Sunday, January 23, 2022

Basic Bitches Will Save the Economy: A Theory

Once rejected, now accepted, here she is – our saviour

Back when we were all ridiculously debating the pros and cons of legalising gay marriage, a photographer at one of the support marches in the US took a photo of a homemade sign that ended up going viral.

“Three words that will save the economy. Gay. Bridal. Registry.”

Now, I’ll admit my concept of numbers, finance and general economic matters is as strong as the drinks you get in a bougie club at 3am when the bartenders (rightly) assume you’re too pissed to notice it’s just soda with a sliver of lemon.

But I remember thinking, yassss, Queen – save the world, one container of glitter and set of ridiculously expensive wine glasses at a time, if you’ll pardon the generalisation.

Now it’s 2020 and we’re in the middle of a pandemic that’s personally robbed me of my freedom, my job, my income and my access to free beauty products (seriously, it’s the only reason any of us ever stayed in magazines for so long – I had to buy moisturiser for the first time in nine years the other day and I was SHOOK. First world problems I know but give me a break, I’m unemployed).

Now, it’s time for another fabulous, fierce and fun group to step in and lead the way – but now, our salvation will come one brunch at a time.

Fellow Basic Bitches, it’s now your mission, nay, your DUTY, to save the country.

Our title’s etymology is dripping with distain, condescension and sexism – ‘typical’, ‘unoriginal’, ‘predicable’. Urban Dictionary’s original definition ‘A bum ass woman who think she the shit, but she ain’t’. Or my personal favourite, ‘a gross miscalculation of one’s specialness’. Ooosh.

The term first emerged into the public conscious via hip-hop lyrics in the late 2000’s, describing a fake girl whose handbags were designer knockoffs and who only wore Uggs no matter the rest of her outfit.

We’ve evolved somewhat – from Friends it was then Gossip Girl, then Fleabag. RTDs to pinot gris, to rosé, and then somehow, weirdly, back to RTDs. Rihanna to Lady Gaga to Lizzo.

But in the last few years we’ve also shamelessly, powerfully and righteously reclaimed the title of Basic Bitch. Now, it’s about social media appeal and relatability, a showing off of everyday status symbols and situations – the well-lit images of flat whites and smashed avo on toast that also shows just a peak of your impossibly gleaming white Stan Smiths and perhaps a delightfully moody dog called Coco. Whereas it used to be basic to give in to the urge to conform, now it’s about sharing your conformity on social media – but in a fun, individual way, always with a caption that either blames astrological phenomenon for your bad luck and period cramps or references ‘rosé all day’ as soon as the clock strikes 12. (Proud to say these are both taken from my own feed; when your period and Mercury retrograde align, all bets are OFF). A true Basic Bitch effortlessly dances on the fine line of buying cool shit because we’re all told to, but not buying enough to be a try-hard. It’s not enough having the cool shit – you have to know why it’s cool.

“We’re the complete consumer cycle – buy, influence, be influenced, buy again. ”

But, the fact remains that we’re both the best marketers and the best consumers out there – our thoughts and opinions influence and sell. Just once well-timed and well-executed Insty post of a coffee clutched in a well-manicured hand, in which you can see just a glimpse of a gorgeous Witchery jumper, a Zoe and Morgan ring and Freedom couch, all tagged for your convenience, can set of a viral reaction that spreads faster than… well, you know what I mean. We’re the complete consumer cycle – buy, influence, be influenced, buy again.

So, all my Basic Bitches, it’s time to do your bit for the nation and get that economy humming again. Harness your power: pause the Friends re-runs, suck down a Nespresso and pick up your Michael Kors wallet – you gotta get to work, girl.

Your 10-step stimulus plan:

  1. First, of course, Starbucks, the motherland. Those caramel macchiatos aren’t going to drink themselves. Grab a cinnamon scroll while you’re there, you’ve got a country to save and you need the energy.

  2. Then, a manicure at the place in the mall that smells like the cupboard your mum used to keep the cleaning products in. Go for a gel in either a classic nude if you’re a simple Basic Bitch, or if you feel a little vampy, dive straight into that crimson, especially if you’re planning to get amongst Bumble again.

  3. On that note, wax appointment. It’s been six weeks.

  4. How’s your crystal stash? Another rose quartz can’t hurt, and there’s a full moon coming up. Best stock up on some sage too, there’s bound to be some dickhead behaviour coming from (select all that apply) your boss/partner/boomer in front of you in the supermarket queue who’s complaining about the line that you’ll have to cleanse away from yourself STAT.

  5. Stop in at Kathmandu for a new puffer jacket. Winter is coming.

  6. Time for brunch with the girls! Only a couple of mimosas and some eggs benne for you though, you’ve got a nation to fix. Do you think Jacinda ever has more than two Bellini’s before her daily press conferences, for fuck’s sake?

  7. Girl, you deserve a little present – those five weeks in ISO sucked, even with all the Lockdown Loaf and banana bread you baked and the quarantinis you, like, totally invented. It’s time to pop into Karen Walker for a little trinket. She even has chic little dog collars now, perfect for your little pug.

  8. Oh shit, almost forgot about candles. Has to be Ecoya, obvs. As luck would have it they have a new fragrance, Blood Orange. Oooh, sassy.

  9. Should probably have a look in Kmart. You don’t particularly need anything but just take a basket with you, all the shit you didn’t know you needed will reveal itself as soon as you step into the homewares section, and can you ever have too much copper and rattan?

  10. Finally, head into town where your squad are waiting with fried chicken, bao and a bottle each of rosé, and post all your amazing, original finds. It’s a fellow bitches’ turn tomorrow.

It’s our time, fellow Basic Bitches. Keep calm, carry on and save the damn country. See you in Decjuba.

Dating Without Borders: The Surprising Charm Of Long-Distance Romance

'If, like me, your children are grown and you simply want a special someone to have adventures with, the long-distance romance has a lot...

2022, The Year of YES! How and Where Kiwis Want To Travel This Year Revealed

Finally, the friendly skies look like they're opening again! Grab that passport (ok, first find that passport) and head off on an adventure -...

‘We Live In A Culture That Says What We Do Equates To Our Worth’: Busting The Productivity Myth With Extraordinary Routines’ Creator Madeleine Dore

When Madeleine Dore first started up her Extraordinary Routines website, it was to uncover the secrets of living an organised and creative life. Five...

So, You Want to Start Investing? Your Ultimate Beginner’s Guide by Girls That Invest

Investing - it's an intimidating-sounding term that, for some reason, women have historically been apprehensive about doing. But if you're like us at Capsule...