It's a criticism leveled at women and women only. One we're supposed to be cool enough to laugh about because, you know, everyone's just kidding and geez why do we have to take things so seriously!?!
Being "Basic", in case you haven't heard, is based on female consumption choices. And while the trope to the right is slightly amusing, it also strikes a nerve with me because it's one more mainstream weapon in the mass artillery that pits woman against woman.
To me the Basic Bitch is the opposite of the Cool Girl as defined by Gillian Flynn in Gone Girl.
Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.Gillian Flynn's character goes on to say the problem with the Cool Girl is she doesn't exist. She's a trope. A creation no different than the Rules Girls who wait two days (I think, although I'm not entirely sure, having never been good at following any rules) to return phone calls.
The categories actively encourage us to dismiss women who makes choices that aren't as cool as ours. As in "OMG, she's so Basic! Why even bother?" But, hold on, I can still wrinkle my nose at the Cool Girl because, really, don't all her shenanigans amount to just trying too hard? Don't even get me started on those Rules Girls. They're so disingenuous!
These definitions allow us to write each other off while simultaneously reconfirming our superiority. Is that healthy? Is that really what people need to walk through this world? And isn't the need to shove womankind into prepackaged categories, well, a little Basic in and of itself?
As for me, I indulge in my love of yoga, food on sticks and although sometimes I don't return phone calls, it's usually just because I had a busy day.
Most of the women I know defy easy categorization. They're varied, unique and interesting in a way that has nothing to do with how they interact with consumer culture and everything to do with how they think.
I suppose if I wanted to, I could slap a label on the women I meet based on their love of lattes, reproductive decisions or predilection for poker, but then the loss would truly be mine.
And given all I have to gain from the treasure trove that is womankind, that's not a loss I'm willing to take.