By Mykah Briscoe | Reporter
For as long as I can remember, society has enforced the idea that being basic is bad or shameful and that being too different is just as embarrassing. You must fit in the stereotype, but when you do, you’ll be made fun of for it.
This led me to walk a fine line. I needed to fit in so I wouldn’t be ostracized, but I couldn’t be just like everyone else. I tried to be a contrarian, but in reality, I was just depriving myself of things I eventually found out I really liked.
Honestly, I was being a little mean. By trying to uplift myself, I was dragging other girls down by demeaning things that brought them joy.
I missed the craze of liking One Direction because I was so busy judging girls who did and pretending I didn’t. It wasn’t until I actually gave them a shot that I ended up liking them. And now, I am forced to live with the fact that the hiatus is permanent, and I will never get to live the high of seeing 5 Seconds of Summer open for One Direction on their Where We Are tour.
The lesson didn’t stick. I pulled the same stunts with pumpkin spice lattes, Justin Bieber, shopping, certain Halloween costumes and even the color pink. Honestly, the list could go on. I even decided to dislike things I once really enjoyed because they suddenly became basic — I’m so sorry, Ms. Swift.
Although they were labeled basic, the reality is the only true similarity among all these things is that they tend to be female interests and liked by the masses. Trying to navigate through changing trends and persistent stereotypes means there’s a lot women have to dodge to be what society wants.
The lesson I have only just started to accept is that we should be allowed to like what we like. Just because the masses like it doesn’t mean I have to deprive myself of something that might actually bring me joy just to seem different. In our endeavor to be different, we’re really all being the same.
When you allow yourself to enjoy something the masses enjoy too, you’re still just as unique as you were before. The truth is, you’re more unique than you realize. No one has the same combination of likes and dislikes as you, no matter how many basic interests you have.
You’re unique because you’re you, but you’re not so unique that you don’t have multiple things in common with people.
How we, as women, allowed things that actually bring us together to be the very things that divide us, I have no idea. Well, I have some idea, but I’ll let you come to your own conclusion on that.
Love what you love, and the first step to doing that is to stop getting in the way of your own joy. Allow yourself the opportunity to like things. When you do that, you might just find new favorite things. With the world we live in, it would be a great injustice to yourself not to explore an opportunity for joy.
Play the Taylor Swift album, drink a pumpkin spice latte, do pilates, try whatever you’ve been judging because it’s basic. I think it’s time we embrace our “basicness” and femininity and proudly say, “Actually, I am like other girls.”