The other day, I walked into one of my neighborhood's relatively new-ish juice places (there are several) to order a smoothie. It was a good decision. The smoothie I ordered was so delicious that as I walked down the block drinking it, I actually wondered why people ever eat anything else.
"There should be a meal plan where this is all you ever ingest," I thought to myself. Yes, in my own sweet and simple way, I had just invented the juice cleanse. You're welcome, Gwyneth.
But then I had another thought that stopped me dead in my tracks: "Am I ...#basic?"
I texted a friend: "Do you think I'm basic?" She replied no, but it was too late. Thinking makes it so. I was — I BECAME, I am — a very basic bitch.
The concept of a "basic bitch" is one that's been spilling a lot of online ink lately. If you're unfamiliar, The Cut's Maggie Lange recently put together a handy guide to the basic bitch and where she came from, writing:
She exists in contrast to the Bad Bitch, the Boss Bitch, and the Dope Bitch. But who is she, really? The Basic Bitch has long been an ambiguous figure. Only recently has a clear definition of the Basic Bitch seemed to crystallize in the popular imagination. Last week, the success of a popular College Humor video relied on viewers' recognition of the Basic Bitch as a distinct type: a terminally boring Sex and the City viewer and consumer of pumpkin-spice lattes.
If you need to further educate yourself (because you're basic), you can watch the College Humor video Lange is referencing here:
But like with a lot of things that are supposedly new to the cultural consciousness, the "basic bitch" is really only new to one narrow part of our culture — white people. And just like with everything else that we've tried to take over (Brooklyn, jazz, any kind of martial art), we're ruining it.
The term "basic bitch" started to become commonplace in hip hop about 5 years ago; a short while later, Kreayshawn caught wind of it and then she was followed by other white people — the kind of white people who say stuff like "I'm sooooo basic right now" as they order at Starbucks...or the kind of white people who write for Jezebel and fall into a state of crisis as they consider their own basic-ness while drinking a smoothie on a gentrified New York street corner.
The whole thing leads us to an important philosophical question: First, what happened to Kreashawn? But more importantly, does white people's embrace of the insult "basic" make "basic" basic in and of itself? If a basic bitch falls in the woods, does she make a sound?
She does, as it turns out. It goes a little something like, "I can't even." As for the bigger quandary at hand, yes, basic has become basic. Basic is as basic does. Pat Boone yourself on the back, whitey! You've claimed another thing, watered it down and made it dumb. How very basic of you.
Image via Shutterstock.