Enough with #hashtags, yoga pants and all things basic

Pumpkin spice lattes, yoga pants, snapbacks, Obey and Juicy Couture. These are the ingredients for a “Basic” person.

These days the “Basic” subculture is overtaking college campuses. This lifestyle is the act of joining in on current fads and popular culture.

Why does it bother me? Because there is so much more to life than the mainstream.
Because people get caught up in hypes that don’t define them as an individual.

We are all guilty of following trends, but when your entire personality is only made up of these trends, then what defines “self” anymore?

When you’re “Basic,” you become a personified version of the top 20 pop songs being played on the radio.

Our entire lives we are taught that individuality is something to cherish. However, with the massive increase in the Basic population, the obscure and alternative gets overlooked for Uggs and “selfies.”

What I don’t understand is the feverish support of things that aren’t as amazing as the “Basics” lead the public to believe.

Like the infamous pumpkin spice lattes. A grande (medium) P.S.L from Starbucks has 380 calories and 49 grams of sugar. This delicious holiday treat is basically a puddle of sugars, sweeteners and syrups, disguised as actual coffee. And yet, the public devours them the minute Halloween rolls around each year.

It’s little, random, things like a holiday latte that gain support and vigorous usage from “Basics.” A current example of another little random thing that gained an insane amount of popularity: hashtags. The number sign/pound symbol is now a literal visual of something trend worthy. Putting “hashtag” before anything that seems like it needs its own verbal affirmative is part of the “Basic” sub-language. What started as a convenient way to follow threads or phrases on social media sites is now an “ironic” word people say before saying almost anything else.


It makes sense that trends should be followed. Humans have a tribal instinct; a desire to be included, and the easiest way to be included is to follow the crowd. But, the only way that changes are made, and steps are taken towards progression is to walk outside of the normal pathways. Take the road less taken.

With the subculture of Basic practices still on a steady continuum however, alternative progress seems impossible. We will continue to see a college biosphere filled with Kardashian ideologies. A world where two-dimensional popstars and over-hyped eateries will continue to be topics of interest.

My hope for our generation is that we find productive things to focus on instead of blindly worshiping the MTV Movie Awards. I hope for a day where Dickens and Chaucer are talked about again rather than Green and Sparks. I hope for a new morning where “ratchet” and “on fleek” aren’t words we use in our day-to-day dialogues with each other.

Until then however, I’ll watch my colleagues continue to spend money on snapbacks, vape pens, Jordans, and the new iPhones while independent films and art museums sit alone in the corner.

Update: this article headline was changed from “basic” to “Enough with #hashtags,yoga pants and all things basic”. 12:22 p.m. 11/20/2014.