If you’ve chosen to read this article, it’s plausible to assume that you’re worried that you’ve gotten yourself into the trap of being basic. You’ve just taken a Gymshark butt selfie and thought to yourself “How has it come to this?” Well don’t you worry, here’s a few tips and tricks to get you out of that pumpkin spiced dusted hole you’ve found yourself in, and back on the straight and narrow.
Do what you enjoy
Do you like drinking Starbucks lattes and listening to Dua Lipa? Then do it! But do it because you enjoy it, not to follow mainstream trends and get in with the popular. When you think about it: basic, indie, sporty or whatever else are just umbrella terms used to limit people and force them into a specific category. It’s acceptable to sip on some Echo Falls rose wine at the same time as listening to some old school rock because when it comes down to it, who really cares? We’re in uni, not school, and shaping yourself based on other people’s concept of what’s considered ‘cool’ is quite the opposite of cool. Act on your own impulses and follow your own personal trend.
If you refuse to head out the door to go food shopping before you’ve slapped on a full face of makeup, stop right there. You should look in the mirror and accept yourself as you are and love yourself for the way you look. But, if you love yourself with your makeup on and hair done – that’s perfect too! The minute you start limiting yourself based other people’s judgements, is the minute you become basic. Try embrace your frizzy hair, cackly laugh and muffin top. Smile when you catch yourself in a shop reflection and see the funny side of looking rough, rather than hating yourself for it.
Love (to help) others
There’s a reason the word basic goes hand in hand with the word bitch. Basic people spend too much time finding the best apps to enhance their butts and slim their waists for the pic they forced their friend to take at pres last night (20 pics later they’re running late to the club and still aren’t happy with the final product), and forget that there are bigger issues. World Hunger? Global warming? No comprende. Try to think a little outside of the self-absorbed bubble you’ve forced yourself into- Smile at people! Hold the door open for someone! Save the quid that was going to go towards that Soap & Glory lip plumper gloss and give it to a homeless person instead. Even the smallest of things could really make a difference in other people’s lives, so stop treating everyone like your competition and instead learn to love everyone.
Enjoy social media, but don’t live for it
So you’ve uploaded a #totescute pic on Instagram and now you’ve found yourself religiously checking your phone for likes. 1 like a minute? Not enough? 1 like every 5 minutes and you delete the pic because it’s social suicide, right? Put the phone down, look in the mirror and think to yourself “What the hell am I doing”. Basing your own worth on the amount of likes you get isn’t going to do anything for your self-esteem, so ditch the social media insecurities and post because you want to post, not because you want likes.
Stop judging people
As with the above, don’t judge someone based on the amount of likes they get. It’s very possible that the person with 10 likes on Facebook or Insta is much happier than someone with 1.000, because they most likely aren’t spending their time worrying about the amount of likes they get. If you see someone wearing no makeup and looking a little scruffy, it’s probably because they don’t care what other people think of them! So stop judging people because you don’t think they’re ‘cool’ and instead try and spark up conversation with them. It could turn out that they’re the loveliest person you’ve ever encountered. Surrounding yourself with nice people can make all the difference in your life.
Stop trying to impress people
If you’re worried that your mates might disown you once they realise you actually think avocado tastes like mushy nothingness and that you don’t actually own your own Netflix or Spotify account, OR that you actually think Ryan Gosling is pretty ooglay, maybe reevaluate the friendship. It’s more than okay to have your own personal taste, so surround yourself with pals who are going to be accepting of your quirks and don’t change yourself based on other people’s basic rules. Let’s start to build each other up instead of pulling each other down.
Illustration by Phoebe Rose Logan