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Let me defend my brain while I sip my PSL and wear leggings as pants.


I am Basic.

I have long blond hair. I wear Kate Spade sunglasses. I drive a white Ford Escape and I step on that gas pedal with my Ugg-clad feet. I am a native of Philadelphia’s Main Line, where Pilates-toned arms don Longchamp totes and Tory Burch flats run rampant. I grew up seeing Basic behavior, but I wasn’t quite sure what it was until mockery of it became common a few years ago.

The term inspires thoughts of an individual incapable of meeting any of society’s standards beyond the basest level. The Basic Bitch, as this girl is often called, is expected to be so monotonous that she has no choice but to adhere to the plainest, least novel aspects of society. Her aesthetic and behavior indicate that she is perhaps better off in allowing the masses to tell her what to wear and how to act. But that’s the thing: She isn’t.

Being Basic is often a choice. Sometimes it’s just easier to engage in the rhetoric of a very ordinary way of dressing as a means of conveying that there are more important things to focus on, adopting the mindset of “Hey, I look okay, so let me give my attention elsewhere now that I know I am at least physically presentable.” Sometimes we just really like the styles that are most popular at any given moment. And I don’t hold having the desire to feel included against anyone.

At the same time, there are those girls who genuinely do like all of the same things because pursuing more novel interests takes too much effort, or isn’t “cool.” Those are the ones giving the rest of us, who do fit certain stereotypes but vastly defeat those relating to the level of intellect expected of a Basic Bitch, a bad rap.

The autumnal elicitation of ‘basic’ in females ages 13 to 30 perpetuates the grounds for hackneyed, male-driven criticism. In the Northeast in particular, the crisp weather resorts us to denim and sweaters, to wool and thick rubber soles. So, fashion-wise, we must, to a certain extent, dress similarly. All women become identical externally. But that we all have the same taste in North Face and Patagonia fleeces is, according to the rude gentlemen and women who constantly strive to be different, pathetic.

Actually, no. Again, I must dispute the common understanding that taints even my own observations sometimes. Trends are so carefully calculated. They meet certain demands and create solutions (wanted or not) that dictate how we will live our lives.

I do admit that I’m not quite sure why the women of my generation (and older) tend to behave so similarly in terms of approaching such trends with the same application of a common group of abilities, or why the fall season in particular seems to bring out the Basics in hoards. I blame Pinterest. I blame celebrities. I blame the lack of individuality that is slowly permeating society as a result of the deficit in situations requiring, prompting novel thoughts.

Actually, scratch that. I don’t “blame” anything. That’s not the right word at all. Nor is “basic,” for that matter.

I, for one, might fit into the category of Basic because I match the demographic and do prefer certain clothing styles and activities in particular settings associated with the characterization. But hey, I find infinity scarves comfortable and at least make sure my leggings loo more like pants than they do tights. I like the puppy filter on Snapchat because it makes everyone look cute and sometimes I just need to confirm to myself and others that my exterior matches my vibrant interior. “Athleisure” is a trend I will support because wearing workout clothes makes me more likely to go to the gym, and I spend so much time in coffee shops because I have found that I study best in the midst of the happy clamor of other patrons setting their mugs down as they work next to me.

I like to think that I don’t always act Basic. I like to think that I don’t look basic every day. But there are some times when it’s easier to dress and act “obscenely obvious,” according to the Urban Dictionary definition of the word.

I have a rationale behind everything that I do. A lot more thought goes into this than you expected, huh? That’s because you don’t see that the qualities that make me Basic are not as much within my control as my mind is; societal norms ease my access to the elements of a Basic lifestyle, and conforming allows my original thoughts to take precedent over prioritizing having an original style. My mindset is not wholly reflected in my appearance or coffee preferences or social media habits.

So go ahead, call me Basic. Call me a bitch. Call me anything you want. But know that inside my Pumpkin Spice Latte-warmed body, underneath the layers of cashmere in which I wrap myself, I do have a brain. I am an intelligent individual so completely capable of producing novel thoughts that sometimes getting dressed needs to be mindless so that I can process those creative ideas. My writing, my raw talent, is made possible by my ability to observe my stance in this argument and make the most of it.

Let us Basics wear what we want, act how we want. Observe trends, but don’t call us out for looking identical to our friends or for using hashtags in our verbal conversations. Chances are, we’re completely aware of what we’re doing. And we did so intentionally, possibly ironically. Many of us copy so that we can dedicate our energy into doing whatever it is we want to do to live well-rounded lives, recognizing that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and the easiest way to promote audacity in other areas of life. At the very least, we try to fit into a group that makes us feel happy.

So judge me, if you wish. Envy me, if you’d like.

And if you want to have a mind-blowing conversation with a girl in a great outfit? You can find me at Starbucks.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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