Being Basic Isn't Bad

Being Basic Isn't Bad

ba·sic: forming or relating to the most important part of something (Merriam-Webster).

I just returned from a CorePower sculpt class to my sorority house to take a shower using Lush products. I’m now sitting at Whole Foods, drinking a Vietnamese cold brew and basking in the glow of the environmentally friendly lights their café has to offer. Tonight, I intend to don a Victoria's Secret nightie and watch "Grey's Anatomy" before I fall asleep under my Christmas lights and tapestry that hang over my bed. This is an average day in the life of my 20-year-old self. To give you a visual, I’m a five-foot-seven, blonde, young woman with a Crest-white-strips smile and mascara coated eyelashes. I love Urban Outfitters and rom-coms, and occasionally, I meditate. I am a full-fledged basic b*tch.

But before I continue, I need to make something inherently clear: I love being basic. You can hate on an iced caramel macchiato from Starbucks, but have you ever had one? They are the elixir of life and you’re lying if you say you don’t enjoy their sugary, creamy goodness. And before you trash on spin class, tell me again how checking yourself out in the mirrors at the gym as you get “swole” is a better workout than a straight hour of cycling in a humid room. And sure, I dress like a chic bag lady and wear my hair long and messy because it’s how I feel most beautiful, and that’s important to me.

Being in your 20s sucks. Friends, employers, professors, and even your own family constantly scrutinize you for everything from your major to your choice of a romantic partner. On top of that, you’re learning how to be a functioning adult in society. As I have quickly learned, spending your own money as opposed to your parents’ is equivalent to lighting yourself on fire, and no matter what your major, you will spend all four years of your college experience drowning in piles of homework and crying at least twice a week solely because of stress. The last thing anyone suffering through their 20s needs is any more labels applied to them than we already have.

I’ve been called everything under the sun—slut, curvy, boring, fake, spoiled—but the one that hurts the most is basic. I’ve spent the longest time trying to figure out why in the world the most harmless word hurts the most, and I think I’ve finally got it figured out. When you call me heavy, you’re attacking one part of me. It’s a part that I can come to terms with when I look in the mirror and tell myself that I’m blessed to have childbearing hips and a big ribcage that houses impressive lungs. When you call me spoiled, I silently revel in the fact that I am have worked since I was fifteen and currently nanny twelve hours a week, on top of being a full-time student, to afford any and all luxuries I want. But when you call me basic, when you toss around a term that actually just means a foundation or a starting point, you attack all of me.

That word encompasses my artificially blonde hair, which I dye because it makes it easier to look in the mirror and give myself the confidence I need to face the day with a smile. It targets my choice to drink coffee, which I drink because I am often up until the wee hours of the morning writing for one of the three publications I work for in the hopes of having the experience to take on the real world—not because it tastes good. It comments on my choice to attend exercise classes, which to me, are a weekly retreat from the chaos of college and help me to take better care of this one body I have (which, honestly, takes a lot of abuse, from a poor diet to nights out partying). “Basic” takes a subtle dig at my personality, my humor, my taste in clothes, my taste in television, everything.

I come from a long line of women who stand firmly in their beliefs and aren’t afraid to speak their minds. In particular, my sister, who is one of the most confident, beautiful, and exquisite creatures I have had the pleasure to encounter, has strong feelings about the word “basic.” She’s a senior at Northwestern University, studying Communications and Classics and absolutely slaying every aspect of her life. But she, like I, takes immense comfort in the more basic things in life. She sips on rosé on a Friday night with her girlfriends, she wears Brandy Melville in the most flawlessly hobo chic way, and she owns over two-hundred Essie nail polishes just because. She’s expressed her dislike for this term before, so I called her to ask what exactly it is about the word basic that bothers her so much:

“My real problem with basic is that it is misogynistic. It implies that things that are traditionally feminine are subject to derision and mockery.”

In our sisterhood, Hannah has always been the brain. She’s eloquent without pause and never loses an argument because her quick logic never fails. But never, in my twenty years, have I been so floored by a statement from her before (and trust me—I’ve heard a lot). It’s because it’s true. These concepts that are traditionally feminine, these joys we as women impart upon because we can, have become a point of humor and jest for those who don’t understand the comfort we find in them. You never, ever hear a guy being called basic; it’s always a girl. It packs a double punch in a world that’s already hard enough to live in. From body hair removal, which is painful and expensive, to having to follow these unspoken rules about dating--or a lack thereof--in this day and age, to suffering through Mother Nature's monthly gift, being a woman is hard. I'm not going to go on a feminist rant right here and right now, but when you really, truly think about what so many of us consider to be basic, there is undeniable effeminate essence to most.

I’ve called people basic. I'm not perfect and it's easy to get swept up in college life and the lingo and the standards and the labels. I imagine, however, that despite my being overemotional and sensitive, I am not the only one who has an aversion to this word. Next time you want to slap that label (or any label, for that matter) on someone, remember that you are taking a serious dig at the lifestyle they have chosen for themselves. No matter who you are, no matter what you are, no matter how you live your life—basic or not—as long as you are kind and live with a heart full of love to give to others, that’s all that matters.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.


Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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You Can Tell The Difference Between Momentary Happiness And Deeper Happiness

"At the end of your life, go out with a bruised-up, worn out heart that gave too much and loved too strongly and felt too fiercely. Go out with the certainty that you gave it everything you had and didn't hold anything back". - Heidi Priebe


First level happiness: Momentary

Momentary happiness is waking up early and watching the sunrise. It's the first sip of coffee in the morning. It's a big breakfast before a long day of doing what I love.

Momentary happiness is stepping into the restaurant I love and being surrounded by the people who have watched me grow up these past three years. It's understanding that this thing is about family just as much as it is business. It's falling in love with every early morning and every late night. It's learning that hard work isn't hard if you love what you're doing.

Momentary happiness is hitting a new personal record at the gym. It's that smile plastered across my face every time I enter a team huddle. It's down on one knee, all eyes on me. It's feeling the trust my team has in me. It's the feeling of joy when my number gets called. It's the burning in my lungs because I know that I gave it my everything. It's not being able to move without wincing the next day because the game asked for my hustle and I gave it my heart.

Momentary happiness is the instant you see someone you love and can't help but smile. It's the tight hug between you and someone that means the world to you. It's the weight off your shoulders when you finally express your true feelings. It's holding your breath as you wait for a response. Monetary happiness is being scared but doing it anyway.

Momentary happiness is coming home at night and having your dog jump on you the moment you open the door. It's your parents smiling, knowing you got home safe.

Momentary happiness is driving without a destination and simply reflecting on life. It's taking a step back and allowing myself to be aware of my breathing and existence. It's allowing myself to find pleasure in the little things.

Momentary happiness is getting accepted into college. It's getting that job. It's making the Dean's list. It's acing the test you study so hard for. It's watching your hard work pay off. It's finding your people. It's all the things that make you proud of yourself and happy to be alive.

Momentary happiness was buying my dream car at age 17 without my parents help.

A Deeper Happiness:

A deeper happiness is finding beauty in vulnerability. Not holding back my feelings and telling people how magnificent they are because people don't get told that enough. A deeper happiness is allowing me to feel everything deeply and without explanation. It's finding beauty in the madness and trusting the process.

Life's about getting lost in passion and dedicating myself to the things that matter most. It's wanting success as bad as I want to breathe. It's about taking that jump and seeing if I can land it, and if I don't, it's about being crazy enough to give it one more try. Life's about risking it all even if the outcome is uncertain. A deeper happiness is seeing myself grow into the person I've always wanted to become. Deeper happiness is being able to keep my promises to myself and others.

Life is about being empathetic. Finding out someone's story and attempting to understand their actions. It's about not taking things personally and allowing for second chances, even thirds. It's understanding that not every action needs a reaction. A greater happiness is caring for those around me just as much, if not more, than myself.

Life is embracing hardships and disappointments. Understanding that knowledge comes from experience and disappointments are all apart of the journey. A deeper happiness is understanding that this to shall pass. It's being able to laugh and smile even though things didn't go my way because everything that is meant to be will be. It's understanding that I will be stronger because of my defeats.

A deeper happiness is putting myself in hard situations, situations I know will hurt me. It's helping people get through their hard times. A deeper happiness is being the reason someone smiled. It's being the shoulder to cry on. It's wearing my heart on my sleeve because I would rather feel everything than nothing at all.

A deeper happiness is giving everything I have and being a better person than I was yesterday. Making my friends and family proud but myself prouder. A deeper happiness is leaving my mark on the world. It's about leaving a person, situation, and world better than I found it.

A beautiful, fulfilling life is one that money can't buy.

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