The Baker Orange

Being basic may not be so bad

Story by Heidi Jo Hayen, Writer

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You go to a pumpkin patch and see a college-aged woman wearing fall clothes accented by a Royals T-shirt or jersey and holding a Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte. For some reason, around this time of year, young women often find themselves being called “basic” for this.

Why call someone basic for dressing the way they do and liking the things they like? In the fall, many college women find it hard to do almost anything without receiving a label such as “basic.”

The way a young woman dresses is a form of self-expression, but it’s also a practical way to stay comfortable with the weather outside. Although women express themselves through their clothing, dressing similar to the cultural norm is an easy way for them to fit in.

After all, if you really think about it, doesn’t everyone dress the way they do to fit in? We don’t call a guy “basic” for wearing a Polo shirt and Sperry shoes. When you look at it from this angle, it doesn’t make sense to label college women just because they like wearing a flannel shirt with leggings and Ugg boots when the temperatures start to drop each fall.

Pumpkin spice is a favorite for many during the fall. Pumpkins are harvested in the fall, so it’s only natural that these squash-like fruits and their flavor show up in our foods. It’s a cultural thing; when Americans think of fall, pumpkins come to mind.

Along the lines of pumpkins, going to a pumpkin patch is a tradition loved by families all across the country. Why do people single out groups of young women who go to pumpkin patches together and use the dreaded label “basic” yet again? We don’t point fingers at a family and yell “basic” after we see their fun pictures from a weekend spent at the pumpkin patch.

They idea of a college woman enjoying baseball also gets them lumped into the category of being basic, especially during the most recent postseason when everyone around campus, not just the women, turned their attention to television sets during big games of the World Series. How is this different than male students who haven not followed the team closely all year and then start watching as things start to look good for the Royals?

Many students attended the parade and victory rally that took place on Tuesday, Nov. 3. As some of my fellow female students made their way back to campus or posted pictures of their experience, I heard numerous other students say, “Of course they went to the parade. How basic.”

I encourage everyone to stop and think back to the young woman you see at the pumpkin patch, wearing fall clothes accented by a Royals T-shirt or jersey and holding a Pumpkin Spice Latte. Maybe these are all, in fact, items that young women of this generation enjoy.

Growing up and fitting in is already hard enough. Do we really want to raise our future daughters in a world where they are labeled and judged for doing exactly what is expected of them in the place?

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