Why IDGAF if you call me basic

A few weeks back, I attended an event with my best friend. The purpose of the event was quite literally for girls to support each other and that’s exactly why I was there with my best friend and a couple of other girls I kind of knew. So this one girl I kind of knew threw out a shocking one liner. Cornering me outside some portaloos and beaming into my eyes, she somehow thought it was okay to tell me that my friend and I are “typical.”

To elaborate: “just typical girls.” I was unusually quiet and non-confrontational. How does one respond to that? She actually seemed pleased with herself, like she’d paid me some kind of compliment… Perhaps I am awfully paranoid and ought to start writing about something important like how only 69 percent of teenage girls identify as feminists (wtf??), but I suspect this compliment was laced with a spiteful edge of “I am better than you because I am in touch with my spiritual side and don’t wear makeup or dare order a pornstar martini.”

And then the rest of the conversation went something like this: “But it’s okay because you own it. I love it.” And then, “Why didn’t you join in with the self healing-self defense-incense burning activities? I suppose that’s just not your thing, is it?”

Ha. No, it isn’t my thing.

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Forgive me, but here’s my idea of self-healing. If I’m having man trouble I’m going to slap on a box dye or get my nails done. If I’m feeling some inner conflict about my future I might have dinner with my parents. Had a crappy week at work? I’m almost certainly getting a couple bottles of wine in with my girls. And what’s more, all three of those plans would be accompanied by a heavy dose of reality TV. I’m thinking The Real Housewives of Wherever.

The idea of calling a girl “basic” has been around for a long time now, since pumpkin spiced lattes and Ugg boots were first blacklisted, and I’ll admit I’ve been the first to throw around the word for far less offensive acts.

Now, I’ve never had a PSL (far too sugary; I’m sweet enough, boys) and I’m going to stand by the sentiment that Uggs are evil. But I DO shop on the high street, I DO tend to keep my Insta-feed on fleek and I DO call Bella Hadid my girl crush. If that’s not basic I don’t know what is.

The problem with running  in fear from the notion that somebody could call us the b-word (or in my case the t-word) is the high chance of tripping into a giant puddle of pretentious. I’ve been there, whether it was writing blog posts about how I hated pop music or the fact that everyone was obsessed with Alexander Wang.

I have also noticed that boys subscribe to all this too. Whilst no guy’s seriously gonna use the term “basic bitch,” I’m pretty sure almost every guy who’s been interested in me has said something similar to, “You’re different to typical girls,” usually followed by “you dress cool.”

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This used to be my favorite ever compliment and almost some sort of ego-driven foreplay, but I now wonder why, as this is LITERALLY the type of cliche shit boys say to probably ANY girl they’ve ever encountered. There are hundreds of rom-coms proving this point.

Anyway, nowadays I’d rather listen to SZA’s Ctrl on a loop for weeks on end than hunt out a new french electronic band, I like getting my nails done and I sometimes I wear things because I think they are cute. In life, sometimes it’s hard to avoid the notion that some girls are way cooler or way edgier (please read my irony) than you are. Working in fashion for example, it’s easy to assume that everyone is super alternative, wears very very rare and expensive clothes, listens to music you’ve never heard of and parties in clubs you’d never be allowed in.

The reality (albeit maybe only my reality) is that in many offices, studios and showrooms, the top ten is playing on repeat, someone’s addicted to iced lattes or avocado, and everyone’s reading about Kylie Jenner on the trashiest news website.

I think it’s time to make a new definition for “typical girl.” What do we have in common regardless of our opinions, music tastes, extra curricular activities, dress sense and coffee of choice? Is it the desire to prove ourselves in a shared fight for equality (at least for the 69 percent of us)? Is it the strength and self motivation to make our mark and be as successful as the next? Is it the heart to support and love our sisters, mothers, girlfriends and female colleagues?

Whatever it is, I’m just glad I got a very low rating of “basic” on this Buzzfeed quiz from 2014.

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