Opinion: God Bless the Basics

Oh autumn, the height of “basicism.” Of course summer, with its proliferation of red, white and blue clothing, is a great time for the Basics. Winter, too, has its fair share of opportune sweater events. Even spring can offer up a perfect picnic day: the “pic” part of picnic is key there. But today the leaves are changing colors and fall foliage reigns supreme on Instagram. The warm scent of PSLs is in the air and the leggings-sweater combo is on parade again. Primetime for the Basic is now.

The recent influx of basic behavior has driven the rest of society to react with condemnation. No longer are Basics free to express their love for apple picking without criticism. With distaste for all things basic circulating, haters have even suggested that Basics wear scarlet Bs on their Jcrew sweaters. Here’s the deal: the haters are mislead and Basic shaming is misguided. Instead of mocking their unoriginality, we should learn to appreciate their wisdom and brilliance of their lifestyle choices.

Photo courtesy of xxfalltowinterxx / Tumblr

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The biggest cause of Basic-shaming is a lack of understanding. A basic lifestyle doesn’t equate to being unimaginative or unintelligent. Since when does taking photos in front of the American flag make you dumb? Enjoying Pumpkin Spice Lattes does not correlate with having a low IQ. Being “unoriginal” isn’t about not having the brainpower to break away from the norm. It means that Basics know what they like, and they don’t care that people (mainly bros and hipsters) think they’re any less human because of it. Besides, let thou who does not enjoy a PSL cast the first stone.

Bros just love to hate on Basics. However, being a Bro is much more annoying than being a Basic to the rest of the world. Bros are way more in-your-face than Basics about their culture. A general arrogance and lack of respect for others is integral to the Bro philosophy. Basics would never be like that. It’s bad karma.

Ambrey, A&S '17 noted, “Hipster culture is so overblown. It takes more courage to be basic nowadays.” In other words, being hipster is incredibly mainstream now. Living “outside the box” is cliché and so is living inside of it . The popular desire to be original for originality’s sake has created confusion to the notion of conformity.

A huge part of the hipster philosophy is cynicism toward the mainstream. The modern hipster movement—big glasses, flannels, indie music—came before today’s Basic wave—leggings, Hunter boots, girl power anthems. What if basicism is really just a backlash to the cynicism of hipster scum? The Basic culture is a positive culture! They aren’t afraid to be happy in a society that values misery. Being one of the Basics doesn’t look so lame now that its framed it as a counterculture movement, eh?

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If anything, Basics are vital to society in order to maintain a mainstream culture apart from the hipster culture. Without a subdued mainstream, what would be the point of being weird? Imagine the 1950s without the doo-wops and diners. There’d be no one to compare hippies to later on. In fact, there wouldn’t be hippies in the first place. How lame is that? I can’t stress the necessity of a mainstream enough. We simply cannot let hipster become the norm: for their sake and our own.

What’s so great about being basic? First, stop assuming that Basics only filter their persona to seem #blessed. Some could be miserable, but that’s a personal issue. Basics are doing what they love to do, it just happens to be that a lot of people also like to do the same thing. If a certain activity or fashion choice makes a person happy, it is likely that it will make many others happy. There is nothing wrong with that.

Cheers to the Basics! Good for you for doing what you love in the face of everyone else’s cynicism. When in doubt, remember the words of your idol: “Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.” Keep on “shakin’ it off,” ladies and gentlemen!

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Managing editor. Lover of history and all things 1960s. Lives by the lessons of The Rocky Horror Picture Show: "Don't dream it, be it."

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