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The History of the Basic Betch

Stereotypes can be accurate, while others are just plain offensive. Whether you like it or not, collegiettes, the stereotype of the “basic betch” exists for a reason. We just are what we are. But what I’ve learned over the years is when the shoe fits, wear it and work it.

So what if we like our PSLs, pearls, and overpriced riding boots? Y’all, it’s a fact most of us can’t deny. But it’s not like we were born with a sugary latte in our sippy cups. So how did this stereotype originate? As far as I can see, it developed over time through factors most of us can’t control. It started with our mothers, who were once basic betches themselves. Let’s face it – our preppy styles most likely began in our day one onesies.

Today, the “basic betch” stereotype has become more of a laughable joke than a serious criticism. The stereotype is rooted in the tendency to wear leggings, boots, and ridiculously preppy prints, all while holding a lip gloss-stained Starbucks cup. Oh, and let’s not forget our tightly clutched iPhones taking selfies that show off our perfectly practiced pouts. So let’s list some of the quintessential aspects of this “basic” stereotype:


1. Leggings and Riding Boots

This trend truly took off around 2012, when the “basic betch” realized that she could look cute AND be comfortable all at once!  Leggings range from plain black to intricate patterns and are often matched with riding boots in a variety of black, grey, and brown shades. This “basic” trend has been perfected over the years as girls have gotten more creative in their leggings and boots combinations.  


2. Preppy Tote Bags

A huge tote bag is an essential to any basic betch wardrobe, as it holds all our emergency makeup, credit cards, and other necessary trinkets, all while looking super cute. Almost any store you enter nowadays will feature a selection of signature tote bags, ranging from bright, bold patterns to solid colors.


3. Starbucks

Ah, the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte which hit the shelves in fall 2003 – crazy to think it was that long ago, right?! However, the trend didn’t pick up pace until around 2012. Who doesn’t love sipping on those delicious autumn spices after a long day of being fabulously chic?


4. Selfies

Whether you’re having a great hair day or just having a blast with your friends, you want the rest of the world to know how awesome you are. In the midst of an Instagram-obsessed world, nearly everyone has caught onto this “basic” trend.  Moreover, with the invention of the Selfie Stick, the world of selfies will never be the same. This innovative way of including more than just yourself in a selfie has broadened the possibilities of duck faces and smises (smiling with your eyes) to incorporate not only your entire #squad, but also the beautiful scenery around you! So go forth and indulge in this “basic” trend with your witty creativity.  

The history of the iconic basic betch does not have a definite timeline. It may have started with the rise of Starbucks, or when some bold, courageous betch decided leggings made an amazing substitute for pants, or maybe it grew with the invention of the Selfie Stick. It could have existed forever (okay, not really, but a girl can dream, right?). The image of the basic betch continues to evolve as more cute trends take over the title of “basic.” The point is that the stereotype has existed since before we can recall, and, for the sake of our perfectly straightened hair and Longchamp bags, it will continue to exist. But it does not have to be a negative thing, collegiettes. To all those basic betches out there, embrace the fun, glittery side of the stereotype. Just don’t forget to keep it classy!

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