- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 07 October 2015
- Written by THE OUTLOOK STAFF
As the month of October is upon us, along with UGG boots and warm sweaters, our generation’s made up term “basic” will be seen all over social media as fast as you could say pumpkin spice latte.
According to Urban Dictionary, the term “basic” describes someone who is obscenely obvious in behavior, dress, or action. A picture of a girl dressed in fall attire with a Starbucks drink in hand, is considered basic.
Engaging in fall activities and posting about it on Instagram will have the hashtag #basic below the caption. Basic has a negative connotation and really cannot be used to describe someone’s style or choice of drink.
The first trace of this term can be found in a comedy routine by Lil Duval in 2009, according to americanreader.com.
In the following years, the term gained popularity all over the Internet with captions and hashtags using the basic to describe people and lifestyles.
The Outlook editors are divided when it comes to the term “basic” to describe someone.
One editor said, “I think this term was coined by hipsters who want to make people feel bad about following trends.”
“Basic is the description of someone who chooses to go to Starbucks in the morning for their pumpkin spice latte, while wearing black leggings and a Pink shirt. It’s a stereotype,” said an editor.
Other editors don’t take using the term basic too seriously and just think it’s a silly word that has a huge following.
“I don’t think it using the word basic is a bad thing. If you’re more of a person who likes to blend in then it is fine! I don’t think “basic” is really something that is a vicious insult. It is usually used mockingly, like a joke. And sometimes you can’t help but be basic,” said another editor.
Basic is often misused as a term for fake or having a fake personality when it really is just enjoying popular things,” said an editor.
Some editors even think using basic to describe people, destroys one’s individuality.
“I think the whole idea behind being basic is dumb. Who cares if someone is following a trend simply because they like it?” said one editor.
Along with girls having the “basic” stereotype, the term basic does not discriminate against guys.
“Guys can be described as basic in a different way. They either dress in Nike clothes with black sweatpants or pastel shorts and boat shoes,” one editor said.
According to one editor,“There are just two different kinds of basic to stereotype and describe people. There’s the Starbucks and yoga pants basic that you see on campus [in the fall], but in the summer girls are constantly taking selfies with their friends or their drinks or at the beach with their sunglasses on which is a total stereotype of basic jersey girls.”
With this said, The Outlook staff as a whole admits that the term basic is overused and really does not accurately describe a person’s personality.
Today’s generation tends to create these words that are used to describe people or interests, and it’s unfair to stereotype what people like.
If people tend to be “basic,” when fall comes around because we find ourselves wanting everything pumpkin flavored, it’s not a big deal.
The term basic is right up there on the list with terms such as “bae” and “turnt” that are often used by our generation. The Outlook staff agrees that each generation will have their own slang words, however what makes the term basic different from other slang words, is that it is often used in a deragatory manner.
Using basic to steretype people and put them in a single category is not the typical slang word. The Outlook staff collectively agrees that today’s generation should be more careful and mindful about the slang words we use on a regular basis.