Autumn is rapidly turning into winter, and Christmas season is beginning to get into its full groove. What does this mean? In Britain, this means the donning of woolly jumpers, woolly socks and boots. Colloquially, however, autumn is also known as the ‘basic bitch season’. Why? Because that’s when all the ‘basic’ girls Instagram their Gingerbread Latte’s in over-sized scarves and Ugg boots, after dressing up as a cat on Halloween for the fourth year running (there is nothing wrong with a decent cat costume, FYI).
How do you know if you’re basic? If you love yoga, leggings tucked into Ugg boots, seasonal lattes, Instagramming your brunch and everything pink and fluffy, you might just fit the bill. Basic isn’t just an affinity to all things traditionally considered ‘girly’ though, it’s a label of not being enough. Most importantly, not being interesting enough, and not having enough personality, being bland, and boring.
As for the process of labelling someone basic, it means that you have decided that the things you like, and the way you dress etc. is more sophisticated, intelligent, and important than what they like. It isn’t just putting someone else down, but it’s bringing yourself up onto a pedestal. It takes away from a woman’s individuality. So what if you’re fluent in 3 languages and passionate about saving the arctic, if you also love a pumpkin spice latte and a chunky scarf, you’re basic.
More crucially, ‘basic’ is a negative way of speaking about traditionally ‘girly’ things; as a society, we pressure our young women to conform to our ideas of how they should be, and when they do so, we label them as boring and unimaginative. Why do we insist on creating and popularising new labels to bring women down? Is it another way of telling us that no matter how hard we try, we’re either basic, boyish, butch, bitchy or sometimes all of the above?
‘Basic’ is a hypocritical term since in itself it’s a ‘basic’ insult, so let’s not embrace, or re-define ‘basic’. Rather let’s focus on loving ourselves and empowering each other. Doing this regardless of whether we like the Kardashian’s, or The Smiths (or both). If you relate to any of the characteristics of being basic you’re still you, unique and individual, just embracing a love for all things cosy, girly and pretty. Don’t let anyone shame you for finding happiness in the things that you do.
If you’ve ever been called basic, called someone else it, or referred to yourself as basic whilst Instagramming your avocado toast, know that there is nothing wrong with being yourself. Nobody is basic, everybody is complex, worthwhile and a product of their experiences. So what you like pretty coffee and scented candles? Love what makes you happy without any shame, and if anyone dares to call you basic, ask them why, if they’re so important, they can’t come up with a more original insult.
Written by Katt Skippon