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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

What’s wrong with being basic?

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While scrolling through social media feeds, you will most likely see the word “basic” being thrown around in casual conversation at some point.

Typically, they are not referring to an element with a pH level greater than seven. No, more often than not, the word is being used to describe someone— almost always a young millennial girl— who is a predictable consumer.

This word merely represents another word that enables us to tear down girls for publicly liking anything, from clothing to flavors to movies; it seems like girls just can’t win.

“Basic,” the shortened term for “basic bitch,” has been used since around 2011 to demean girls who consume mainstream products marketed for women, according to Google Trends.

Urban Dictionary defines basic as a word “used to describe someone devoid of defining characteristics that might make a person interesting, extraordinary or just simply worth devoting time or attention to.”

What does that mean exactly? Essentially, the word can apply to anyone who follows in line with buying Victoria’s Secret PINK clothing, Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks or owns UGG boots.

You are basic if you have fallen into the trends that so many young girls follow. You obsess over posting just the right Instagram photos, drinking coffee and buying fall-scented candles.

It is now exhausting to hear the word pinned to a young girl who happens to like the same things as her friends and thousands of other female influences surrounding her.

What about the male equivalent for basic bitches, though? “Bros” are fairly widely accepted rather than ridiculed.

Why have girls gotten so much flack for being “basic” consumers of products marketed toward them and massively consumed by their peers? “Bros” do not tend to get ostracized as much as their female counterparts.

College campuses nationwide are crawling with boys wearing bro tank tops, khaki shorts and high Nike socks. They love their mom but disrespect girls; they are the poster children for “Netflix and chill.”

Bros do admittedly get backlash from girls their age for following one another, but it is not nearly to the extent that basic girls are called out for.

I would like to watch the world stop me from Instagramming a picture of my morning coffee or a landscape of fall weather, proclaiming it to be pumpkin spice season.

I will watch “Sex and the City” every day of my life until my heart’s content.

I will continue to support girls for wearing nothing but Lululemon leggings and Birkenstock sandals to class every day.

There shouldn’t be anything wrong with being “basic.” Allowing masses of people to criticize others for consuming the same products and utilize the same media as everyone else is counterproductive to supporting one another.

Katelyn Martin can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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Katelyn Martin, Staff Writer

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  • D

    Diesel // Nov 4, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    this article started out good until you turned it into a gender issue. I agree there is nothing wrong with being “basic” and women are unfairly criticized but “bros” are ridiculed as well. It should also be noted that women primarily are called “basic” by other women. I have only heard my male peers use it in a mocking manner of other women. it is women who judge other women harshest, not men.

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