Photo: Sex And The City/Facebook
Kate Bosworth, Kreayshawn, Rachel Bilson, even Ciara have all been called “basic bitches” at some time or another, much to their personal displeasure, we assume. But what does it even mean, really? Urban Dictionary’s first definition from 2009 defines it as “a bum-ass woman who think she the shit but really ain’t,” but is the definition even worth investigating or should we just move on to more positive things and leave the shade for the trees?
The basic bitch discussion is back on our minds thanks to a satirical video College Humor posted last month, “How To Tell If You’re A Basic Bitch,” and a whoollleeee bunch of reactionary pieces from the media, including an overview from The Cut that seeks to provide the most recent rundown of basic bitchness; Vice’s defense of the basic bitch (their example? It’s Britney, bitch); one woman’s declaration that she’s proud to be one; and many, many more.
College Humor’s video shows a girl and her boyfriend at the doctor who are dismayed to learn that the girl is indeed a basic bitch and has no chance of recovering and becoming a “bad bitch”* ever. The girl does things like get scooped bagels and post lame Instagrams from Vegas (#WhatHappensInVegasStaysInVegas #LoveMyGirls), which we’re led to believe are inexcusable offenses against both taste and decency.
The Cut’s reaction seeks to define different types of basic bitches, ultimately coming up with four different versions of this unseemly person: the girl who fronts like she’s all that; Kreyshawn’s basic bitch, someone so basic they’re basic…; the SATC-loving, peplum wearing basic bitch; and basic bitch as boring girlfriend (she just thinks she’s cool). Both are worth the watch/read for their humor, but in terms of the point, we’re left shaking our heads.
While the interpretations of both College Humor and The Cut are interesting perspectives of the term, if seemingly over-whitewashed, what’s most interesting is how people responded, especially on The Cut. To put it simply: They went IN. Commenters decried the propagation of the stereotype in the first place as another crappy way girls are insulting one another, and many wondered what was so wrong with just being “normal”–aptly noting that according to many of the definitions, most women are basic bitches anyway, and is that such a bad thing? People brought up the fact that once again white culture was taking an ostensibly black term and trying to make it their own–it’s Miley all over again. We honestly didn’t see one positive message in the whole bunch.
So we want to ask you, StyleBlazers, is defining the contemporary basic bitch worth the trouble? And if being basic is the worst of the worst, what should we be? If you’ve ever watched any Real Housewives of (Insert Preferred City here), being a bad bitch doesn’t look like a desirable alternative.
In my humble opinion, I say let’s move on. But then again, I’m trying this new thing where I don’t talk about people behind their backs. (Me and Cady Heron.)