The dog filter on Snapchat. Pumpkin spiced lattes. Instagramming pictures of your hot dog legs by the pool.
In the past few years, all of these things have become associated with the basic bitch.
According to Urban Dictionary, a basic bitch is: “Someone who is unflinchingly upholding of the status quo and stereotypes of their gender without even realizing it. She believes herself to be unique, fly, amazing, and a complete catch, when really she is boring, painfully normal, and par.”
Kate Moss brought the term to the forefront of everyone’s mind in June last year after branding her pilot a “basic bitch” when she was escorted off her flight for being drunken behaviour.
Ever since then, the phrase has been the chosen put-down for millennial women. The guy you’re with breaks up with you for another girl? Don’t worry, you’re nothing on her, she’s just a basic bitch. A girl turns up to a party in the same dress as you? Urgh, she looks so basic compared to me. A girl you went to uni with keeps Instagramming pictures of her new clean eating diet whilst you’ve just eaten pizza for the third time this week? Only basic bitches follow those diets anyway.
I must admit that I’ve been guilty of calling girls basic in the past, perhaps to try and put down girls that made me feel a bit inferior. But after I really started to think about what I was saying, I realised that referring to women as basic is actually really harmful and just another way in which society pits women against each other.
Going back to the Urban Dictionary definition, the term basic bitch berates women for being ordinary and relishing in typically female activities. The basic bitch is inferior to other women, she’s settling for a life that other, less basic, women have risen above.
Why do women care if another girl if basic? Maybe it’s because women nowadays don’t want to be seen as conforming to traditional female stereotypes- after all, it seems that women nowadays have opportunities that their grandmothers could only dream about. But by referring to another woman is basic, we are instantly conforming to one stereotypically feminine trait: bitchiness.
So what do you do next time you scroll past a picture of a girl clutching her Starbucks PSL in her freshly manicured hands, artfully squeezing some autumn leaves and her Ugg boots into shot?
Instead of sending it to your girls’ WhatsApp group and laughing about how basic she is compared to all of you, why not ignore it and be pleased for her that she has the confidence to post the things she likes on her social media?
It is now more important than ever for women to stick together and empower one another, and putting each other down with terms such as basic bitch is certainly no way to achieve this.