Calling Women “Basic” Needs To Stop
I hate the term basic. I remember thinking, the first time I heard it, “That must have been created by a mean girl” (it wasn’t, surprisingly, but more on that point later). No matter who invented the term, it is, in my opinion, mean girls who use it. Adult bullies. By most people’s definition of the word, I’m quite basic. I like pumpkin spice lattes, Britney Spears (the new and old stuff—Britney forever!!!), and yoga. I wear crystals and I don’t know what they mean. But you know what else? I’m nice. I like meeting all kinds of people, I give everyone the benefit of the doubt, I presume people are fundamentally good, and I’m cheery. I like to make other people feel good about themselves—not bad about themselves. I remember once jogging by some women, I guess playing Britney too loud in my headphones, and they started mocking me when they thought I couldn’t hear them. They called me basic, of course. And I thought, “If behaving like those women is what it means to not be basic, then I’m glad I’m basic.” But, ultimately, I wish we’d do away with the term entirely. Here is why we need to stop calling each other basic.
A man coined the term
So, a man coined this term—comedian Lil Duval, to be exact. Are we really taking a derogatory term that a misogynist man created while talking badly about women and using it against each other? That whole series of events makes me shudder.
Nobody asked for it
Usually women who are called basic did nothing to provoke that. They were just minding their business, lighting their cinnamon spice candles and reading their self help books. They weren’t hurting anybody. Women calling other women basic is the equivalent of a female on female drive-by catcall. That’s messed up when you think about it that way.
Things are popular because they’re good
Apparently, to like something that the masses like is to be basic. But you know what? If the masses like something it’s because it’s good. Pumpkin spice lattes are good, okay? That’s just my taste buds talking—not my personality or my intellect. Yoga pants are comfortable. That’s my butt talking and, again, not my character or perspective on life.
I’m not going to pretend they aren’t good
I’m not going to pretend to not like something that is obviously awesome, just because everyone else likes it. To stand against something, for the mere fact that a lot of other people like it and only for that reason is…kind of unoriginal and immature. I’m bold enough to be basic, alright?
Trying to be “different” is ridiculous
Attempting to be different is exhausting. Oh my goodness is it tiring. And if you have to work hard to prove to others that you are unique, through things as silly as your appearance or music choices, then could it be, perhaps, because you’re…um…fundamentally boring? Yeah, I’ll be a mean girl to mean girls.
And belies great insecurity
When you know you’re awesome, special, and worth attention, you don’t need to put tons of money and energy into showing it to the outside world. You know it on the inside, and that’s all that matters.
People are not their appearance
A person is not her clothing, her nails, her hairdo, her accessories, her hair color, or even where she spends time. We don’t actually know anything about this person just by knowing that.
People are not their choice in music
People are also not their music choices. I know some of the most brilliant women who have started successful companies and are loyal volunteers of important nonprofits who also love Britney Spears. So, let’s see…are those women their music choice or, are they that other stuff I mentioned?
Everyone has a complex inner life
To assume that anyone, on the inside, is dull, simple, or basic is to be very close-minded and, quite frankly, a bit dumb. Every person you pass on the street has had complex, painful, and remarkable experiences you know nothing of. It’s so disrespectful to call a fellow human being, who has had trauma, triumphs, tears, and love basic.
Nobody is basic
Nobody is basic, as proven in my last point. There is no such thing as being basic. Everyone is special in their own way.
So, in that way, everybody is basic
Now building on my last point, if nobody is basic and everyone is unique then, isn’t to be unique the same as being…basic…because…everybody is unique? So nobody is basic, everybody is basic, and basic is not a real thing.
Those who use the term are too much
I’ve noticed that women who call other women basic are too much. They just work so hard to get attention and do/say/wear the most provoking thing. They’re exhausting. They’re so self-conscious. I’d rather hang out with someone basic, personally.
Women, let’s be nice to each other
Women should really be supporting each other right now, not tearing each other down. We have a lot more to worry about than who is and isn’t basic.
Let’s not take ourselves too seriously
Hey, we’re really all just bones made of dust in skin bags on a flaming rock, who dress ourselves up in pumps and studded manicures. We really shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously. If you presume you have the position in society to call someone else basic, then you take yourself too seriously.
What you call “basic,” I call busy
So, just for the record, I wear a grey v-neck t-shirt, jeans, and ballet flats most days because I’m busy. I’m out there pursuing my passion and wouldn’t want to waste a precious moment—or several hours—on obsessing over my appearance and how the world sees me. I have better things to do. I say that, if you think you aren’t basic and have time to decide who is basic, you have too much time on your hands—go make better use of this life.