What is meant by a "Basic Woman"?


I was kind of disappointed to read the quote you provided that elaborated on this concept, because at first I was picturing a “basic bitch” as being sort of a Daria type – deadpan, sarcastic, and unglamorous. That would be a compliment in my book, but I gather that this is actually more or less the opposite of the intended meaning.

If a woman looks hot, ‘basic’ is a putdown meaning that her style or interests aren’t sophisticated enough.

If a woman has sophisticated style or interests, ‘basic’ is a putdown meaning that she isn’t hot enough.

I might be a little off base, but my interpretation of “basic” is that it’s not just neutral / unadorned, but that every added detail is ordinary and conformist. The most Basic woman wouldn’t just stay at home, dress plain, and do nothing.

She goes to yoga (and probably talks about it). She wears designer clothes, but just safe, “ordinary” ones, probably from an outlet. She doesn’t drink anything that doesn’t end in “-tini” or “-politan” or start with “pumpkin spice.” She never misses an episode of whatever show about celebrities dancing or building houses or whatever.

Basic isn’t just bland, it’s being almost ostentatiously middlebrow or average.

Yeah, it seems like basic is more Quinn than Daria.

It also seems like one of those terms people use as a way to distance themselves from it, like hipster. “I’m not a basic bitch, not like her.”

I have met you in person as well as on the boards. Anyone who says anything negative about you is utterly disconnected from reality. As the Southern women say, bless their little tiny hearts.

A basic bitch has “margs” with the girls on Friday night, otherwise prefers white wine, and is always home by 10. Every room in her house has “Live, Laugh, Love” on the wall, and every surface has a scented candle or tart warmer. She posts inspirational messages captioned over sunrises or pictures or Marilyn Monroe on her Facebook and her status updates are generally something like “TGIF, right everyone?!” She donates to Susen G. Komen solely for the pink accessories she gets for it. She has a labradoodle or some other -oodle cross breed which she got from the breeder for $500 and is insulted when someone calls it a mutt. All her kids’ names rhyme with Aiden, none are spelled phonetically and they all have stickers on the back window of her Ford Explorer. Every piece of jewelry she owns has either a diamond or her birthstone on it and was bought at the mall. Her horoscope is so totally her.

… and up until very recently, she (and her “basic” male counterpart as well) would often sport a yellow Lance Armstrong “Live Strong” bracelet.

I assume it’s not meant to be complementary. I’m guessing it’s closer to the Urban Dictionary definition of “unsophisticated”. Possibly “low class” or “pedestrian” (as in commonplace…not a person without a car".

That sort of makes sense. Those are the very people who are hated by the “wake up, not leave their parents basement, surf the internet and hate on people” crowd hate.

From some of the other links, it sounds like it might mean “bourgeois”. Your obnoxiously mainstream upper middle class types whose major accomplishment is looking and acting and consuming exactly like their peers. Basically Lauren Conrad.


I’m glad there’s a term for this; the explanation is pretty long. :smiley:

I’m as puzzled as you. I’ve never, ever heard that term used as a negative comment. Are these ladies from some specific ethnic group, demographic, or area of the US that has it’s own regional or cultural slang idioms?

Here’s something

“Basic”: a beginner’s guide to everyone’s favorite new insult

Man, this shit isn’t new. It’s not a new insult. White people just found out about it.

When somebody says basic bitch now, that just means they’re a white girl who reads websites for white girls, and are applying what they think is a generic insult to generic white girl things. You love pumpkin spice! Basic! You wear leggings OMG soooo basic. So, TruCelt, don’t worry about what it means – it doesn’t mean anything because the person who used it doesn’t know what it means either.

It meant something originally. Ten years ago, maybe? But the thing is, it made sense in a context that the people using it now just never existed in. It used to be a very urban sort of internecine put down that had to do with a variety of little social markers about who was real and who was full of shit. “Basic” was sort of like “hipster,” in that within a given neighborhood or whatever people knew who you were talking about. But those little cultural distinctions don’t really apply outside of that context. There are not people from that context posting stuff about what celebrities are basic on Jezebel. My theory is that people started hearing the insult and could tell that it had real sting to it, even if they didn’t know precisely what was going on there, so they wanted to have something to apply it to. So now a bunch of well-to-do white women (and men, probably) are applying it to the habits of a bunch of other well-to-do white women based on what seem to be a random set of characteristics.

(Disclaimer - I am a white man so this post is maybe kind of the weirdest version of hipsterism that has ever manifested anywhere.)

Aha! I know these people, but I’ve been calling them “Westfield Moms” for years. As in Westfield, NJ, which is where I live. I have a ton of trouble telling my son’s classmates’ mothers apart because they all seem to look the same, act the same, and talk about the same stuff. Nice ladies to be sure, but I’m never sure whether I’m talking to Taylor’s mom or Tyler’s mom or Dylan’s mom or Declan’s mom.

And every single one of them is sporting those generic Alex and Ani bracelets that look like wire hangers with dime-store charms dangling off of them.

Resurrecting the zombie to add startling news: The insult may have been coined by none other than Sylvia Plath!


According to Allen Toussaint, basic lady digs you mostly for what you are. :slight_smile:

Yeah, the article isn’t saying that being a “basic bitch” means you do any specific thing. It means

  1. You copy exactly a set of behaviors and preferences that a whole subgroup of women are following. It is not “original” behavior to get daily starbucks and take selfies of yourself, as an example.

  2. You act like you are a valuable princess, demanding more than you are worth to potential dates, potential girl-friends, and so on.

So the first part makes you “basic” and the second part makes you a “bitch”.

Sort of like “Stepford Wives”.

Basic sounds like the kind of insult to which one would properly and accurately respond: Coming from you, I take that as a compliment.