I’m having difficulty working out my feelings for the term “Basic Bitch”. On the one hand I’m so glad it exists because it describes 70% of the girls I went to school with. It used to be “Who’s he seeing now?” “Oh just some boring girl, seriously I can’t remember what her face looks like, she likes musicals and Winnie the Pooh – she still clips half of her finge back, she wears white cardigans, I think she started her period when she was 18..” etc etc, but now “Some Basic Bitch.” and we no longer have to spend any time thinking about which Basic Bitch it may be. On the other hand though I realise that because most of society’s nurses, childcare professionals, charity workers and primary school teachers are likely to be females and basic, maybe insulting them is a bit tight.
A lot of people think that to be the opposite of basic you have to be going to the right clubs in the right cities and be wearing the right clothes. I defy that because I’m on a train somewhere in the North West of England wearing mostly Primark clothing rather than something out of a smack head’s bin or whatever and I still relish throwing around the “Basic Bitch” term with aplomb. I don’t think it’s something that should be used lightly though, the girls I’ve applied it to so far didn’t make the grade merely by wearing bootleg jeans and totally not getting irony, but it certainly helps. I had to endure years of schooling with the most outrageous basics, they’re boring – yes- but they’re also small minded and they love banding about the term “FAIR ENOUGH”, fucking – fuck off.
I do think it’s a great feminist moment, because it’s actually a bit of a hard time having interests, confidence and enthusiasm as a girl growing up. It’s a much easier ride to just go along with what’s popular, sure our pay off for being culturally aware is just that, but when you’re amongst friends and equals it’s a pretty good feeling to be able to verbally and succinctly shit on the girls who used to look down on you at school for not making those fucking scoobie things or listening to The Pussycat Dolls.
It’s a struggle for me though because ideologically I don’t think anyone should be a cultural snob, I like the Utilitarian idea that “pushpin is as good as poetry”. But thinking about it, I think I hold that idea because of some ingrained arrogance that even if no one believes me, my taste in telly and films and music just is the right one, so there’ no point in being objective about these things anyway. Maybe it’s that our cultural landscape has sort of flat lined, there was a time when English Literature wasn’t deemed an academic subject and viewed in the same sort of way some people view film studies today. Nowadays it’s rare that anyone is undermining the merits of television as an important cultural beacon, we’re all agreed about the format, no one’s saying that we should all be going to the opera instead, it’s just that now we’re getting picky about which programmes we associate ourselves with. Other things we feel at liberty to look down on people for is their inability to grasp social media, the accessories they have in their cars i.e “powered by fairy dust”, the sorts of activities they’re getting up to on their hen night aged 23 and their stuffed toy collection.
Although I was thinking the whole time ‘this girl is such a Basic Bitch’ I did agree with some points of Daisy Buchanan’s article “Why I’m proud to be a Basic Bitch” in the Guardian. It’s true that a competitive race to be the most bohemian has lead to a saturation of trends, and that actually it’s refreshing to just meet a normal girl who likes Friends. I found it irritating working in a trendy coffee shop where we screened art house cinema films on one wall, they were aesthetically pleasing but in all honesty how could anyone rate a film about a red balloon flying up a street as better than Mean Girls?
I think that Daisy might have slightly missed the point though, she tries and sort of fails to take the piss out of an imagined “silent taxidermy disco” – well that’s just ridiculous isn’t it Daisy – and says she’d rather be posting a facebook status about being at “All Bar One drinking bubbly with the girls”. Well I don’t think anyone would rather be ‘sticking tiny wire spectacles on owls’ but I wouldn’t facebook about either of those things because the main trait of a Basic Bitch is assuming other people care about every facet of your daily existence.
IMHO, being a basic bitch isn’t a question of tastes and hobbies, it’s an attitude of colouring in the lines of life that I find so infuriating, it’s following the crowd, but not the lines that a so called hipster would delineate – it’s their everyday conservatism to be found in conversation, not just appearance. They’re annoying and thick, but safe and nice. They’re the sort of girl all my exes and future exes will end up with, and that’s ultimately why I’m so keen on the term.
Noisey posted a handy guide for Basic Bitches at Coachella this year and it was met with a few negative comments. Guys shit on each other all the time for being a “douchebag” or a “bro”, I think it’s absolutely fine that girls get to be a little mean because they have the wit and wherewithal to do so, I think the problem is that some people still think girls aren’t allowed to mean to each other, because being a feminist is all about being “sisters”. No, being a feminist is about being a person, being tolerant and nice is what being a “tolerant nice person” is about and that’s not mutually exclusive to feminism. I like to live by the mantra “do it – it’ll be funny” anyway and I will till I die.
Calling another girl a Basic Bitch is a bit of a self congratulatory pat on the back, but don’t rest on your laurels girls, I bet I’ve been called a Basic Bitch by someone and I bet the Bitches I class as basic think they’re the shit too and are looking down on girls somehow even more basic than them, it’s a bitch eat bitch world.
I just see the Basic Bitch tag line as a useful way of identifying what type of bitch has done one of my friends wrong when we’re having a conversation about them. In the case of nodding along with the Coachella guide article and similar offerings, all the basic bitches who are offended by that, just remember that as with any lingering hatred of a particular clique – it’s something I do because ultimately I have to make myself feel better in some way for being lonely and bitter as a result of living in a small town and not succumbing to being one of you.