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On the Basic White Girl

| Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I am a 19-year-old student at Saint Mary’s College. I’ve done loads of laundry that consist entirely of leggings and yoga pants. I love my iPhone and anything that tastes like pumpkin spice. I wear Uggs in the winter, I drink Starbucks regularly and yes, I own a selfie stick. Basically, I’m what you would call a basic white girl. And while I’ve always embraced this stereotype, I think it’s about time we stop shaming girls for liking what they like and realize that saying, “Wow can you be anymore of a white girl?” is not only stupid, but also harmful.

What I don’t understand is society’s need to make anything a teenage girl does into a joke. I can’t count how many “Here come the Hunter boots” or “Does every girl have to wear a North Face, leggings and Uggs now that it’s getting cold out?” Yaks there are every time the weather changes.

Newsflash: Hunter boots keep your feet dry in the rain, Uggs keep your feet warm in the cold, North Face makes quality jackets, and leggings are comfortable.

Growing up as a girl is a lot harder than society gives girls credit for. You have to have a thigh gap and small waist, accentuated by your bigger butt and chest. You can’t let people walk all over you, but the second you stand up for yourself, you’re looking for attention. You can’t eat too much because that’s unattractive. But you can’t eat too little because no guy likes the girl who orders a salad. And heaven forbid your bra strap is showing; everyone knows that that particular item of clothing must remain top secret.

A lot of people joke around about the white girl stereotype. They say they don’t mean it maliciously, and they think it’s just something funny, but then they add, “Except for actual basic white girls. They’re annoying.” And why are they annoying? The only answer I’ve heard to this question is “Because they’re so basic.”

While society has made strides towards gender equality, we’re not there yet. And not just legally. Yes, women earn less money than men and that is a problem. But also, gender discrimination is infused in our culture. Take bands for example. One Direction has a largely female fan base, and, not only does the band gets shade for that, but the girls who like the band are ridiculed. Of course you like One Direction; you’re a white girl. And, of course, they’re not a real band. They’re nothing like the Beatles, who by the way had a largely female fan base and are in fact the original boy band.

The problem with this stereotype is that girls have always been second class citizens, and even though it isn’t as obvious as it was a few decades ago, the underlying ideas still plague society. People need to stop shaming women for liking what they like. So what if everyone dresses the same? Maybe what we wear is practical or comfortable or just what we want to wear. It shouldn’t matter to anyone else what women do, and calling us basic white girls is just perpetuating a toxic culture.

So ladies, the next time someone judges you for being a “basic white girl,” forget the haters, get yourself a latte and remember that you’re #blessed.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

About Nicole Caratas

Nicole is a senior English Writing and Humanistic Studies double major at Saint Mary's College. Now a senior news writer, she previously served as the Saint Mary's Editor. She was born in real Chicago but grew up in the suburbs, and she currently lives in Opus Hall.

Contact Nicole