The ‘How Basic are You?’ Test

imagesThere’s a new phrase that seems to be knocking about (and even appearing on quite a few t-shirts) – ‘Basic Bitches’. The trend for hating on ‘basic bitches’ is pretty much akin to hating on, well anyone showing a lack of originality. There’s a pretty funny video on it from College Humour below…

The thing is, it’s pretty interesting as a trend that’s emerging from the world of ‘internetty things’ because it highlights just how hated a perceived lack of originality or ‘authenticity’ has become. We sure are putting a lot of pressure on ourselves to have obscure interests, unique talents and an original something or other in our wardrobes – in a time of (as Bill Cunningham describes) ‘carbon-cookie-cutter-sameness.’ A lot of pressure in a world of 7 billion people, where ‘everyone is special’, so err, actually nobody is.

Of course the ‘basic bitches’ concept has been quickly followed up by one for ‘basic bros’…

This got us thinking about these male vs. female comparisons and just what defines ‘basicness‘ really. So we’ve asked abouts and made this handy quiz for your reading pleasure..

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 23.54.43


How’d you do?


Well the thing is, I ticked 11 (some boys, some girls) of these things myself.

Yes, I’ll try to force myself to have something a little different – like an Old Fashioned or just an obscure bourbon but really, I love Cosmos. I also love that Kate (yes, we’re on first name terms) has made non-diamond engagement rings a ‘thing’ again and I own no less than TWO copies of Sex and The City (which is a whole other level of basic bitchiness in itself apparently). Jamie Oliver is popular because he is a good chef. Uggs are bloody comfy. Anchorman was hilarious and, like everything Father Ted, there’s usually a daily use for ‘that escalated quickly‘… even if it’s just in your own head.

While yes it is pretty funny, it’s also a trend that is maybe showing the darker side to our over stimulated and hyper-connected lives… and the pressures we all put ourselves under not to (as Greyson Perry puts it) ‘give in to some of our tackier impulses’. The question of taste is almost always exclusively connected to class. It’s as much about who you are ‘not’ than what group you belong too. But that’s where the similarities end.

In the last 30 years we’ve gone from heroing working class tastes to demonizing them when it comes to taste… But uniquely as a taste trend, I don’t think ‘basicness’ is actually about class. All class groups would probably have their own grading of ‘basicness’ when you ask people in them. I think it’s adding another layer of complexity to the whole thing again. So just what is it about then?!

Yes, there are people out there who just refuse to try anything new and that can be super annoying – particularly if you are forced to eat/drink/hang out/have a conversation with them. But they’re fortunately few and far between.

I think maybe in a world of 7 billion, the tribes of class and local community become blurred and less important to how we represent ourselves – especially when a decent proportion of our self representation is online. Perhaps in a world of 7 billion the biggest point we want to try to make, is a point of difference.

But in a world of 7 billion, you really never are going to be the original. So why not stop worrying and just enjoy it? 

Besides, it’s only going to be like, another five minutes before calling other people ‘basic bitches’ becomes a really basic bitches thing to do, right?!

And it took years to get that Beyonce dance down.

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