Letting Go of the “Basic Girl” Stereotype

todayJune 20, 2022 228 3

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By Camryn Cole
Web Content Contributor

It’s the adjective we all have heard at some point in our lives, usually as an insult.

I was first described as “basic” by one of my peers when I was 11 years old. I simply loved cartoons, the music from Disney Channel stars, and running outside on the playground. Essentially I was told that my interests were unoriginal at a young age. However, I am not the only person who has experienced the ironically overused insult.

Whether it’s a girl drinking an iced coffee or a woman listening to a top 40 song, we label them as “basic” and unoriginal. We dictate them based on their hobbies, the things they enjoy, and the clothes they wear.

A girl wears a baggy dark blue shirt, leggings, and dirty white converse. She is holding a coffee at her side.
An outfit I wore in college that was deemed “basic”

When the term erupted during my middle school years, a “basic girl” was described as a girl wearing baggy t-shirts and leggings with white high-top converse. They loved Starbucks Frappuccinos, messy buns, and One Direction. This negative stereotype caused me to have the mindset of not wanting to be “like other girls.” I developed an alternative phase, and though I loved components of it, it still wasn’t entirely me.

The mentality of judging women for enjoying trends and embracing their interests has gotten old. Why do we feel the need to judge others for what they like? The term perpetuates a toxic mindset in young girls. They begin to think that they must be entirely original. Otherwise, they don’t stand out.

Not only is the pressure to be different exhausting, it’s also unrealistic. Everyone is unique in their own way, but their uniqueness comes from the mix of things they enjoy. The disdain that many young girls have for pop culture is unfortunate. Popular things gain their admiration because people like them. While it is okay to love things outside of pop culture, it is also okay to love things that are part of it.

The last time I was labeled a “basic girl” was recent. I wore a baggy tee with my leggings and converse. The night before was filled with studying and stress. I had no energy to dress nice, choosing comfort over fashion that day. I hadn’t heard the term in years and was surprised to learn that it was still being used in 2022. Rather than getting offended, I smiled and shrugged. No one should fear being the average girl simply because the average girl doesn’t exist.

A basic girl isn’t actually basic. She simply likes things that other people like and that is normal. All of us are one of a kind, and no one should judge others for having common interests. The basic girl stereotype is overused and unoriginal. There’s a lot of irony behind that, in my opinion.

When I learned that I shouldn’t care what people think of me, I became much happier! I’m now in my college years, enjoying Marvel movies and my iced lattes. I love alternative music and writing short stories. If my interests are basic, then so be it. I’ll wear the label with pride.


Featured Image by Camryn Cole.

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