Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be basic. It’s no longer as simple as toting your Starbucks cup, en route to a bottomless mimosas brunch, adorned with yoga pants and baggy college sweatshirts. I’m afraid the definition has become more convoluted and about as murky as a cold brew coffee with almond milk. I know what you’re thinking, “I’m not basic. I’m a forward thinking, 21st century, Beyonce-lover who doesn’t associate myself with basic bitches.” Think again, my basic friend, think again.
I’ve come up with a handy dandy, list of questions to find out if you’re basic, because everyone knows basics love lists. If your answer is “yes” to more than half these questions, it’s likely time to step out of denial and into the world of $8 juices and side hustles.
1. Does douchey yoga mat placement really give you hives?
2. Are you not like those girls who hate beer? Do you love a good hoppy IPA, or even better a nitro beer, because you’re all about that good mouth feel?
3. Do you drink iced coffee year round? (Extra points for if it’s cold brew.)
4. Do you exclusively shop at boutiques in cute neighborhoods that only you know about?
5. Are The Chainsmokers too mainstream for you at this point, because you listened to them way before they played at the X-Games?
6. Are you dating a guy who you’re exclusive with, but you’re hesitant to DTR, because you’re an independent woman and you don’t need him?
7. Do you have a job, three side hustles and an Instagram for each?
8. Do you have dreams of moving “out West” to join the ranks of young professionals who like to go “off the grid” on the weekend?
9. Do your Instagram captions go through an approval process similar to a constitutional amendment?
10. Does your pet get more likes than you on Instagram?
11. Do you subscribe to Blue Apron, Wine of the Month Club, Birch Box, BarkBox, or any other monthly subscription?
12. Do you have alerts on your phone on how the recent governmental decisions will affect the avocado shortage?
13. Did you go abroad, but to like this really quaint place where you “immersed” yourself in the culture, ate the food, dated a local and was basically part of the fam?
14. Are you “so over” that trendy chicken and waffles place downtown because there’s a much better and more authentic restaurant in an up and coming neighborhood?
15. Do any of the following words make you tingle with excitement: Truffle, micro, brew, kombucha, avocado, sea salt, essential oil, side hustle, chia?
16. Do you pride yourself on knowing what’s going on in the world (via theskimm)?
17. Are you “over cheap clothes” from forever21 & H&M but still find yourself going in every chance you get just to make sure you’re still over it?
18. Is coconut oil your holy water used to repel evil and split ends?
19. Do you exclusively wear simple gold jewelry?
20. Are you getting very concerned about how many questions you’ve said “yes” to?
It’s fine ladies, you’re basic, I’m basic, we’re all basic. Apparently, all the best bitches are.
15. You have a tattoo that means something poetic in a foreign language.
16. You LOVE Las Vegas AKA “Basic Bitch Capital Of The World.”
17. OMG, goat cheese!
18. You are STILL quoting Mean Girls.
19. Eat, Pray, Love AKA The Basic Bitch Bible changed your life. One day, when you find yourself trapped in a loveless marriage to a rich man in Connecticut, you’re going to leave him to go find yourself through extensive prayer and pizza.
20. You RT pleas for help from children with cancer.
1. You’re over the age of, say, 16.5 and you still shop at Rainbow.
2. You wear flip flops to the club and get mad if somebody steps on your feet.
3. There are a number of photos of you on the Internet doing “sexy” poses in skimpy outfits that are perhaps two to three sizes too small. In the photos you pose on top cars, in kitchens, bathrooms, door frames, etc.
4. You go on dates always expecting the other person to pay.
5. You’re sweating profusely in a situation where you are not supposed to be sweating. Like job interviews. You look very dapper in that suit and everything, it’s just too bad your back is so wet from all the running you did to get here on time.
6. Every text message you send includes a dizzying array of emoticons.
7. You think you’re above taking a job at ________, even though you don’t have any money and the rent’s due soon.
8. SPRAY TANS!!!
9. Your jeans contain an array of superfluous materials such as fringe, crystals, hearts, or other such complex embroidery.
10. You have a public meltdown, induced perhaps by a combination of prescription pills, brown liquor, and/or Four Loko.
11. You never make it anywhere on time, even after the mutual “I’m going to be 10 minutes late” text.
12. You wear makeup from the night before.
13. Your wig is on backwards but baby you just don’t care.
14. You unironically drink wine out of a box.
15. You take a first date to the combination Taco Bell/Pizza Hut.
16. You have a bedazzled cellphone. Actually, if you have a bedazzled anything.
17. You rent a stretch party bus/hummer/limo for a night out on the town, making sure the driver brings a red bath mat ready to throw at your feet when you get out. Obviously you’ll be wearing sunglasses.
So do you guys, like, hate Mondays too? Because I totally hate Mondays. I wake up and it’s like, ugh! Another week of toiling! Am I right? If it’s school OR work, or even if you are unemployed or like taking a little time to figure things out, I mean, EVERYONE hates Mondays, right?
But luckily today is Friday. And I LOVE Fridays, you know? It’s almost the weekend, which means after today I get to cut loose, and tonight I can either drink or just, you know, stay in and watch a movie if I don’t feel like drinking. I’m totally not saying whether you should drink or not, either. Pick your poison, you know? This isn’t just an article for people who drink or choose not to, like, imbibe. This is for everyone.
I love Facebook but I like hate Facebook too. Do you know what I mean? It wastes SO much of my time. But at the same time, it’s like crack, you know?
And don’t even get me started on people who are terrible at Facebook, because some people are terrible at Facebook. No, Random Person, I don’t want to know everything about how your mom is losing all her hair from the chemo! I mean, it’s like really sad and all, but at a certain point — over-share, you know? I wish people would be a little more private sometimes.
I’m not talking about anyone specific though, OK? I mean, all of my friends are great. Don’t you love having friends? My friends are there when I need them, no questions asked.
Except we all have that one friend who everyone kind of secretly hates. Right? Again, I’m not talking about anyone specific.
But like, I have great friends. Good friends are the ones bailing you out of jail, and GREAT friends are the ones sitting next to you in the cell. And my friends would be with me in the cell, laughing about something CRAZY we just did.
I mean, I’ve never been arrested.
But I also, like, don’t judge anyone who has been arrested, you know? Like, I totally understand that some people are forced into doing bad things even though they might be quote unquote illegal. In the movie Taken, I bet Liam Neeson broke a ton of laws, but he did it to save his daughter, you know? So I think it’s OK.
Also, I’ve been thinking about this: anything sounds fun when you leave out details… “Free Food! Exercise with your pals! Bunk Beds!” I just described prison.
Ha! Ha! I know, right!?
How awesome is Taken? Also, how amazing is Pretty Little Liars? Also, how amazing is Dr. Who? I’ve never watched that show, exactly, but every other post I see on Tumblr is from that show, so it must be amazing. I respect what everyone likes, you know?
What? No, I don’t know where that prison joke is from. I don’t remember if I heard it someplace else. Maybe. Lay off, OK?
I know this is totally random, but can I just take a moment to say: people who clip your phone to your belt? Just no, OK. Am I right guys?
Know what sucks? Getting broken up with. Everyone can agree with that. Right? After my last breakup I totally ate way too much ice cream and listened to Adele. But then I decided Enough Was Enough and I went out and got WASTED, you know? Just loving the single life. Because I’m independent. And I don’t need anyone to validate ANYTHING.
I miss her, though, you know? And sometimes I, like, just draw her name in a notebook for hours. Not in a weird way or anything. Just to remember. Memories are good, you know? Remembering the Good Old Days. Things were simpler back then, you know?
I miss being a kid. How awesome was RECESS? Am I right? And passing notes in class. Remember when we had to pass notes? Oh my god that was amazing.
But yeah, breakups are hard. Like, one time, I carved her name in my calf, so it could scar over and I would never forget her. You guys do that too, right?
No? Oh. Oh.
Well, It’s FRIDAY. It’s the freakin’ weekend, you know? We’re gonna have some fun. We’re gonna have so much fun.
And we’ll wake up and be hungover, but then we’ll go and get brunch together and just, like, laugh. And everything will be totally OK. Right? Do you know what I mean? You do, right? Right?
This is what we girls like to call Putting Ourselves Out There; Making The First Move; what have you. Show us some dignity and press the accept button for fuck’s sake. If you don’t, we’ll start feeling kind of insecure.
2. Walking home alone at night.
Personally, I find walking home alone at night to be much more anxiety-provoking if one is stoned, though I also recently discovered that a sober and solo nighttime walk home is really just as distressing. Often times, no matter who it may be, a shadowy figure approaching you in the dark, empty side street is definitely a rapist. At the very least a mugger with a proclivity for kidnapping. Sometimes we will cross the street to avoid said (suspected) mugger, trying to make it look like we really did have to weave through cars to cross the street at the exact moment you and I were about to pass one another. Then, when he doesn’t mug us and is long gone, we’ll start to feel even more disquieted by the fact that we could be so judgmental and batshit nuts to a normal and harmless pedestrian
3. Condom breakage.
As if the whole asking to put on a condom, halting sexy time, and turning on the lights as if someone is shining a spotlight on your naked body wasn’t enough. And once the condom is on, the anxiety doesn’t simply stop there. Rather, our concerns transfer over to the fate of dear condom. The slightest snapping sound will send our blood pressure soaring, leaving us unable to enjoy sex, convinced as we are that we’ll be pregnant with your ugly baby in no time. And then, when the sex is done, our anxiety will prompt us to ask him if we can examine the semen-filled condom still on his dick, just to make sure it didn’t break, ensuring a killing of the mood.
4. Leaving the house.
Dudes leave the house willy-nilly, with nary a quick pocket search to make sure they got their keys. I attribute this nonchalance to the fact that, should these guys get locked out of their apartment, they’ll probably be able to kick down the door. Girls don’t have it so easy.
For some, leaving the house looks like an episode of MTV’s True Life: I Have OCD. We never definitely have our keys; we only have vague, untrustworthy memories of checking to see if we have them. We need to make sure we have an extra emergency tampon, coconut water, and lipstick because we never know when we’ll need to get freakay. And only thirty minutes later, after we finally make it out of our house, do we realize that we forgot our phone.
5. Peeing after sex.
Guys have it so easy. After sex they’re just so relaxed, feeling sleepy, usually sprawled out on the bed bearing a disgustingly happy grin. Whereas, at about this time, us women are usually thinking about peeing. You see, if we don’t pee within like 5 minutes post-sex, then we risk getting a crippling UTI. Which feels like we are pissing ourselves, constantly, during our every waking moment. Running off to the bathroom immediately after sex already looks kinda weird; we’re already kind of worried that you’ll think we’re kill-joys with no ability to cuddle. So maybe we’ll stick it out and force a fake cuddle for 30 seconds, all the while our mind is racing with cranberry juice, d-manos pills—ANYTHING to stave off those dreaded UTIs. Then, when we finally make it to the toilet, we plop down and queef. Which brings me to my next anxiety trigger…
Dear men everywhere: women have zero control over their queefs. Think of it as epilepsy and maybe then you’ll be a tad more empathetic about the air leaving our vaginas. I’m pretty sure that if people with epilepsy could control their seizures, then they would capitalize on that. Well the same goes for women and queefing. Think about it: who in their right mind would be like, “Oh, queef, you trying to pass through as dude is performing cunnilingus? No problem-o! Go right ahead!” No one is the correct answer.
Dear men: you were startled by our queef? Well guess what: we were startled by our queef too. We literally have no clue when these shits want to rear their little heads, we’re given zero warning, and have literally no means of controlling them. For the love of god, cut us some slack.
7. Period Mishaps.
As women, we are born with some unfortunate biological traits that men don’t have to worry about. And leading the pack is our period. “She’s acting so bitchy today. Must be on her period,” a guy will sometimes say in response to an irritable woman, thinking they understand what it means to have your period. Except, dear men, being bitchy is usually the least of our concerns. It certainly comes after leaking through our clothes or worrying if we’ll have to deal with a constantly-bloated everything when we’re on vacation.
8. Ordering food on a date.
“How are you going to go on a date when you’re older?” my parents used to ask my 7-year-old self. And I could never reply because I was busy shoveling spaghetti into my mouth with my hands. Now, though, it’s not the whole eating-with-hands thing that I worry about when I go on dates. It’s deciding what to order.
“Whiskey, dry, on the rocks,” a dude recently ordered on a date—so sure of himself, so sure of his whiskey! “Ummm, Ill have a Bellini?” I heard myself say. Never mind the fact that I’ve never ordered a Bellini in my life, it costs an obnoxious amount, and champagne makes me want to hurl chunks of my breakfast onto the nearest human. But I still ordered it, proving that stress will compel us to do some really odd things.
Something else – you may know how to eat a burger like a champ, but order one on a date and you risk the possibility of eating it like a drunk Hasselhoff. For instance, I love oysters. I’m also great at eating them. But put me in a fretful, first-date-like situation and I will disappoint you deeply. It’s only in these stressful circumstances that your normally-stellar oyster eating habits turn sour and you end up with a nipple-looking, semen-like, vagina-textured thing hanging from your bottom lip.
9. Construction workers, up yonder.
A woman living in a city has the pleasure of being hissed at—something that men are lamentably not privy to. It takes only a week to learn a street harasser when you see one and that construction workers have a real knack for making us feel exposed and slightly sexually harassed. And so, as a woman, walking on the street and spotting a construction site up ahead, our heart will often race a little faster, our strides will become a little quicker, and our sweat mustache will become significantly more pronounced. Because, well, we’re about to be hissed at. And while this is sometimes a reminder that we still got it, the attention and exposure is also distressing.
10. The gynecologist.
So. I’ve thought long and hard about this and I’ve decided: I would take one root canal a year for the rest of my life if it meant never going back to the gynecologist. You see, unlike the regular doctor, women these days go into the gynecologist knowing that, if not now, we will at some point surely contract HPV, a virus that makes the threat of cervical cancer much more likely. Yay.
But that’s not all we have to worry about at the gyno. There are STDs, that whole metal-rod-being-shoved-into-us thing and, of course, AIDS. Also one more thing I recently found out: while discussing with my girl friends the woes of the gynecologist I was like, “And don’t you just HATE it when she’s all, ’you’re about to feel some pressure in your anus,’ and then fingers your butt?” I was met with blank stares. Apparently no one else I’ve spoken to experiences this at the gynecologist, increasing my anxiety twofold.
This might not apply to all girls, but I know there are some ladies out there who get all uneasy when they go to the hair salon. I’ve already left the salon once with a choppy bob that could kill Jared Leto in his sleep, thank you very much. Some hairdressers are of the opinion that you would just look “so much better” with hair up to your ear, and take it upon themselves to make this happen even if you expressly said “just the motherfucking split ends! ” Which is why I haven’t gotten a haircut in over three years now. I cut my own hair, over my own sink, thank you very much.
12. Going on a shoot with Terry Richardson.
I’m no Sky Ferreira but I imagine that being asked by Terry Richardson to come to his studio would be massively anxiety-provoking. Because, on the one hand, he’s a famous celebrity photographer and it would be kind of cool to put on his glasses while giving a thumbs up. And yet, on the other hand, it’s pretty much established that going to his studio means getting sexually harassed. And then there’s that little problem of not being comfortable with baring your jigglies to the world.
I imagine the same goes for Ryan McGinley.
13. Bikini Waxes.
It’s not so much the entire activity of getting a bikini wax that’s anxiety-provoking, but rather the 3-second moment before they rip off the strip that’s inside your vagina—a moment fraught with anticipation and trepidation. Personally, I’d much rather the waxer just goes for it without telling me or prepping me. Because it’s mostly the whole “OK. Now relax. Take a deep breath…” that makes me seizure-y.
14. Face mask rash.
One of my favorite things about going home is rummaging through my mother’s cosmetics and trying out all of her new beauty and face products that I’m too poor to afford. Sometimes, however, I go a little too HAM, pile on three different masks at once, and then wash it off to find a scabies-looking rash eating my face. It’s moments like these that I’ll call my doctor and ask him if I can up my Zoloft.
15. Being asked to send a sexy pic.
There is absolutely nothing that tickles me more than receiving a dirty pic from a guy I barely know. That said, there’s nothing more anxiety-provoking than being asked to send a sexy pic by a new crush. Worrisome thoughts that tend to subsequently run through my head:
What does he want? Butt? Boobs? Damnit, having boobs would really come in handy right now. I can’t send him a close-up of my areola can I?
How do I physically take it? I don’t have a full-length mirror. Just one over my couch. Do I stand on my dining room table to get the right angle or is that too thirsty-looking?
What will come of this photo? What if I decide to go into politics? Run for president? FML.
16. Post lip wax.
As Sarah Silverman noted, nothing feels quite better than a naked upper lip post-lip wax. “You can actually feel the wind on it,” she said. Yet at the same time, it is also a perfect opportunity for insecurity and paranoia. Post-lip wax, if we can’t run straight into a cab that will then take us home, us women tend to worry whether it’s obvious—as in, is my upper lip red? Did cute dude notice that raw patch of skin on my face? Does the entire world now know that, if left unchecked, I will grow a thick and unruly mustache? Etc.
17. Seeing girl who you suspect is seeing your ex.
You’ve already played this out in your head. The “bitch please” look you’ll give her, what you’ll say to her, how you’ll look much better than her. Except when the moment actually comes you look like nothing but a wet dog with your tail between your legs. Your anxiety gets the best of you and all you can muster up is staring at her really creepily from a dark corner.
18. Forgetting to wear a bra to work.
Ever throw on pants and a white top while in a rush to get to work? And then, while at work and inevitably sweating, take off your sweater to reveal the nipple-exposing white top you chose in haste that morning? When I do this I usually notice my blunder halfway through the workday, after all of my co-workers have the braille on my nipples memorized by heart. I recommend going to the bathroom and trying some yoga breathing for 3 minutes. But then you’re at risk of my next anxiety-trigger.
19. Taking a long time in the work bathroom.
Fiery poop or not, when you leave the work bathroom after 15 long minutes, you know everyone suspects. For some reason men just don’t experience shame of this variety. Whereas for women, such a moment gives rise to difficulty breathing and an emergency inhaler.
Heh…cool. If you’re wondering why I’m “heh”-ing it’s because I just saw dude I’m not quite super comfortable with yet move my panties off of his desk, while taking a long hard gander at my discharge stain. And, frankly, I’m exhausted and tired of mumbling excuses and so all I can muster up at this point is a pathetic “heh.”
21. Getting hit on by a girl.
I feel so well versed in rejecting men that, when I get hit on by women (which isn’t often, but still sometimes happens!), I have no idea how to respond. As a fellow woman, I empathize and know that this lady is intrinsically kinder and more rational than any man I’ll ever meet. I don’t want to hurt a fellow lady’s feelings. I’m tempted, but just not physically into it, and so I start to get anxious. Flustered, I’ll usually give her my number while mumbling “I’m straight, but am always down for karaoke” and walking away.
22. New Years without someone to kiss.
Man, having a boyfriend on New Years—there’s just nothing like it! You got yourself a surefire midnight kiss and a stress-free night ahead of you. But if it’s New Years and we’re without boyfriend, then we start to really consider snorting that Klonopin (kidding. Or am I?) During these times Ill put an unreasonable amount of faith in my friends—like, Emily will kiss me right? She can kiss her boyfriend real quick and I’ll be standing awkwardly close to her so she can just turn around and smooch me. Right? Maybe I should first talk to her about it though—you know, come to an agreement so there’s no confusion? But wait—that’s weird. I think I’ll just hide in in the bathroom until it turns 12:02.
23. The urge to be basic bitchy.
No girl wants to be a basic bitch and any signs pointing to the fact that we are will surely send us into a self-analyzing anxiety attack. And yet, as women, our basic bitchy sides inevitably bubble up and beg us to perform. Which is why things like Instagramming our new plant will often make us writhe with paranoia and anxiety—it’s an unequivocal basic bitchy move and yet we just cant stop ourselves from doing it.
I don’t believe that Basic Bitch is a disparaging term, I think it is a small flame that burns within each of us and occasionally rises up to consume us whole when we are confronted with a clearance sale on floating candles or First Wives Club comes on TV when we are due to be somewhere in 30 minutes. We shouldn’t Basic Bitch-Shame, we should Basic Bitch-Celebrate. Let me start with a few of my favorite BB activities (that I know you love, too.)
1. Discussing which Sex and the City character you are, and secretly resenting whichever girl gets labeled as the Charlotte. (I’M SORRY MY HAIR ISN’T SHINY ENOUGH, OKAY??)
2. Having said SATC discussion while seated at a bar drinking colorful martinis.
3. Purchasing scented candles and littering your house with them, even though several of them are completely conflicting scents and now your whole apartment smells like someone spilled a fresh-baked raspberry pie on top of a pile of clean laundry.
4. Making arts and crafts you saw on Pinterest/Tumblr and having them fail miserably, then disposing of the evidence.
5. Getting manicures with your girls and all getting the single glitter nail, in various colors. (Society can pry the single glitter nail from my cold, dead hands — no pun intended! — by the way. I don’t care how dumb it is.)
6. Taking a picture of all your hands put together post-manicure and regramming it from one another.
7. Saying “Oh my god, yes, this is my songgg!!!” whenever a song marketed to a demographic ten years your junior comes on.
8. Knowing (and performing all the lyrics to on command) the song “Glamorous” by Fergie. Bonus points if you zestily imitate Ludacris’ “caviar dre-E-eams.”
9. Making someone re-take a group picture upwards of five times because you don’t look perfect in it.
10. Going on a month-long “cleanse” with one or more of your friends that ends up lasting a total of three days.
11. Referring to things such as taking a bath or eating a pizza as “self-care.”
12. Watching endless YouTube beauty tutorials made by really pretty girls with seemingly endless disposable income, and then getting irrationally angry that your life is not theirs.
13. Wearing heels out to the club/bar that you know full well you are not going to last more than two hours in, and carrying them home as you either walk barefoot on city sidewalks or piggy back on one of the guys in the group.
14. Talking about nail polish. (I would spend most of my working days discussing nail polish if I could. For the record, Essie lasts the longest without chipping, Chanel has the best colors, OPI has the most diverse glitter options.)
15. Going to Las Vegas with the express intent of drinking as many novelty-sized margaritas and grinding on as many shirtless dudes as possible.
16. Attempting veganism for a full 12 hours.
17. Hosting ironic “basic bitch parties” where you drink fruity drinks and watch cornball TV shows and eat mini cupcakes, except they’re not “ironic” at all because you love every minute of them.
18. Listening to Jason Derulo. (Full disclosure: I’m listening to “Ridin’ Solo” as we speak, and next I will be listening to “Talk Dirty,” and you can’t clip my wings in the least.)
19. Owning a Bebe bandage dress, and spending the whole night alternating between “feeling sexy as hell” and “awkwardly pulling it down your thighs because it keeps riding up.”
20. Liberally applying the Burt’s Bees/Carmex until your lips can be seen from across a crowded room.
21. Posting pictures of your girlfriends from 2000-2003 where you’re all wearing braids/white girl cornrows, butterfly clips, and pocketless jeans.
22. Listening to “Timber” on repeat until your ears start bleeding.
23. Meditating in attempt to find some kind of inner quiet, but then completely defeating the purpose by posting on social media about how much you love meditating and waiting for the likes to roll in.
Want more basic bitch politics? Check out the author’s book “Take Out Your Earrings Before You Fight” here.
There has been a long circulating stereotype that typical “white girls” act a certain way. They love Starbucks, live in their Uggs (whether it is 1 degree or 100 degrees), gush over their new Lululemon workout clothes, go crazy over “New Girl” and “The Mindy Project,” and wouldn’t be able to survive without some semi-see-through leggings. They shorten words that maybe don’t need shortening (see: cray, totes, supes, maybs, Starbs).
I’ll admit that I fit every single white girl stereotype there is. I’m drinking a grande nonfat, sugar-free vanilla latte from Starbucks as I’m writing this. I’m currently wearing Uggs, rolled down so that the fuzzy part is showing. I just spent my morning watching New Girl. My roommate and I are in a longstanding debate about whether my leggings – my precious, comfortable, stretchy leggings that love me no matter how many times I gain the ‘freshman 15’ in my sophomore year of college – are see through. I say sort of, she says 100%.
But as much as people love to make fun of these basic girls that act like lemmings, desperately catching on to every new trend that hits their town, maybe we’re on to something. Or trying to change something. Or cover up something.
People make fun of white girls like it’s a terrible thing to be. Sure, maybe some (okay, a lot) of us are clouded by a veil of privilege that allows the quick adaptation of every new thing that we think will make us cuter or prettier or just generally more desirable. What people don’t realize is that this privilege, which sometimes includes new Hunter boots, pumpkin spice lattes, and Lululemon leggings, doesn’t equate to happiness. It simply doesn’t, and though it may seem like that on the surface, it’s a materialistic lie. Sure, life could be harder and I completely respect everyone who has gone through serious financial, emotional, and physical problems in their lives – I have too. Everyone has. I don’t care who you are. You’ve gone through things. Some terrible, some mild, but problems that affected your well-being and left you struggling to recover.
I’ve battled severe binge eating disorder for four years, something that I am just now seeking treatment for. I’m so nervous to talk to people that I can’t breathe sometimes. I have battled extreme depression and stood in front of my closet with a belt in hand for hours, almost nightly, for weeks at a time since my sophomore year of high school. All while drinking Starbucks daily, wearing Uggs, and stretching into some questionable leggings. So don’t blame the white girls, Asian girls, Latin girls, black girls, purple girls, green girls, any girls. Everyone is just trying to make it. Trying to fit in. Wondering if it’s working and if people are believing their image when they don’t even believe it themselves. The truth is that life is difficult for everyone. People are trying to make to each and every day. Battling the desire to stay in bed, which is so incredibly sad considering what beautiful things there are in the world. It’s so sad because everyone feels it almost every day. People are lonely, heartbroken, stressed, overwhelmed, unhappy, depressed, dehydrated, dizzy, and self-conscious. All the time. All at the same time. Almost everyone you pass. That’s immeasurably sad and reason enough to start dishing out more love than hate.
So don’t make fun of some girls for trying their best. Everyone is doing it. It just comes out in different ways.
A simple search for the term “basic bitch” results in over 45 million hits on Google. There are endless urban dictionary definitions, parody videos, and blog articles about being, dating, and dealing with “basic bitches.” The universal understanding of the term “basic bitch” seems to simply be an extremely normal, in no way out of the ordinary female. I am here to plead women and men alike to put an end to the term for good.
This is the point where many of you will grab your pitchforks and rally against me. “‘Basic bitch’ is a great term!” you might say. Or you might claim it’s the perfect insult— honest without being too extreme, essentially non-offensive since so many women fall under the phrase. But lay your pickets down for just a moment and hear me out.
First, the feminist in me cringes at the thought of women colloquially being referred to as bitches, for a variety of reasons that include female empowerment and gender equality and the like. The fact that there is no male equivalent to the phrase only skims the surface of the problem. And bitch is bad enough. But then, to feel the need to add a prefix to bitch, as though it became tired and used and needed some sprucing up is just unnecessary.
Calling a woman a basic bitch is insulting her for being completely normal. And not normal in a boring, common way, but normal in the way that she simply conforms to the societal mold she has been expected to fit for years; normal in a way for which she cannot and should not be faulted. Yes, she may order a complicated Starbucks drink that contains more milk and sugar than actual coffee; and yes, she may style a pair of Ugg boots and leggings in the wintertime — hell, she may even rock out to Taylor Swift and use country lyrics as captions to her profile pictures. What is so wrong with that? Was Starbucks not founded to give people an alternate to drinking black coffee every day? Were Ugg boots not lined with sheep’s fur specifically to prepare for the cold months of winter, and is Taylor Swift really writing songs to appeal to a hipster, non conforming, small sect of people who stop listening once she plays at Madison Square Garden? These are all perfectly acceptable activities and a woman should not be shunned because the majority of a population engages in them. The shift from being complimented to being condoned to being condemned for doing what is popular has been a rapid but hypocritical one. Activities that young women were so recently expected to enjoy are now being deemed too shared and regular and they suddenly need to be hounded for it for reasons unknown.
Not to mention the idea that calling a woman a “basic bitch” is categorizing her simply by her exterior characteristics and neglects to take into account who she is as a person. That woman grabbing her caramel macchiato on her way to work could very well be going to volunteer at a non-profit for the day. The girl who loves Sex And The City marathons could be an aspiring architect moved by the New York City skyline. The woman who buys a cheap bottle of Pinot Grigio could be saving to pay the student tuition loans she took out on her own to pay for college.
This is not to say that every woman should be praised for who she is on the inside. There are plenty of bad, ill-intentioned people in this world. If someone is unforgiving, though, there is a word for that. If someone is rude or impolite, there is a word for that as well. If someone is apathetic towards life and does not strive to achieve goals, low and behold, there is a description for them too. Lumping everyone who is not perfect or achieving greatness into the category of “basic bitch” is lazy and lacks thought.
With this, I urge us to put an end to the term “basic bitch.” Avoid saying it. Quit using it as a descriptor. Allow it to fade out of existence with other trendy terms like “YOLO”, “Rachet,” and “Swaggy” (luckily that one lasted about 30 seconds). Stop penalizing women for not being out of the ordinary, because chances are, they are superb in ways you could never have imagined.
Oh don’t mind me, I’m not here to cause any trouble. I’m not like those other bros you’ve heard about – the ones who “crush broads” and “play sports”. I don’t have a single tattoo on my calf and when it comes to parties, I prefer a table for two. I guess you could say I prefer the simpler things in life.
Me? I’m just a basic bro.
I have a basic income and basic tastes. I can do basic math and I wear Asic running shoes. The only thing I’ve “turnt up” up lately is the heat in my apartment, because it gets a little drafty in the evenings and I’d hate to catch a cold. That’d throw a real wrench into my light jogging routine.
I’ve got my wardrobe down to a basic science. I wear basic tees from H&M underneath basic button-ups from the sale rack at Gap. My baseball caps all have bent rims and I remove every sticker immediately after purchase. If I’m feeling a little chilly, I throw on a nice fleecy Patagonia zipper-up. I guess the kids are calling it “normcore” these days. I just call it practical. If all else fails, I strap on my trusty black pea coat, which I’m not afraid to rock with a navy blue JanSport backpack.
I’m basically a keeper.
I love to travel. I’ve gone on family vacation to Orlando – twice – but now I’m ready to expand my horizons. Maybe we could explore the world together? How does a four star all-inclusive in the Dominican Republic sound? Punta Cana anyone?
Music inspires me. Have you heard the latest Black Keys album? Those guys rock the hardest. Skrillex, too. I’d kill for that kind of talent. I’ve never made a beat in my life but I do own an acoustic guitar and yes, I can play Wonderwall, thank you for asking.
Which reminds me – do you have any plans Friday night? I was thinking, maybe, if you’re interested, we could hit a Red Lobster, slam a few Coors and head over to a faux-Irish pub for some karaoke! What do you say we get ratchet up in here and belt out some Benny and the Jets! You know that one, right? Ben-nay! Ben-nay!
My other interests include lawn care, Merrell sandals, sweet and sour chicken balls, attending auto shows, Lacoste, watching straight porn, and re-posting Chuck Norris memes on Facebook. I also ski. And I haven’t even mentioned my job! You’ve seen Mad Men, right? Well I’m a (Google certified) search engine optimization specialist. NBD. If you want to learn more about it, I’ll be speaking at a podcamp next week. You should stop by!
If all this makes me a basic bro, then so be it. I’ll happily drive off into the sunset in my 2009 Toyota Corolla with a beautiful Comm. major lady friend in the passenger seat. We’ll blast alt-rock through the open sun roof and stop at Starbucks for a pumpkin spice latte, all the while enjoying the basic beauty of this basic world you pretend to be above.
And if for some reason that bothers you, then you’re basically a bitch.
My days of poking fun at “bros” have officially come back to haunt me. In the time of the basic bitch, I find myself in what many may consider a troubling situation: I, myself, am basic.
I don a power headset on conference calls while doodling hearts in my notebook. I often imagine myself running the world like Beyonce. I spent 2 months asking for opinions on whether or not I should get bangs, and then complained for a year on social media as they slowly grew out. My AIM profile once said, “Maybe our girlfriends are our soul mates, and guys are just people to have fun with.” – Carrie Bradshaw. I could live on hummus and baby carrots. I write self-centered blog posts. On Wednesdays, I wear pink.
When this realization first hit, I felt ashamed. All of my years attempting to be unique have only landed me in Barnes and Noble flipping through cake-decorating books. When I thought a little deeper into this, however, I began to recognize the importance my kind plays in the grand scheme of things. In order to go round, the world needs basic bitches.
I challenge you to consider how terribly different your life would be without basic bitches. We provide a lot of services that unjustly go unnoticed. Looking to throw a theme party? We’ll know just where to purchase the best decorations/props to make your place look straight out of The Great Gatsby. Want to know the best spot in the area to find a red velvet cupcake? We’re your gals. Feeling down and out about yourself? Shoot us an email and we’ll respond with an inspirational quote, perfectly fitting to your situation. Without us filling your Instagram feed with pictures of puppies and rowdy nights out with our fellow BBs, what would you waste time looking at on slow work days? And who else would break up your scary bar fights, because “Guys, let’s all just be friends.”?
The absence of basics would not only negatively affect the life you’ve become accustomed to — it would also hurt the economy. Companies who market kale chips would be out of business. Party City sales would suffer significantly around Halloween, as they can never attempt selling another “slutty ____” costume. Lululemon — hasta leugo. Starbucks stock value will drop, too, and employees would never again have the opportunity to misspell another name on a Venti non-fat caramel latte with two and a half pumps. US Weekly would fold, because non-basics don’t care much about what the royal baby wore this week. Those profiting off health and wellness trends would be sorry, too. Fad diet books, branded juice cleanses, ellipticals, yoga pants, Evian water – all favored mostly by your average basic bitch.
Consider the impact our disappearance would have on the entertainment industry. Ryan Gosling would be a thing of the past (even the thought makes me ill), and Hollywood as we know it would crumble to the ground. If we weren’t here clawing her down, Anne Hathaway would be running the whole freakin’ show. The 50 Shades of Grey movie would most certainly be a bust (get it? hehe). In the music industry, the star power of Selena Gomez would burnout quicker than Bieber on a trip to Colorado. On the television end, teenage mothers around the United States would never have the chance to star in their own MTV show. Lauren Conrad would have a grand total of zero Instagram followers, and you might as well say Godspeed to her clothing line at Kohls. Heartbreakingly, no one would be around to appreciate how funny Scott Disick is (can I get an “Auntie Kris. It’s meeee, Todd Kraines” anyone?).
There are many other noteworthy issues that would arise in our absence, as well. Without us, dictionaries would have to be updated and reprinted to omit the word “cute.” If we weren’t populating Pinterest with vintage wedding ideas, all weddings would likely default to Star Wars, Lords of the Rings or sports themes (gasp!). The time spent by bartenders learning how to make flirtinis and serve lemon drop shots would have been for nothing. And really though, how would you ever know what the UV index is at any given time?
I hope I’ve made my point loud and clear — y’all need us to survive. So take some time out of your day today and thank a basic bitch. Give her a big ‘ol hug — because she loves hugs — and tell her you’ll never again give her a hard time for wearing Ugg boots on casual Friday. It was cold out that day; girl deserves a break.