Basic - It's Simply Lindsay

Do you like:

  • Starbucks?
  • Pumpkin?
  • Pumpkin spice?
  • Pumpkin spice Starbucks?
  • Uggs?
  • Leggings?
  • Leggings and Uggs?
  • iPhones?
  • Forever 21?
  • Instagramming food?
  • Buzzfeed?
  • Greek yogurt?
  • Brunch?
  • Yoga or barre?
  • Lauren Conrad (and you loved her since she was LC)?
  • Rooftop get togethers?
  • Ryan Gosling?
  • A good top knot or messy bun?

If you answered yes to these, and especially if you are a white female in your late teens and early twenties, I’m sorry to tell you, but you are what many in pop culture consider “basic.”

Why It’s Time to Get Rid of Basic B****

A girl who embraces her girly-girl side and isn’t afraid to read US Weekly with her nude gel manicured nails as she adds wedding pins to her “Future Mrs.” Pinterest board while sipping a pumpkin spice latte sounds like a girl I would hang out with. But, *gasp*, this girl is commonly referred to as basic, a basic girl, or my favorite, basic bitch. This mindless term, used as an adjective and noun, is multifaceted in that it can be an insult or term of endearment.

Ex: (Looking up your ex’s girlfriend on Facebook). Oh, she wears midi rings, a slouchy graphic tee, and leather leggings? Basic.

Ex: (Taking a selfie with your bestie after barre class). #basicbitches

Whether you’re using this term to put someone down or lightheartedly label yourself, let me tell you why the term basic has got to go!

  1. It’s self-righteous

    Believing you can label someone as basic means that you have a higher standard of what someone should like or not like. Newsflash: if you’re resorting to the word “basic” as a sophisticated criticism, you did not nail it. You are not morally superior. You are lazy. And heck, you are basic for following such an idle trend.

  2. It doesn’t flatter you

    When you use the insult ‘basic,’ you’re saying you’re so above someone else that you can’t even be bothered to come up with an actual offense because you’re just. so. important. In fact, you are wasting your time because you do care. If you were so ‘non-basic,’ you wouldn’t even be on the boring basic train to begin with.

  3. It’s lazy

    I was just reading Hamlet today and came across a lovely insult – sponge. What an interesting, compelling dig! It is so enthralling, in fact, that it warranted an in-depth conversation with my students about its many implications. Next time you truly wish to insult someone (which I do not condone), at least make it interesting. Learn a new word. Think of a creative comparison. Spineless, weak, someone who mindlessly absorbs information only to be wrung dry later: sponge! (Feel free to say it in your best Shakespearean accent, too.)

  4. It doesn’t make sense

    Current high fashion and luxe lifestyle trends value basics. You don’t flaunt your designer brand by slapping logos all over, you choose classic, simple, and understated designer pieces. Fashion bloggers, celebrities, and the everyday girl look ultra chic in plain skinnies, worn-in booties, and oversized cable-knit sweaters. So from a culture that values the basics, being basic is actually a compliment, no?

  5. It’s inhumane

    Let’s look at this one disturbing definition from Urban Dictionary- Someone who is unflinchingly upholding of the status quo and stereotypes of their gender without even realizing it. She engages in typical, unoriginal behaviors, modes of dress, speech, and likes. She is tragically/laughably unaware of her utter lack of specialness and intrigue. This definition would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic. How can anyone, jokingly or not, propagate a term that says this group of girls is special and valuable and this group of girls is boring, which means they are expendable?

  6. It robs of us individuality

    Guess what? I like pumpkin spice lattes, and I’m a mom, a high school English teacher, writer, and blogger with a master’s degree. I can play piano and cello, write poetry, have never had a brain freeze, and can lick my elbow (which is supposed to be impossible!). I think those are pretty interesting things, and I know many others who enjoy “basic” things, and they are all interesting. We are all different. Basic bitch is not only boring, offensive alliteration, but its blanket-term nature assumes that because girls like X, Y, or Z that they are all the same.

  7. It’s offensive

    Some groups of people call each other slurs that within that group acts as a term of endearment. Girls can jokingly and even (weirdly) sweetly call each other slut, whore, or bitch, but this needs to stop. Bitch is the most commonly used and accepted slang/curse word, which is pretty sad. People call men bitches to imply they are weak or acting womanly. People call women they don’t like bitches, and it’s a common name for assertive women. I don’t know which is worse actually – calling men ‘Sally’, a bitch, or telling guys to stop ‘acting like a girl’ is incredibly insulting because you’re saying that showing feminine traits is a laughable, heinous crime.

  8. Being basic isn’t bad

    I’m confused as to how leggings, pumpkin, and food Instagramming are common targets of being basic. What about white potatoes, the most popular vegetable? How about…umm…water? Why don’t basic girls get tagged as enjoying a college education? In fact, according to The Huffington PostFederal data show that female students…for the past decade have accounted for about 57 percent of enrollment at degree-granting institutions.” And, The Atlantic reports that “American women…have, for the first time in our country’s history, come to earn more advanced university degrees than men.” It sounds like being a ‘basic girl’ means having a college education, possibly a higher degree, and probably enjoying a good mashed potato and water.

I’m not a person who is a huge stickler for political correctness or finds no humor in lighthearted jokes or sentiments, but I do feel strongly that as girls, boys, men, and women, we are just plain smarter than ‘basic.’ We are more creative, interesting, and kind.

So don’t be a sponge. Give up basic.

  • Jackie

    I love the last line. “We are more creative, interesting, and kind.” We are all human beings, living beings living on this earth 🙂

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Aw thanks for reading, Jackie! It’s so true though – we’re all more the same than we realize sometimes.

  • I love all of this! Great points.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Thanks Alanna!

  • Greta Hollar

    You’re a great writer and this was so well written. I agree with you completely!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Oh wow, than you for your kind words Greta.

  • Shann Eva

    Ugh. So silly. Luckily, I’m too old to be using terms like this or even know they are around 😉 Great post, and I completely agree.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      haha I hear you – that’s partly why I love being in my late 20’s; so much of that silliness is behind me or I at least don’t fall into the traps.

  • Becky @Disney in your Day

    My brother is the only one that ever calls me that, luckily. I think it’s so silly. Why can’t we enjoy (and take pics of, etc.) the things that we like?

    • Lindsay Katherine

      haha totally agree!

  • This term is so silly.
    I don’t think being basic is bad either.
    xoxo, Jenny ||

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Glad we’re on the same page, Jenny!

  • Lindsay- I’m finally awake and was able to make it to my laptop lol. I couldn’t wait to comment on this post!!! At first, I thought, “What does she have to say about this?” Because I’m TOTALLY a basic bitch. But then as I read this, I smiled and felt like I was clinging onto you. You are so right. We were meant for so much more than to be “basic.”

    This post is really good. You should try submitting it to Huffington! You are such an amazing writer.

  • Great post, and I agree with the comment from Chelsea below… totally submit this somewhere.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Oh wow, thank you Bri- that made my day. I appreciate your kind comment.

  • I agree with everything here! Why do we have to turn everything into a derogatory statement? It gets old, shows your lack of maturity and intellect, and basically I will never associate with you. I’m a mom and woman in her 30’s who loves Starbucks, leggings, my iPhone, Instagram, buzzfeed, greek yogurt and more! If someone ever referred to me as a “basic bitch” I’d run circles around them just showing how basic they really are! Hahahaha! Submit this to HuffPo and buzz feed NOW!!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Heck yes Amanda!! We sound exactly the same; I’m sure we would be GREAT, non-basic friends.

  • I’m right there with you. I hate when people use a stereotype or label like this to just completely dismiss someone! Underneath all the silly stuff like what we wear or eat and drink we’re all so similar, and it breaks my heart to see people just dismiss each other based on something shallow. And you made me laugh out loud with the sponge part…everything is a teachable moment, right? 😉

    • Lindsay Katherine

      haha I’m glad you enjoyed my sponge part. Hamlet inspired this post!

  • This is the best post i’ve read in a while! I can’t agree with you more. Basic sounds like an insult and just doesn’t sound smart. As for Bitch, well, I have my own tirade about that one. My girlfriends and I have always respected ourselves and each other more than to call each other that.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Aw Leslie, thank you for reading and for your kind comment. I’m glad we’re completely on the same page : )

  • These are so true. So what if we all like several of the same things. There’s nothing wrong with that!

    • Lindsay Katherine


  • LOVE THISSSS!!!! I answered “yes” to MOST of the list of things at the top hahahhahaa

    • Lindsay Katherine

      hah right?! Who wouldn’t answer yes??!

  • I HATE the term basic. I’m sorry, but please don’t lump me in with every other female of my generation because I like Starbucks and watched The Hills!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Yes, exactly!! It’s ridiculous.

  • I never understood why basic was/is a bad thing. If a ridiculous amount of people like it, why is it considered a bad thing?

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I will never understand it either!

  • Ashleigh

    This is great…and informative! I had no idea that’s what it meant. Even though I don’t like the term, I might be one bc I shop at Target, drink Starbucks and take selfies with my friends lol

    • Lindsay Katherine

      haha yes! I’m right there with you : )

  • DT

    LOVE this post. I never really understood people’s obsession with this term, and never liked it tbh. It definitely needs to go. Stereotyping people over anything is unjust to their unique personalities.
    — DT | Here I Scribble

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Thanks so much for reading! Glad we’re on the same page : )

  • Love this pos! I hate the term “basic”. It angers me just as much as the word “fleek” (like wtf is fleek?!). So what if I love drinking my Starbucks from a holiday cup while wearing leggings (that are from Forever 21 of course), with my hair up in a messy bun, and Instagramming my drink on my iPhone? I happen to think I’m pretty cool haha

    Keating | High Heels & Combat Boots

    • Lindsay Katherine

      You ARE so cool, and I am so with you about fleek!

  • SO true!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      : ) Thanks for reading, Claire.

  • Woah. Never thought of it like that, but I have to say these are some good points!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Thanks, Annie, and thank you for reading.