The word “basic”, in slang usage at least, means to be like other girls. To be like other girls in a negative way. And not bad in a sense which these girls are judgmental or problematic or doing anything morally wrong… but bad in the sense that they are too similar to other girls.
When a girl does something as simple as drink Starbucks she’s called “basic”. Now, basic isn’t an offensive word, but it simply puts girls down for being like each other — for liking the same things that just happen to be liked by many other girls. But who decided that this was a bad thing? When was it decided that if a girl is similar to others that she’s maybe boring or unoriginal? Basic is being used against girls and women to divide us to prevent us from enjoying things at the fear of being thought of this way. To have us striving to be different and tomboy-esque. “Basic” pits women against other women when we should be supporting each other as best as we can!
In our daily lives, there has always been pressure to be better than one another. However, “basic” is not the only trend with this outcome. The Twitterverse has taken to this mindset as well. A more-recent trend have been “me vs you” posts, which show two images, one seen as superior to the other, as to represent the “me” and the other, “you”. For whatever reason, young people seem to create competition out of boredom. And while these posts are often jokes and not directed at a specific person, they perfectly demonstrate an internal mindset that says women need to better, and under no circumstance, similar to one another. That we cannot co-exist happily and like the same things because that makes us too alike… and that’s bad.
From social media to music, the idea of being “like other girls” has for a long time been portrayed as negative. In order to accomplish our goals as women, we must first learn to coexist without comparison or needless competition among ourselves. We need to learn how to be similar and how to be proud that we have the ability to share common interests and likenesses with each other. Women need to stand for other women! Remember this the next time you feel the need to stop yourself from doing something deemed “basic”.
(“Most Girls” by Hailee Steinfeld plays in distance)