I’m in a bar in Montpellier. I’m wearing very high heels that I can’t really walk in and I’ve got a Chanel bag over one arm and my friends and I are ordering cocktails. We clink our Cosmos together and do the night out squeal that groups of women in their mid-twenties do so well. “Look at us. We’re so BASIC!” we joke.
But, not really, because we kind of are.
If you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years (or you’re my Dad), you’ve probably missed out on the whole basic bitch thing. Urban Dictionary has a handy little definition for what it means to be basic, which is pretty unflattering and bitter – they say that it’s someone who is devoid of defining characteristics that make a person interesting, extraordinary, or simply worth devoting time or attention to. Should I go put my head in the oven now?
duster coat: c/o boohoo | top: river island | jeans: c/o boohoo | boots: boohoo | sunglasses: asos | bag: chanel | belt: asos
If you hadn’t grasped it by my cocktails-and-Chanel-bantz earlier, I’d probably classify myself as a basic bitch. Proof? Autumn is SO my fave time of year. And, ooh, if you have to make me choose, I’d say I was a Samantha over a Carrie. Brunch is legit the best meal of the day, and Uber is the greatest invention since dip-dye hair and matte liquid lipsticks. Other things us basic bitches are partial to? Taking night-out photos in a hallway where you laugh at the floor. Kale (in any form). Starbucks (in any form, but bonus points for a PSL). Having a Chinese lady do your acrylics on the reg. Binge-watching The Hills whilst demolishing a tub of fro-yo. Etcetera, etcetera.
It’s become a thing of late that being basic has become a bit of a derogatory term: it’s an affectionately negative manner in which to describe your frenemies and a self-deprecating way of discussing your avo-on-rye habit. Whilst not overtly stigmatized, being basic is considered low-brow, blank, unsophisticated, vacuous – the most homogeneous a person can be – and those who are labelled as such take it (seemingly apologetically) on the chin: ‘I know liking Lauren Conrad is a bit, well, basic, but I do love a pumpkin spice latte so if the UGG boot fits!!!!!’
But hold up: is being basic actually a bad thing? I, for one, am firmly unrepentant about being basic in some (note: some) aspects of my life. So, I like things that are popular. Shoot me. I enjoy things that are fun or pretty or relaxed. So what? Just because I like skinny jeans and Frappuccinos, I’m less of a worthy person? Nah, mate. I want to build a wall of leaf-print picture frames, not a wall to keep the Mexicans out. Get over it.
And just because I like some basic things doesn’t mean I have zero interests elsewhere; sometimes, I’d just prefer to kick back with an episode of Gossip Girl rather than a few chapters of War & Peace. But I bet you would too, right? Surely, deep down, nearly all of us have some basic traits – whether that’s enjoying iced lattes or reading Cosmo or secretly loving The Notebook – so why are we all being so hypocritical and throwing shade at each other?
I think it’s time to rejoice in your basic bitch status: we need to accept that liking something other people like too DOESN’T MAKE YOU A LOSER. Rather than laughing at your friend for listening to Taylor Swift – then listening to the album in secret – embrace it. Stop rolling your eyes when someone suggests all-day brunch. Wear your jeggings with pride. My name is Lily, and I’m a basic bitch: but I just don’t care. Who’s with me?