Have you ever been hated or discriminated against?
Remimah: Ermmm…this isn’t about Eminem, is it?
Ramat: No. It isn’t.
Ramat: Eminem just comes to mind as I write this piece. So let’s get to it, right?
Ladies, have you ever been called a ‘Basic Chick’? You all know ‘chick’ isn’t the term, right? It is more like a B with an itch.
If you have never been called that, you are probably wondering what this is about. Or you are one of those who call women that and in that case,
thunder fire you this post is about you.
I was called a ‘basic chick’ and I had to ask around to find out what it meant. Since Urban Dictionary is big on giving new words and phrases undo relevance, I went there to check. And was shocked! There are just too many definitions for the term! Like you can be called a ‘basic bitch’ for literally anything.
I couldn’t find a definition that suited the situation so I chose one that was close;
Somebody who is boring and unoriginal.
I believe this description fits because it followed the statements, ‘Ramat, you need to do your hair more often, wear trendy clothes! Shave your eyebrows for crying out loud! And would you die if you wear proper make up? How can you not care about how you look? Your look is boring abeg. Don’t be a basic bitch!’
Hey! It is not like I deliberately remembered all the words. The thing just peppered me small.
I will be the first to admit that I have no sense of ‘style’; which is basically saying my style isn’t mainstream or trendy. I wear what is on top my clothes pile and just go. Many people have said I dress like I am from the 70s – the 70s! – and though it hurts, I don’t know how to be different. I wear what I’m most comfortable in and if I am being honest, I am uber self-conscious about drawing attention to myself. You will most likely find me in clothes that are sizes too big and in muted tones.
Being called a ‘basic chick’ stung a bit. Okay…a lot. The thought of being boring because I don’t ‘dress to impress’ made me feel some type of way. I want the first impression people have of me to be about my mind but I know that is idealistic. People will judge me based on what I wear, how I look, and the way I smell before they even hear me talk. And for many, an opinion will be formed on whether I fit into their sphere or not. What is it they say about first impressions again? I know this is especially true for people working in some sectors of the economy; sectors like entertainment, media, banking, hospitality etc.
Many guys and girls have had to resort to switching up their looks to fit in. When they refuse to, they deal with criticism from family, friends and ‘fans’.
Be strong Simi…even this will pass. The need to be considered ‘cool’, ‘fresh’, a ‘trendsetter’, or as my cousin would say, a ‘clean’ guy or girl is something that is deeply rooted in most of us. Some of us make the effort. Others, not so much. This means that there is always someone who thinks they are better than you since they are better dressed. That is why people write you off if you are not clad in designer clothes and accessories, wearing a ton of makeup, or carrying the most expensive tresses that money can buy.
So what do you do when you constantly have to deal with the pressure to fit in? Especially when you see that people who fit in seem to be making more head way that you? Especially when you are in an industry where your dress, style, look and smell can get you further than your capabilities can?
I want to say, ‘Be you!’, ‘Be original’, ‘You are unique’ and all those silly nothingness we get fed by people who only share their success stories. But! Does that really do anything for you? Does that make you secure when you think of that gig you didn’t get because you didn’t have the ‘look’? But then again, if you begin to make those changes – lighten your skin, wear those long tresses, the designer clothes, makeup and perfume – would it ever stop? Is there ever a point where enough would be enough?
Fashion trends are constantly changing. New ideas are rapidly been picked up and others tossed out. What is in today may be meh tomorrow. So keeping up can be a full time job. I think that people have to find what works for them and let others be. You want to be trendy? That is okay. You want to be simple and maybe ‘drab’? Then do you! There will always be people who want what you are offering, no matter how you package it.
And if you insist on putting people down because they do not fit into your ideals, I want to tell you something. ‘Thunder fire you!’