You’re So Basic

If you are anywhere between the ages of 12 and 25, you’ve likely heard of the term “basic.” It’s exact meaning is unclear, but the word is used to describe anything stereotypical and expected, especially in regards to teenage girls.*

“Basic” has developed into a cultural phenomena: a lifestyle that is both strived after and avoided at all costs.

Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 5.58.03 PM

See also: artsy, tumblr, aesthetic

Recently, I was reading a post from the lovely MyLifeOnline**, in which she lists all of the characteristics considered “basic.”  The post is extremely accurate: including the general “breathing” as well as the oddly specific “use mason jars.”

After reading the post, I was again reminded of how much the concept of “basic-ness” plays a role in my life.

As a teenage girl myself, I regularly hear comments like: “that person’s too basic,” “you’re so basic,” “I like basic clothing, etc.”

And I always wonder: Why does this concept exist in our culture? 

I’m not entirely sure why, but I do have a personal theory that I would like to share.


You want to be basic? Shop at Brandy [heart emoji] Melville.

Teenage years are chaotic and messy, full of fitting in and falling out. Interests change, hormones change; people begin to realize who and what they are. Above all, there is the underlying idea of the “status quo” –what is expected in society.

The choice to adhere to or challenge the status quo ultimately defines a person during this time of their life. Many teenagers like rebelling, both to express their true selves themselves or just to be different. (It’s not a phase Mom!!) However, there’s also the mold of trying to fit in; taking comfort in the security of societal expectations.

I believe that the concept of “basic-ness” is a manifestation of this theme. To be basic is to fit in with the cultural status quo (right now that’s something along the lines “artsy-aesthetic-tumblr.”) People both identify with and shun the “basic” lifestyle.

On the surface, “basic” appears only to be a facet of teenage culture. However, it reflects much more complex aspects of adolescence and society.

Well, that’s my idea. 🙂

Now it’s my turn to ask you. What do you think? How does “basic-ness” affect you personally?


Brandy Melville Link




10 thoughts on “You’re So Basic

  1. myintergalaticblog says:

    Hi! At my school the term ‘basic’ is used as a bit of an insult, so I find it hard to do/wear things that are in the middle of ‘too basic’ and ‘uncool’. Great post by the way x

    Liked by 3 people

  2. a hopeless dreamer says:

    I enjoyed this post haha. Personally it’s not something I hear but I’ve seen an argument start over the subject. Thanks for the support also 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s