I’m not exactly sure when being “basic” became a thing. Every now and then, someone mentions basic bitches in front of Julie and me, and we’re always just a little bit perplexed. Who is basic? What is basic? Are we basic? Is basic starting to sound funny to anybody else?
I bring up the basics because it is now officially fall in New Hampshire, and when the leaves start to turn, people basically go nuts. I mean they start to say the word basic, like, all the fucking time. Julie and I have done some extensive research on the subject. By that I mean Julie once interrogated her guy friends in Ireland for an entire afternoon about what they considered to be “basic,” and I sent a Snapchat with a vest pun in it about ten minutes ago. We also both have Twitter accounts. So we’re basic sociologists, basically.
From what we’ve gathered, basic is an adjective assigned to most females between the ages of fifteen and twenty-two. If you’ve never been called basic, but are interested in conducting a relatively basic social experiment, consider wearing/buying/borrowing any of the following items:
- Yoga pants
- Dark-wash jeans
- Regular jeans
- A black vest
- A Northface jacket
- A black, Northface vest (double points there)
- Boots from L.L. Bean
- Ugg Boots
- Knock-off boots from Ugg or L.L. Bean
- Brown or black boots of any kind
- A Starbucks coffee
- A non-Starbucks coffee
- A pumpkin spice coffee
- Any coffee, really
- An Instagram account containing any combination of two or more items listed above
The “basic” label irks me at a very basic level. Julie and I have talked about the phenomenon at length, and we both agree that the whole thing just leaves a sour taste in our mouths. (But then again, that might just be the pumpkin spice coffee.) My favorite clothing store ever is actually called Basics—I am a firm and forever believer in cotton grey t-shirts—so I was surprised when I started hearing the word used as such a backhanded insult.
There’s an inferiority to it, really. When I think basic, I think beige walls, empty rooms, and cable packages that definitely don’t include HBO. Basic is the minimum. Basic is in need of an upgrade. Basic is less. And when it comes to basic bitches—or, as I sometimes like to call them, girls—that’s just not true.
This past weekend was Homecoming at UNH, and along with being the most magical and beer-filled weekend of the entire year, it is also a fantastic opportunity for thousands of drunk people to wear more or less the same outfit in a relatively confined area. If I had a quarter for every time someone in my general vicinity looked out and commented on how “basic” the entire tailgating field looked, I’d have four quarters.
In the group of five kickass girls that I hung with at Homecoming, three of us wore vests. Three of us wore boots of the L.L. Bean-esque variety, although Julie’s were this weird green waterproof kind that she got before she went to Ireland, so I’m not sure if that counts. One of us wore a flannel, but she’s Canadian, and can you really be basic and Canadian at the same time? I’ll have to check the manual.
Basically, being basic isn’t a real thing. You can have your pumpkin spice coffee and drink it too and then spill it on your vest, and no one really gives a fuck. That’s how the old saying goes, right?
Basic or elaborate or whatever the hell we were this weekend, we were all definitively twenty-one. So do you know what that means, future employers? Beer pictures! So many beer pictures!
Happy Homecoming to all, and to all, a black vest. Stay toasty, my friends.