I would be interested to hear people’s opinions on the following article:
Excerpt (emphasis mine):
It seems to me that while what it pretends to criticize is unoriginality of thought and action, most of what basic actually seeks to dismiss is consumption patterns — what you watch, what you drink, what you wear, and what you buy — without dismissing consumption itself. The basic girl’s sin isn’t liking to shop, it’s cluelessly lusting after the wrong brands, the ones that announce themselves loudly and have shareholders they need to satisfy. (The right brands are much more expensive and subtle and, usually, privately owned.)
The word basic has become an increasingly expansive stand-in for “woman who fails to surprise us,” as seen in this Vice tournament of basic bitches that includes Gwyneth Paltrow and Mother Teresa and Shirley Temple and both Michelle Williamses, among others. And so the woman who calls another woman basic ends up implicitly endorsing two things she probably wouldn’t sign up for if they were spelled out for her: a male hierarchy of culture, and the belief that the self is an essentially surface-level formation.
Do we have a similar kind of insult for men? “Preppy,” “douchey,” “fratty”? Are the dynamics the same? As people, we love the convenience of classifying people into conveniently insultable archetypes–what makes “basic bitch” any more sexist than “douchebag” or “neckbeard”?