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Why We Need To Stop Calling Ourselves And Others “Basic”

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As a necessary disclaimer, I’d like to make it known that people who are easily offended fall at the very top of my shit list. There are way too many people crying wolf on the internet these days, and I’d rather lock myself in a decrepit fraternity basement blasting Rebecca Black’s “Friday” on repeat while chugging store-brand tequila than find myself under the same category. I don’t pretend to be overly oppressed by labels that do nothing other than annoy me. That being said, I feel safe enough to admit the following: I really want to cuntpunch the term “basic.”

Urban Dictionary defines “basic” as “An adjective used to describe any person, place, activity involving obscenely obvious behavior, dress, action.” I’ll consider this definition, since I refer to Urban Dicitonary as “the website that I discretely check on my phone when talking to a person who uses a phrase I don’t know so that I can have a normal response and make them think I have a social life.”

To be fair, I will admit that we sorority girls definitely tend to indulge in the same clothes, phrases, music, and complicated Starbucks orders. It is completely normal for me to see an abundance of candid shots and eerily similar outfits all over the homepage of my Instagram. And even I, the most pathetic excuse for a sratstar that any chapter will ever see, cannot resist a spirit jersey fresh from the dryer or a white wine with a nice, educational documentary three hour Gossip Girl binge.

Like any well-educated American lady, I’m obviously a diehard advocate for originality. I think that the atypical things that we do and say make us different from those around us, and that those differences should be embraced in a way that makes us learn and grow from those who we care about. There is definitely a beauty to diversity, even when it means that my roommates and I take three hours to agree on a movie.

So while we may wear similar clothes and say simiar things, we are still individuals. There’s a balance between outward conformity and internal originality, and we seem to be forgetting that each and every girl has the latter. I think it’s a blessing that popular trends are able to bring us together; however, such predictable characteristics or tendencies are lately seen as more than simple fads or styles. They’re seen in such a way that those guilty of partaking are condemned as basic, which I consider to be a negative word in any context.

The underlying issue behind the “b” word lies in the sad truth: calling another girl basic reduces her worth to the superficial items like the Ugg boots on her feet or the ombre in her hair. It’s basically like saying, “You might be an intitutive and original person, but you’re wearing a kimono and high waisted jean shorts so Imma just label your existence as something less and move on with my life.” This is idea is legitimately dumber than Kim K, and we’re better than that. We should know by now that what we wear or say does not define who we are as people, and I highly doubt that there is even one single person who’s entire existence is accurately summarized by the word “basic.”

Think of the last girl you called basic. Whether she’s a friend, an enemy, or even yourself, you know there is so much more to her than her outward appearance. She has talent, integrity, and dreams. She is perfectly original in her own way, and the fact that she’s listening to Taylor Swift while drinking a PSL doesn’t give anyone the right to make judgements. Partaking in trends does not mean that you always conform to those around you or lack judgement. It simply means that you are a product of your time and environment, and enjoy what is currently in style for your social group. The fact that we go out of our way to passive aggressively make people feel bad about this is ridiculous, and I say we cut the shit and eliminate the word completely.

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Lucky Jo

Lucky Jo is a former and current TSM writer who likes her men how she likes her coffee: way too hot and unforgivably bitter. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 2016, proving that C's do in fact get degrees. She now spends her days working for a social media marketing agency, hiking with her dachshund, and trying to bring back the scrunchie. Hate mail and goat memes can be sent to lucyjmulvihill@gmail.com.

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