Early this morning, while waiting for the shower water to heat up in ways my sex-life hasn’t (pros and cons of breaking up, right?), I innocently checked Instagram to see what people were having for breakfast (it’s one of those cultural movements, if you can even call it that, that I have yet to understand). To my surprise (well I wasn’t really surprised) I saw that this girl had posted a picture of her breakfast: edamame, Vogue magazines, and green tea. I scrolled down some more, just to see if I was going to be pleasantly surprised, and after countless bikini pics (obviously photoshopped, because apparently filters aren’t enough anymore) I came to one conclusion: BASIC BITCHING IS A THING NOW.
I’ve never considered myself to be a complete non-conformist, even though my middle school friends (obviously we weren’t popular, like at all) would wave their metaphorical freak flag without having to be asked. Of course, I had some ups and downs while trying to swim the river we call life, because I had no idea whether to go against or with the current (you know, the day to day problems of a fourteen-year-old). Eventually, I decided to just sunbathe on the shore and watch people create conflict by themselves, but that was the newfound maturity I took to once I started college.
What does this have to do with Basic-Bitching? Well, this phenomenon, I think, has always existed, just in different ways, and I hadn’t realized it until now. The first memory I have of this species was in kindergarten. My family had just moved back to Mexico and I was stuck with a bunch of five-year-olds that, quite literally, did not speak the same language as I did; and thus started my inception into the world of vapid mean girls, not that I was ever cool enough to be part of it, but it was my first encounter as a not-so passive observer. The day a girl in pigtails made me wear lipstick, ignoring my aversion to makeup (which was a direct consecuence of my illogical fear of clowns), that was the day I knew my life would never be the same.
Throughout the years, the difference between them and me was obvious: girls that mastered the art of eyeliner before we had even hit puberty; girls that knew how to flirt before boys were even interested in us; girls that knew how to pose for pictures before Facebook became religious; girls that carried an air of self-importance only achieved by purposeful vanity. At some point in my life, I judged them, hated them, despised them, even envied them, but then I decided that tanning was just so much easier.
Today, the difference seems so much more prominent, but they’ve always been there (Clueless, Mean Girls, all the chickflicks we grew up on).
Now, what entails being a Basic Bitch? What exactly is a basic bitch? Urban Dictionary, usually so on point, fails to give a useful answer. I shall take on this endeavour:
The Basic Bitch Handbook
1. Hashtags are indispensable (#blessed; #nature; #beautiful; #bffs; #love…).I, for one, have nothing against hashtags, it’s a great way to search for bullshit on Instagram. On the other hand, I don’t understand why you would need to “#nature” when you take a picture of a flower, or a sunset, or whatever theses girls seem to photograph; bro, we know it’s nature. I’m pretty social media illiterate and maybe that’s why I don’t understand the point of doing it. Does it make you look cooler? Does it get you more likes? Does it get you more folllowers? Or is it just a way to teach the world what nature really is? I really don’t know… #mysterious.
2. More followers than people they follow. Blessed be those who are so utterly popular that it becomes a problem in their life. Social media is not a form of communication: it’s a stage. Applauses are “likes” and standing ovations are thousands of them. It becomes addictive. We’ve all (or most of us) have seen the “awareness video” of a mildly famous social media star (to be completely honest, she is impressively beautiful) who decided to deprive men of her photogenic boobs and women of their “thinspiration”, because it started taking a toll on her emotions. While her message seems to be one that my middle school health teacher would lecture us about, there is some value to be extracted from it: dude, social media is so addictive. I’m one of those people that doesn’t tend to understand this obsession with “liking” or “likes”, but once I get more than ten “likes”, and the ball gets rolling, I will check my Instagram or Facebook every fucking minute. It’s not their fault; they were sucked in by the age-old popularity hype. If you think about it, there are worse things in this world, you know, like rape or murder.
3. “Can’t go out without my face.” I’ve tried to wear makeup every day, but it’s hard, especially since makeup is so damn expensive. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good, but Basic Bitches won’t even go to the gym without “their face”. I think there’s even sweat-proof makeup now.
I have this one friend who goes to my gym. The first morning I saw her there, I was appalled by my own appearance: sweaty pits, sweaty legs, sweaty boobs, sweaty everything. This girl strutted into the gym, kissed her trainer on the cheek, said hello to two boys that were more interested in the weights than in her (but she didn’t really notice), with her push-up sports bra and her tiny shorts, and proceeded to give me a look that said, “No wonder you don’t have a boyfriend.” I love this girl to death, but I wouldn’t waste my money on a gym membership just to look good while strutting on a treadmill. Then again, the only person I really know at my gym is my mother.
I’m starting to think these girls don’t sweat, because every time we go out at night, by the time it’s dawn, I end up looking like I did when that five-year-old forced me into a makeover (premature bullying was always fun, right?), but they look like freaking princesses. Either they’re vampires or they tattooed their makeup on.
4. Accessories are key. I’m a pretty simple woman: I don’t wear lots of jewelry, knick knacks, and such. I’m pretty straight forward: clothes, shoes, and a purse. Don’t get me wrong, I love fashion more than most, to the point where ManRepeller has become a part of my soul, but I tend to think that less is more. These girls don’t understand this: clunky necklaces, heavy bracelets, lavish rings, dangly earings, and, god forbid, the golden and silver body tattooes (I could not come up with anything more tacky even if I were to ask a million Basics). I blame stores like Forever21. They started mass producing this cheap jewelry, that was originally meant for (I’m assuming) ironic drag queens and anxious preteens. I swear to #nature that I want to strangle these girls with those necklaces, repeatedly.
Guess what time it is? Anecdote time! There’s this one girl (the girl who has edamame for breakfast; who the fuck has edamame for breakfast? Is that actually a thing?) that always wears these sorts of necklaces, and one day I made the mistake of pointing out that her outfit would look better without it. There was A LOT of drama that week, until another Basic told me that it would probably be better to talk about her behind her back like everyone else did. I’m perplexed, maybe even a little amazed.
5. Cocktails. When have you ever seen a Basic Bitch order straight up whisky? No, they always have to order the fruitiest drink on the menu or, if they’ve watched at least one episode of Sex and the City, a Carrie Bradshaw cosmopolitan. Eventually, they’ll succumb to the wrath of bad tequila and a dirty lime, with wrinkled faces of disgust and pleasure. Basic Bitches know how to drink, but they pretend they don’t.
6. The science of blue balling. When I say science, I mean science. They do it all the time: flirty texts, discrete double meanings, inconspicuous come-ons. The same way us, mortals, brush our teeth after waking up, they inflict physical pain on men with a single look. I’ve tried to do this and I’ve been told I’m terrible at it, so I leave it to the pros, but the pros have confessed their tricks to me: don’t answer a text right away; if you’re flirting with a guy leave for a while and come back; emoticons need to be necessary in every conversation; laugh at everything they say, pretend they are gods, and then tease them a little; don’t try to be smart if they aren’t; etc. These are things Basic Bitches talk about, plan, scheme. Authenticity is not a word that they know.
7. GOSSIP: I have this thing with rumors: I’m sort of a magnet for them. I don’t know how or why I have this talented gift: I’m always at the right place at the right time to see my friends do some insanely messed up shit. This is why Basic Bitches love me. All my Basic Bitches love me, all my, all my Basic Bitches love me. They know I got the goods, so I say, let the ball-licking commence. JK, they’ll only do that if you have enough money, or status. Anyways, apart from that itsy bitsy, teeny weenie, yellow, polka dot bikini of dark humor that probably made you piss yourself, I’m amazed at how they try and try to pry information out of me. I mean, it isn’t that hard to do if you’re a normal human being and not a self-programmed cyborg, but, you know, you can’t expect them to be human if their noses aren’t even real. No, honestly, they love gossip. Gossip is like their oxygen, and without it, they’re nothing.
ANECDOTE AGAIN! I remember my first week of school once I moved back to Mexico, during high school: A girl, who seemed nice enough, started talking to me and then suddenly, boom, asked me if I had ever kissed a boy. It was so subtle, like the way Neo doesn’t realize he’s in the Matrix until he does. So I told her I did, without knowing that kissing boys apparently made you a huge slut when you’re fifteen. I didn’t give it much importance, because if there ever was a rumor about me, I never found out, but to be honest, I’m too much of a blabber-mouth to be gossip-worthy. I hand out information about myself the way Basics put out: rapid and discretely.
Seven is a lucky number, so I’ll just leave it here (though I might write a second part, as my study of this species advances). Conclusion: Basic Bitches can be defined in one word: inauthenticity. We all know those girls didn’t really have edamames and green tea for breakfast; they probably had some eggs and toast like the rest of us. We all know that there are apps to photoshop bikini pics. We all know who has been touched by the magical and all forgiving scalpel. We all know that they have tactics and ploys to get men (boys). We all know that you can never expect a genuine answer from them, because, even when they’re expressing their emotions, they take into account what others think. Most people despise these misunderstood creatures, I, for one, admire their will power and pity their self esteem.