First off, I get it.
The whole #basic thing took off right behind #onfleek and when Fetty Wap made us notice the numbers 1738 everywhere.
It’s another way to say someone is clichéd, boring and nothing special.
A couple months ago, I was out at a bar with my girls.
"Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift came on, and my roommate absolutely loves Taylor Swift.
I pointed out the song to her, and we started singing together. A young man right next to us turned to his group of friends and said, “Let’s move. These girls are basic.”
"Excuse me?" I said when I turned to him.
To start off, all of my girlfriends are independent, hardworking, intelligent and funny women.
We all do challenging and very different jobs. We have college degrees. We pay our bills.
And putting all of that aside, who doesn't like Taylor Swift? For real.
So, this poor dude got a mini-lecture on why we aren’t basic. (Oops.)
But lately, I’ve noticed something new happening with “basic.”
The start of the fall season brought fall-related activities, including apple picking, pumpkin carving and baking whatever it is you want to bake with all those apples.
Everybody’s Instagram posts and tweets began hashtagging these things as “basic” (myself included).
On Snapchat, I’ve been getting selfies captioned, “Basic bathroom selfie.”
I’ve received Dunkin' Donuts breakfast photos captioned, “Basic white girl breakfast.”
My own apple picking photo with the girls was captioned, “Being basic,” followed by a bunch of apple and leaf emoji.
Clichéd, sure. Commonplace, yes. But did I mean boring or bad in some way? Not really.
I’ve come to the realization that “basic” just means “traditional.”
Activities like apple picking aren’t boring; they’re traditions.
Traditions of the season always make me think of family, and from that point of view, I love being basic because I love my family more than anything else.
A traditional event is something that has relevance and value.
If it wasn’t important, people wouldn’t do it on a regular basis.
When I think of traditional events, the first thing I think of is a traditional wedding with a white dress, beautiful flowers, the whole nine yards.
This is the idea we have in our heads of what a wedding should be like.
Of course, people change the traditional qualities of their weddings to best fit their personalities. But the traditional event is what we shape our big days around.
Next, there are traditional people.
Traditional people are often the type who play by the book, read directions, keep their word and keep it simple.
Doesn’t that sound like the type of friend or partner you’d want?
I think of the traditional couple as the couple who is true to one another in the most basic ways (excuse the term drop).
A traditional couple doesn’t include partners who cheat on one another or argue in the driveway for the neighbors to hear.
I think everyone is looking for a traditional romantic partner in some way or another.
If we take it a step further, “basic” is defined literally as something that is a simple necessity.
It is something essential and fundamental. Basic is the minimum required in whatever context you’re discussing.
The basic items needed for a vacation are great things. We’re talking your sunscreen, plane tickets and booze.
The basic items needed for you to qualify for that next job are nothing short of significant. That degree is something to be proud of, people.
We take years and years trying to figure out those basics.
So whether we’re describing something as necessary or traditional, I ask again, "How is basic bad?"
I’ve come to believe #basic has simply evolved from a term with a good connotation to one with a bad connotation.
But I’ve come to embrace basic, and now it just reminds me of all the things I do that are traditional or essential to my happiness.
And I dare anyone to try to call me basic for knowing Taylor Swift lyrics again.
Because let’s be real: That sh*t is essential.