Urban Dictionary defines being “basic” as displaying any kind of behavior that is obvious in certain social situations and fails to challenge social norms. During the transition from summer to autumn on college campuses, the word “basic” is callously thrown around to describe students enjoying fall festivities. As soon as leaves begin to fall, you can hear the stampede of Ugg boots hurtling to the nearest Starbucks amidst an eerie whisper of, "I can't even."
The standard image of a “basic” girl in autumn is an image which plagues our minds with every whiff of a fall breeze. She wears oversized Comfort Colors’ sweatshirts and trades in her summer norts and Chacos for yoga pants and neon Nikes. She is often seen sipping Pumpkin Spice Lattes (affectionately referred to as PSL’s) and sporting a brightly colored infinity scarf.
The negative stigma surrounding being a “basic” girl in autumn is demonstrated most prevalently on social networking sites such as Yik Yak, where the shelter of anonymity allows us to unleash our harshest insults. Why is liking a certain flavor of coffee so demonized with the changing of the season? Autumn is one of the best seasons, as the hellish temperatures of Georgian summers finally ease up. Those who enjoy autumn for all of its charming characteristics should be free to order PSLs downtown and strut in their Uggs without an ounce of shame.
First of all, Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks are like happiness in a cup and I don’t even like pumpkin so those baristas must be doing some kind of black magic behind the counter. Something about the masterful blend of fall flavor mixed with a jolt of warm caffeine embodies the feeling of autumn and I’m unashamed to order it as soon as summer begins to recede.
While my blonde hair and Nikes often are received with eye rolls by patrons behind me, I’ve realized that I’m not the one with a problem; the people ridiculing others for preferring one specific flavor of coffee on a given day are the ones with a problem. Why does my squash-flavored coffee offend you so much? On one occasion, I witnessed a male student in line in front of me order a PSL (good for you, I thought) but then proceed to ask for it to be labelled something more masculine. God forbid his fragile masculinity be irreparably damaged by a beverage order.
Imagine a world, if you will, in which people are embarrassed to order something as ordinary as black coffee; where snickers and knowing looks followed you out the door for enjoying the bold, stark taste of plain coffee. It’s a ridiculous thought, isn’t it? Am I basic for not choosing something less expected that challenges social norms even if I don’t like it? I’m already spending almost $5 for coffee, why wouldn’t I choose something I love? Sorry, but I don’t get coffee so people can see how indie and hipster I am based on my choice. I get coffee because I’m pretty sure my blood is at least 75 percent caffeine, and I happen to love autumn in a cup and infinity scarves.
Have fun with your obscure hipster coffee, I’ll be over here rolling in a pile of leaves singing Ed Sheeran.
–Katherine Cline is a sophomore from Columbus majoring in pre-journalism