This Is What It Means To Be Basic


I don’t care if you’re on a first name basis with your favorite barista at Starbucks, or if you can recite every episode of friends at the drop of a hat. I don’t care if you wear Nike Frees or secretly hope that Adam Brody will come into the American Eagle you work at. I don’t care that you love any type of pumpkin based food, and have three different nicknames for your cat. It doesn’t matter that you like Pinterest and have a secret, yet not so secret, addiction to every Carly Rae Jepson song that comes on to the radio. These things don’t make you “basic.”

What makes you basic is your judgment. Your inability to understand that people live their lives differently than you, that people feel and express differently than you. You see, if you are the type of person who judges someone based on what they wear, or what they study, or what shows they like to watch, without ever getting to know them, without ever getting below the surface and understanding that these people are actual human beings with feelings and with hopes and with sadness and with dreams, you are basic.

What makes you basic is your “chill.” Your inability to feel anything more than what is considered appropriate or appealing; your need to never be vulnerable, to always be casual. What makes you basic is your incapacity to text first, your refusal to show more interest than the person you are interested in. The truly basic millennial is the type of person who perpetuates a culture where seeking human connection is not “cool,” where being alone is better than being too invested, too caring, too emotional or too needy.

What makes you basic is your priority. The things that will change your life don’t revolve around a certain style of clothing or how many people text you when you wake up. The things that matter don’t revolve around your beauty or how trendy you are; they revolve around your compassion, your charisma and your knowledge. It is basic to think that only those who are beautiful are good; it is basic to inspire a culture that is more concerned with what the opposite sex thinks of someone than what they think of themselves. It is basic to turn a blind eye on a world that needs a generation of strong, independent human beings who show their individuality in their voices rather than their popularity.

Being basic should not be this derogatory, insulting concept that revolves around the smallest most unimportant aspects of life. Being basic revolves around being unaccepting of a world that houses millions of different minds. Being basic revolves around those who cannot acknowledge that someone’s individuality is different than their own. Being basic is allowing for that lack of recognition to concern you to the point of having to shame another human being when you should be focusing on the parts of the Earth that actually need your attention. That, is what is means to be basic.

Read more of Bianca Sparacino’s writing in her new book Seeds Planted in Concrete here.