We live in an extremely critical world. Everybody is constantly either being judged or judging others, whether it is on purpose or subconsciously.
There are always new trends circulating and old ones falling out of the fashion. Some people are always on top of these trends and look forward to trying new things. Others find the mainstream utterly undesirable and even unoriginal.
When it comes to those who follow the crowd, people are often quick to judge and generalize.
Something I find absurd is the concept of being “basic.” I’ve heard so many people refer to women as “basic” over the past few years whether it was online or in person. Most people connect being “basic” with following mainstream trends. If you enjoy Starbucks, leggings, contouring makeup or following any general trend, you’re unoriginal and fake, according to some people.
I thought society’s general job was to shame the people who went against the crowd, not the people who keep up with the new trends. These trend-followers aren’t hurting anybody, so what’s the point of making fun of them?
When a woman posts a mirror selfie, she shouldn’t feel unoriginal or lame. Nor should someone feel embarrassed for ordering a drink with a “girly” name, which it absolutely ridiculous to say, and I constantly tell people how sexist it is.
There seems to be a harsh divide between those who do the “basic” shaming and those who are the “basic” ones. The people who shame are often the ones who are turned off by things that are popular. These people don’t allow themselves to enjoy certain things because they don’t want to appear like clones of their peers. This is understandable because everybody wants to feel like a unique individual. However, that doesn’t mean the people who care about what’s new are all the same.
The idea of “basic” shaming stems from the general idea that enjoying feminine things is bad. Society’s ingrained misogyny has taught us to judge women’s actions more than men’s. “Basic” shaming is a result of this way of thinking.
If a man orders an Angry Orchard instead of Bud Light, his friends would have a laughing fit and call him a wimp or a girl. And trust me, I’ve seen it happen on many occasions over the summer.
It’s unfair that people limit themselves and their pleasures because they don’t want to appear like a stereotype.
I’m a complete advocate for doing what you want to do and doing it unapologetically. Generalizing people into groups and labels doesn’t help anyone.
Next time you are about to shame someone for being “basic,” I want you to really think about what you’re saying. Is someone doing something that is offensive or hurtful to you or somebody around you? Do you really need to make a negative comment on somebody’s looks, behavior or attitude if it’s not affecting you?
Let people live their lives the way they choose to. Practice being a more tolerant person, and hold your tongue the next time your friend rolls up with a grande frappuccino and Pink yoga pants on.
Email Laura Schmidt at firstname.lastname@example.org