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Life > Experiences

Why Being Basic Is Not A Bad Thing

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

Being called Basic is not an insult

Many of us have heard the word “basic” thrown around. Some of us may have even been called “basic” to our face. A few of us may have even used the term ourselves to describe something or someone. It is usually spoken with a negative connotation in order to describe something that is unoriginal or someone who owns or partakes in that unoriginal thing. For example, one might describe a woman as basic if she enjoys pumpkin spice, Taylor Swift songs and leggings. But what is really at the core of the concept of “basic”? It is an item or interest that many people (usually women) like. Many of us have fallen victim to the misleading idea that liking something that is popular makes someone boring or unimaginative. “Basic” things become popular for a reason: because they are entertaining and likable. Who doesn’t partake in a few pumpkin spice lattes or frappuccinos every once in a while? Personally, I love Taylor Swift and have since I was a young child. And leggings are comfortable, sue me. 

For us women who use the term, it is our internalized misogyny and society that tells us that we are supposed to always strive to be different from each other and hate those who take part in activities and trends that are mainstream or popular. Women are ridiculed and joked about for any interest or hobby they have, so when many of us enjoy the same thing, we are a target for jokes and insults. Women described as “basic” are seen as being sheep who have no mind of their own and who follow trends because they don’t have the intelligence or originality to be different. Never mind that many men enjoy stereotypical male interests, such as sports or cars, and no one judges them for it. 

Being “basic” is not a bad thing. I, for one, love when I walk down the street and see ten girls wearing Taylor Swift concert t-shirts. The other day, I saw a woman walk past a group of girls holding pumpkin Starbucks drinks. I heard the woman ask, “Is it buy-one-get-one-free fall drinks today?”, and the three girls responded, “Yeah, girl. Go get your drink!” It made me happy to see this instant connection between complete strangers based solely on the shared enjoyment of a delicious pumpkin-flavored drink. I love when women immediately feel comfortable around each other because they share an interest in something.

So next time someone calls you “basic,” maybe you can be comforted in the idea that it means a love for something that you share with women and people all over the world. It is an instant connection and conversation starter, and for this, I love being “basic.”

Sylvia Madorsky

Wisconsin '26

Sylvia Madorsky is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently undecided as for her major. She is currently exploring interesting majors such as Psychology, Gender and Women Studies, History, and more. In her free time, she likes to read, paint, and spend time with her friends.