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When exactly was it that we decided that basic things were bad? Was it Plato who decided that Pumpkin Spice Lattes weren’t complex enough for Athens? Was it John Locke who decreed that Taylor Swift was a little too kitsch? Did Darwin discover that in order to be the fittest, one must not wear comfortable clothing like sweaters or leggings? Or was it just some crazy Internet sensation that started not that long ago? Who can remember? It seems like this has been going on since the dawn of time.
And who wants to be basic? Isn’t this the worst thing a human being can say to another person? It’s right up there with racial slurs and derogatory stereotyping. But, being basic really isn’t that bad. You can enjoy the basic pleasures life has to offer, without being another basic bitch that has the personality of a beige sweater.
I’m a twenty-something, so while I am busy “trying to have it all,” I am constantly worried about whether the direction I am going in is the right one. I work as much as I can, I am getting my Master’s, and I am trying my best to have a social life, but let’s be real: it doesn’t have the same importance that it used to when I was a college student. Oh, and I want to lose weight because I am a woman in my twenties and have weddings to attend. So in between all of the hours of work, all of the papers, all the running and yoga, all the reading, all the bad Tinder dates, why do I have to overanalyze my coffee order? While running around, do I really have to wear pants that make me miserable?
We live complex lives; we do more than just work and eat and sleep. We think and overthink everything, from the importance of accepting a job across the country, to dissecting a text message. But there are very few instances where my decision is easy, and those instances are usually basic. Being complex in every aspect of your life is terribly exhausting. If you can keep that shit up without your brain blowing up, well, good for you.
Yes, I like pumpkin spice lattes, yes I love sweaters and leggings, and yes I listen to T-Swift. Wanna see how complex I can get? Ask me about the Romantic Poets, or maybe some history of Hip-Hop. How about we talk about the refugee crisis? I love to discuss how voluntourism is and isn’t working. Just because I look basic sometimes does not mean my thought process is; it just means I fucking like sweaters.
Do you not like sweaters? Is that not a staple in just about everyone’s wardrobe? They go with everything. Honestly, it’s so comfortable and makes me look like an actual adult, rather than some punk in a hoodie. I don’t know who decided that a sweater was basic, or who decided in turn that sweater-wearing was a bad thing. If you don’t wear sweaters at all, I am incredibly concerned about you. Like how do you stay warm and comfortable while also looking like you have your shit together? Isn’t that what being in your twenties is all about? Looking like you have your shit together when you’re really scrambling like the rest of us?
Or let’s discuss pants. There is no bigger struggle in life than trying to find pants that are actually comfortable while simultaneously looking like you have your life together. If it were acceptable, I think I would wear sweats and yoga pants all the time. But alas, we live in a world where such things are frowned upon. And now people are trying to take leggings away? How dare you. Why, for the love of God, do I have to wear pants that make me question every choice I have made in my life? Why can’t I be comfortable while I am trying to get my life together? If wearing leggings is wrong, I never want to be right.
And while I’m wrong, I might as well admit the most basic part of my being: loving Taylor Swift. There is something about her music that just really speaks to the teenage girl in me. Of course, when I was a teenager I wouldn’t be caught dead listening to catchy pop like that. I was angsty, wore band tees from Hot Topic, and would get all the feels listening to Taking Back Sunday. But for some reason now, in my twenties, I will belt out “We Are Never Getting Back Together” like I just had my heart broken before my sophomore winter dance. What is it about T Swift? Why do we love her so? Is it her catchy lyrics mixed with solid beats? Is it because I missed out on that part of my youth? Or does her music literally sneak into my brain like an earwig and stay in my mind all day until I actually like it? Who can say which answer is right? Why should I hide the fact that I enjoy her music? Because I want to seem cool or complex? Fuck that. Her music is catchy and nice to listen to. Haters gonna hate, hate, hate anyways, so why should I even care?
Taylor Swift lyrics aside, my real point here is this: so what if these things are basic? The term “basic” just means these things—sweaters and legging and T Swift and designer coffee—are staples in our society. What would our world be without kitschy love songs? Who would we look to for catchy songs if we had no mainstream? If sweaters weren’t basic, what the hell would be? Seriously, I have no idea because, in my mind, sweaters have been a staple in the feminine wardrobe since the loom was invented. I’m sure one day another hot beverage will knock Pumpkin Spice Lattes down a peg, but I hope that isn’t for a while.
Just because certain items in our world are basic doesn’t mean you have to ~*~be basic~*~. I love most of those things, and I consider my mind processes to be complex and textured. Maybe that’s why I like my basic things. I think enough about real life issues like term papers, what’s a 401K and how do I acquire it, if I actually have insurance, and how does someone sign up for ObamaCare? Also, why should I overthink my coffee order? Why should I actively try to make life messier than it already is?
Just give me my damn PSL, let me wear my sweaters, and leave me alone. .
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