“You're So Basic” is so 2019. But what's wrong with it, anyway?

May 3, 2021 0 comments



It happens every so often– I am standing in front of my mirror asking, “am I basic?”

“Basic” and the more aggressive “basic bitch,” have been in usage for years but the term has spiked in popularity in 2019– pop icons declared that their music is not for the basic, men were instructed not to date a basic, and those who will attend a music festival will make you basic. Yes, my friends… this harmless word has been an insult.


But what does it mean, to be basic?




Urban Dictionary defines it as “someone devoid of defining characteristics that might make a person interesting, extraordinary, or just simply worth devoting time or attention to.” In short, being basic is to have a blank and unsophisticated identity.


For a time, I was so afraid of becoming basic. I have always been proud of how discerning my tastes are, how out of this world my views, and that I am an– in the words of a friend– “an acquired taste”. So when I find myself liking popular things, I tend to suppress it or think of it as a “guilty pleasure.” I’m not a basic bitch. I am not average. I am different.


No, I don’t like this movie… even when I enjoyed watching it. No, I don’t think that way… even when I see why you’re totally right. I will argue about this to the death, I will be provoking you to keep on arguing for you to know that I am different. Different is cool, different is interesting. And all of these other bitches are just plain and basic– as basic as that plain white tee on H&M.


But then I grew up.


I started thinking, wait a second, who said that because I like popular things and do what most people prefer to do, I am not worth your attention and I am unsophisticated? Who are they to label people who they see as “different” from them, basic? Well if I am going to have so much peace knowing that I am not competing for others’ attention because apparently, I am not worth an ounce of it, then I am totally on board!


So you’re not basic because you don’t like FRIENDS and I am because I love Rachel Green? Hmm, okay. So you’re not basic because you don’t like mainstream music but you listen to Dua Lipa? Are you even hearing yourself? Oh, so you’re keeping up with the trends! Isn’t being on-trend, in fact, ~basic~?


What is wrong with being basic anyway? What is wrong with having popular interests?


Cosmopolitan, THE Bible, was built on the basic interests of women. And it helps empower millions all over the world by saying “hey, it’s fine, you are perfectly normal and you’re not alone in what you’re experiencing. In fact, here is an article to help you with what you’re dealing with RIGHT NOW!” Who would be writing these articles if not for the basic ones typing away on their basic laptops in some basic office of a basic magazine, right?


Let’s destigmatize basic bitches. There’s nothing wrong with you if you love The Notebook, a caramel macchiato, Starbucks, Ex-Battalion, or Kim Chiu. You’re not unsophisticated if you listen to pop music or if you don’t understand art. So what? Some of the best characters on TV are basic bitches… hello, Daphne Bridgerton of Bridgerton? Hello, Serena van der Woodsen of Gossip Girl? Hello, Sutton Brady of The Bold Type?


Stop being ashamed if you love rom-coms and fro-yo with chocolate chips on it. It’s fine if you adore having brunch with your girls or you have wine nights with them every Thursday. It’s okay if you don’t like beer– or you love it. It’s okay if your favorite flower is a sunflower just like everyone else. Liking something popular doesn’t make you lame. Discounting someone for having those same interests, however, does.

Own your basic-ness, find your tribe. Have lots of vodka soda with them and Instagram the whole thing.


So here’s to us, the basic ones. See you at Starbucks!



━━ Written By Yen Cantiga from her blog "The Reformed Good Girl"


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