I’m writing this post while fully Lululemon-clad with a Pumpkin Spice Latte to my right and a bouquet of fresh hydrangeas to my left. My current browser history consists mostly of AdWeek articles about Lauren Conrad’s brand, Olivia Rink’s style blog and the occasional Chanel makeup review.
My favorite color is pink, I have prints of 1950s pinup models on my wall and I relax by rearranging my already color-coordinated closet.
I am basic, and I am proud.
Ah, basic. What does it mean to be basic? Urban Dictionary explains that to be “basic” (or, used in its most common phrase, a “basic b**ch”) is to be “any person, place or activity involving obscenely obvious behavior, dress or action.”
Then, as an offensive afterthought, the definer tacks on, “Unsophisticated.”
In our popular culture today, basic carries a negative connotation. Girls insult other girls by calling them such. Popularized by entertainers like the edgy provocateur Rihanna (whom, for the record, I love), basic has come to mean a truly unoriginal, uninspiring young woman with no sense of style or ‘edge’ to speak of.
I would like to whole-heartedly disagree, and hereby petition to remove the stigma from the word basic.
Now for a little (fictitious) history lesson: girls who are considered basic now were raised on a steady diet of Lizzie McGuire in their younger years, grew up idolizing Elle Woods and probably encountered their first Frappuccino at the tender age of 12 (points for early bloomers whose first Starbucks experience predated this).
I proudly exist in this camp of hair-curling, J. Crew-wearing, ultra-feminine individuals. Because once you embrace the fact that you’re a little basic, it no longer constitutes something to be ashamed of.
To me, being basic means appreciating the classics. It means valuing elegance and accepting my almost comically “girly” tendencies. In other words, you have to own it!
For those of you who are less inclined toward the glamorous and underrated basic lifestyle, this week Lauren Conrad did what no other reality show star has done before: created designs that appeared in New York Fashion Week.
Lauren is most famous for starring on The Hills, a show I watched with great loyalty during my awkward tween years. I gleaned much from the highly educational program: lessons like ‘the blonder, the better,’ and to never date a boy named Spencer who consults crystals for guidance (tangent: isn’t it sad that Spencer and Heidi are out there somewhere, still believing they’re famous?).
Lauren Conrad is, in my humble opinion, queen of the basics. Every single one of her Instagram photos has a rose-tinted filter, she’s married to a lawyer and she’s solely responsible for the comeback of Brigitte Bardot winged eyeliner (thank you, Lauren, your courageous efforts have not gone unnoticed).
The editor in chief of Cosmopolitan (the Basic Bible) perfectly summed up why Lauren is so loveable. “She's pretty, she's cheerful, she owns the fact that she's a 'basic bitch,' and there's something refreshing about someone who is fine with being normal.”
Can I get an Amen? Can I get a hallelujah? Honestly, the hair-flip emoji would suffice here, too.
Lauren is a brilliant businesswoman. To allow my inner PR nerd to surface briefly: Lauren operates a highly successful company that achieves seamless brand consistency across multiple channels and has infiltrated hundreds of department stores nationwide. She’s also worth $25 million, which I guess is pretty notable, too. Did I mention she’s 29?
Lauren Conrad is living proof that being basic can serve you well. It doesn’t have to mean that you’re unsophisticated or unoriginal, just that you’re a hyper-feminine girly girl who has chosen to embrace your gender stereotype and make it work for you rather than against you.
After all, why would you want to demote a way of life that allows you to shamelessly guzzle pumpkin spice-flavored everything and wear bright pink lipstick during daylight hours?
To quote Queen Lauren herself, “I’m sure a lot of people don’t take me seriously,” and that’s OK. Because you know who does take her seriously? Her hot lawyer husband, her proud parents and her $25 million fortune. If that equates to being basic, then count me in.
The fine print: