for liking basic stuff.

It’s kind of a sexist notion when you think about it. There’s no stigma around guys liking the basic things that all guys like — not at the same widespread level as there is for women. In our patriarchal society, we don’t really like to take femininity seriously, even now in 2023. Because God forbid we do, women might actually be seen as competent equals (which they very much are!). It’s such an outdated idea, yet sadly it’s still just as relevant as ever.

Arguably the worst part of it all is that it’s not just men who are making these jokes; women do it too! Not too long ago, I saw a quote on Pinterest essentially saying that young girls and their fathers will make jokes about how dumb or helpless their mothers are, in hopes that by imposing that kind of superiority, they will maybe be spared of that same fate. This put a lot of things into perspective for me — because it’s true, whether we want to admit it or not. 

So if there are so many jokes and memes surrounding her, what’s wrong with the basic girl? Is there something inherently wrong with being basic? 

NO. In all caps, I repeat, NO. There is absolutely nothing wrong with following trends and being basic. Nothing at all! Being basic is a social construct created to keep women inferior to men; it’s just another way for us to make fun of women and femininity, and nothing more. These items — the ones we associate with being basic, such as UGGs, Starbucks, iPhones, and claw clips — are popular for a reason. They are meant for people to like, and unfortunately, we have spun them in a way to further mock women in our culture. So can we give it a rest and let women like what they like? There’s no inherent evil in being a Taylor Swift fan or wearing UGG boots. There is nothing wrong with being basic. Just like the things that you like, and don’t think much of it after.

Nell Komorowski is a sophomore here at UConn majoring in Communications and Media studies. In her free time, she loves listening to music, going on walks, and making ridiculously specific Pinterest boards.