Crowd Shortcuts – a quick chat about something that’s caught our attention. This week, we're asking when did being ‘basic’ become something to shout about?
What’s all this then? Being ‘basic’ is shedding its shameful connotations and turning into something to be celebrated. In other words: lame is the name of 2023’s game.
Catchy! But isn’t being ‘basic’ an insult? Well, it simply means enjoying things that are mainstream. It’s shorthand for an individual’s inability to tap into nicher, unconventional and eclectic themes that are considered more interesting. What we’re seeing now is people owning their ‘basic’ preferences. Enjoying cringy, mainstream things is their thing, and they’re not afraid to shout about it.
That’s nice. Why do you think that is? After so much of the 2020s being about the development of niche aesthetics and an urgency to stand out, people are more or less ready to fit in. The pressure to be unique is giving way to the joy of collective appreciation.
Phew, sounds like a lot less effort. Where can I see this in action? If you’ve been on any social platforms recently, you’ll have seen the ticket craze surrounding Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour. Videos of hysterical fans went viral as they displayed intense reactions to getting (or not getting) absurdly expensive concert tickets to a very popular, very mainstream artist. Their public outpourings had zero shame.
Those Swifties! Where else is ‘basicness’ shining through? Pinterest’s 2023 trend report predicts ‘romcom core’ – people shamelessly dressing up as their favourite early Y2K romcom characters – as the aesthetic to watch (surprise, surprise: romcoms represent a more mainstream side of entertainment). In a similar light, recent hit shows like The White Lotus have people hunting on Google for the theoretical price of a White Lotus hotel stay, or step-by-step makeup tips from Jennifer Coolidge.
Halloween 2023 is gonna be a big one. All this chat is making me hungry… bingo! Brunches are back. The more ‘basic’ the better (bottomless, anyone?). And, while it would’ve been semi-ghastly to post a food pic in the past, shameless basicness encourages those “no-one-eats-until-I-get-the-insta-worthy-shot” moments.
So does all this mean I can enjoy my pumpkin spice latte in public? Yes! When the time comes, enjoy your seasonal drink with zero hesitation. You may run into long lines of other like-minded pumpkin spice lovers, but there’s no time like the present to partake in the lamestream.
TL;DR: People are shunning social media’s ever-fracturing aesthetics in favour of simpler, mainstream joys. Take those UGGs out of storage and wear them without fear of public humiliation – you will be the trendiest person everywhere you go.