Why it’s okay to be ‘basic’

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Did you get judged for drinking rosé over the summer? Will you be ordering a Pumpkin Spice Latte come autumn? If so, you might be basic… and that’s okay!

Michael Kors watches. “Hot dogs or legs” holiday photos. Crying when Dobby dies in Harry Potter (spoiler alert, I guess).

Getting all mushy over the Royal Wedding. Watching old episodes of Friends on Netflix. An eternity symbol tattoo.

Pink drinks. Saying “oh my god this song is about me.” Snapchat filters.

The basic bitch is not a new concept. She has been around for a while; in the Nineties, she’d have been described as an airhead in the vein of Cher Horowitz in Clueless — and, as that character proves, being really into MTV and shoes doesn’t necessarily make you an idiot. But the pastime of judging women on arbitrary criteria persists.

The whole notion of basicness is sexist as hell. If a woman takes pleasure in something enjoyed by lots of other women, be that Sex & The City reruns or a sweet pink cocktail, she risks being labelled basic. According to writer Daryl Lindsey over at The Everygirl, “though context and intent might lessen or strengthen the insult, each variation is meant to, in some way, make a woman feel bad about herself for wearing, consuming, or even just liking perfectly nice things that lots of other people like, too.”

But there is no male equivalent of the basic bitch in our vocabulary. Supposedly “girly” things like rose gold, Uggs, and pornstar martinis have become synonymous with the term, articles of the basic bitch faith, but things that are widely enjoyed by straight men don’t receive the same derision. If the benchmark is sheer popularity, then surely beer, barbecues and Bond movies should all be considered basic as hell?

But they’re not, because it is still more socially acceptable to make fun of the things that are created by and marketed towards women. This belittling of women’s interests brings us to the other reason that calling things “basic” is boring: it’s the laziest way to be a snob. Sneering at the things other people enjoy, whether that’s Ed Sheeran or a cheeky Friday night prosecco, just makes you look like a bore who hates fun. Why does it matter to you what brings other people joy?

Popular things are popular for a reason. Rose gold jewellery looks pretty, pink cocktails taste good, and you know what, if somebody wants to hang a wooden “Love Live Laugh” sign in their home, what harm is that doing, really? I’d argue that calling something or somebody basic makes you basic.

Next time, before you call somebody a basic bitch, walk a mile in their Uggs. You might just find that they’re extremely comfy.

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