In Defense of Being Basic

Embracing the basic as an act of feminist rebellion

A young woman wearing a plaid scarf holds a Starbucks mug containing a latte (presumably a pumpkin spice latte).
A young woman wearing a plaid scarf holds a Starbucks mug containing a latte (presumably a pumpkin spice latte).
Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

Can things that are popular with young men ever even be considered basic?

The idea that women should feel ashamed for the things they enjoy, or that those things are somehow objectively not good, is a profoundly misogynistic construct and, unfortunately, one that’s socially pervasive and echoed by men and women alike. In fact, the phrase itself is used far more frequently by women describing other women than it ever is by men.

It’s why it’s socially acceptable for little girls to play sports but the horror of all horrors if a little boy wants to do ballet.

Things that unite straight boys and men manage to escape the very criticisms that created the basic label in the first place. At worst some of the things I listed may still be referred to as “bro-ey,” but even that doesn’t carry quite the same negative connotation or stereotypes that basic does. If you’re a bro, you’re not necessarily also brainless, uninteresting, or devoid of an original personality.

We announce that we’re “not like other girls” and we “get along better with guys because girls are too much drama.”

But it isn’t natural. Our relationships with other women are challenged almost from their inception, and so we bond over the things that make up our shared culture. Then, later, when we discover that being a girl and liking things that other girls like makes us uncool and uninteresting and basic, we do our best to distance ourselves from all of it. We announce that we’re “not like other girls” and we “get along better with guys because girls are too much drama.”

Follow along on my quest to make diet culture another millennial casualty. Find me on Insta @life_after_diets

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