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Reclaiming 'Basic': Let Them Drink Pumpkin Spice Lattes

The term 'basic' has somehow become a staple in modern slang, often used to describe women who enjoy certain popular trends and activities. However, it's time to reevaluate this term and recognize that enjoying common pleasures should not be met with judgment or stereotypes. Let's delve into a light-hearted exploration of why being 'basic' isn't a negative trait and why we should ditch the term.

Let’s get it out of the way: Pumpkin Spice Lattes. A simple google search of the ever-so-popular drink will at first, return an abundance of recipes to make the highly coveted 'little drink' at home. A slightly deeper dive, and you uncover a barrage of insulting memes and polarizing articles debating the stigma, shame, and social consequence of enjoying a flavor. Let that sink in…a flavor. Sadly, the internet doesn’t stop there as it seems that enjoying nearly any and all fall activities will land you with a scarlet “B” upon your chest. I for one say listen to the wise words of Donna Meagle and “treat yo self.”

Another fan (or maybe foe, in this context) favorite: UGG's. Originally marketed to outdoorsy, adventure-loving men, this sheepskin boot was gladly adopted by the fashion elite and trickled into mainstream fashion throughout the 2010’s, gaining popularity primarily amongst young women. Together, let’s take a step back from our opinions and take in some facts. According to the Harvard Business Review, women drive the world economy, contributing $20 trillion in global annual consumer spending. And if that wasn’t enough, according to Forbes, women drive 70-80% of all consumer purchasing decisions. Back to UGG Boots: if one’s decision to purchase a warm, comfortable, but albeit popular shoe contributes to a shift in women’s global consumer impact, that doesn’t sound so basic to me.

With much enthusiasm to loosen the 'basic' grip on this next one, I present: athleisure. There’s no doubt that the post-pandemic hybrid/WFH model has influenced a lean towards athleisure clothing, but that trend is not limited to women in leggings. Sites like Business Insider and GQ are flooded with athleisure articles ranging from the best men’s athleisure trends in 2024 to, you’ll never believe it, Lululemon for men (If anyone at Lululemon sees this: missed opportunity to call it the LululeMEN collection. You’re welcome.) Fashion, of all things, has long been a staple of self-expression. And while we all likely have our favorite shirt, trendy pair of pants, or that dress saved for a special occasion we also all likely have days where comfort and practicality are just more important than being 'on trend' — and on those days, athleisure for the win.

I understand that even in my best attempts to de-bunk 'Basic', by simply acknowledging things are considered it, I’m kind of fueling the fire. My hope is that by continuing to call out the absurdity of mocking, labeling, or dismissing anyone based on such benign preferences, we realize that it undermines the ability to find common ground or revel in the shared enjoyment of popular trends. So, enjoy the coffee. Wear the shoe. Throw on a pair of leggings. Enjoy the day your way — and if your way is also the way of some others, I say you go make a friend about it.

Written by Allie Glick

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