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What the hell is a basic bitch?

Apparently, I am “basic”.

When I was told this, I immediately took it as an insult. Does this mean I’m naive or dumb? Does this mean I have no depth or that I can’t make an informed argument? Is this an insinuation of intolerance?

No — it all centres on my choice of drink, television shows, and music preferences. All of that combined makes me a #basicbitch. While some are embracing this new label (because what other choice is there), I find it just as offensive as my own personal definition.

Being “basic” is slang for someone who follows trends and lacks individuality. It is a term used to describe a person — particularly white women — who enjoy seasonal drinks, chic clothes, and healthy goods. A basic bitch watches Love Actually every Christmas, gets excited for pumpkin spice lattes, can quote Friends in any conversation, wears Uggs and leggings, and shops at Whole Foods.

This term has been circulating the Internet for about a year now, and doesn’t seem to be going away. If you google it, the term is synonymous with the word “airhead”.

Now, I know I’m not an airhead. I don’t brainlessly go shopping or talk like a valley girl. I’m an editor and a writer. I am capable of talking about anything from business, law and politics to fashion, food, and design. I am tolerant, intelligent, and I have a quick wit. I enjoy listening to other people argue about topics I don’t agree with because it exposes me to new perspectives. I love going to local coffee shops, watching documentaries, and reading.

At the same time, I enjoy a good peppermint mocha and will go to a Christmas market at least three times throughout the month of December. I practice yoga twice a week. I like going to health food stores and I love my blanket scarf. Do my consumption choices or habits overweigh the other aspects of my personality? Apparently so.

Ironically, the word “basic” is a lazy insult. It requires little thought and no creativity. It’s such a blanket term that very few people actually know what it means. Calling a woman “basic” is another way of saying “I have absolutely nothing to say about you as a human being so instead I’m going to make fun of you for what you are wearing, eating, and whatever activities you are doing over the weekend.” It’s a way of making people feel ashamed of who they are without actually pinpointing why they should feel ashamed.

It also shows an incredible lack of understanding into what makes a person an individual. I think you’ll find that most people are quite complex, and that just because a woman relishes in very female (I say with rolled eyes and air quotes) activities and likes to follow certain trends, that doesn’t determine who she is.

And yet, despite these arguments, the term it’s sticking. There are hundreds of quizzes online that will help you determine how “basic” you are. People are commenting on Instagram and Facebook with things like “so basic” every time a woman posts a travel photo of herself on the beach in a bikini or tasting a novelty dessert.

To me, the term “basic” is void of any meaning. It gives people the opportunity to mock and shame women for just being themselves. And anytime women are shamed for their personalities, society loses.

Let me put it another way: call me “basic” one more time and you’ll find out exactly what kind of a bitch I can be.

For the love of pumpkin: the weirdest pumpkin spice products you can find

Fall marks the return of oversized sweaters, cozy weather, and everything pumpkin. It’s hard to ignore the fact that as soon as September arrives — pumpkin is in. This fashionable orange gourd has many by-products, including the popular pumpkin spice. The traditional pumpkin spice mix, often added to the Thanksgiving favourite, pumpkin pie, is similar to a mixed spice blend using common flavours in the fall.

This blend includes nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, all spice, and cloves. Yes, you read that right, pumpkin spice doesn’t actually contain pumpkin, which is the most ironic part. Popular brands like Starbucks are celebrating over 10 years of the famous Pumpkin Spice Latte (or PSL) and it was only in 2015 that it was announced the drinks would actually contain real pumpkin puree instead of a mixture of artificial ingredients and colours.

There is no denying the pumpkin spice obsession. Almost every café has caught on to the fall trend of pumpkin scented or flavoured products. But, where do you draw the line? Here are some of the weirdest, unusual, and not so usual pumpkin/ pumpkin spice products you can find.

Pumpkin Spice Pizza

A New Jersey pizza joint, Villa Italian Kitchen, added something new this fall, with the pumpkin spice pizza. The pizza is your usual dough with savoury cheese— but forget the pepperoni; this one is topped with spoonfuls of pumpkin pie filling. Once out of the oven, even more filling is added. This one is a pumpkin pie overload.

Pumpkin Spice Deodorant

I really wish I was joking with this one, but Native, an American company that manufactures all-natural deodorants for men and women, recently released their latest inspiration. This deodorant is a limited–edition pumpkin-spice-latte-scented product. The product description reads, “Inspired by the PSL, this deodorant makes the perfect holiday gift. Subtle notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.”

I really can’t think of a better way to describe your love for PSL—by smelling like it.

Pumpkin Spice Soap/ Lotion/ Scrub

If the deodorant is not enough for you, there is a very real trend of people making homemade pumpkin spice soaps. There are lists of various recipes people have used to make this pumpkin spice scented product. The Farmers’ Market Soaps even offers this product made using organic avocado, blueberry butter, shea butter and added hints of pumpkin spice preserves. This one is less of a shock considering brands like Bath and Body Works, which literally offers every fall scent from marshmallow-roasted, spiced, and pumpkin-apple products.

 

Pumpkin Spice Rum

You can now get intoxicated on pumpkin spice! Once again, I am not making this one up. Captain Morgan Rums has added pumpkin spice to their traditional alcoholic beverage to “add some fall spice to your favourite cocktails.” Pumpkin spice alcohol is definitely a growing trend, as this rum joined the already existing pumpkin pie vodka from Pinnacale and the list of craft pumpkin beers available at the LCBO. This pumpkin spices rum is called Captain Morgan— Jack-O’Blast and is sold in an obvious pumpkin shaped bottle. Because pumpkin!

 

Pumpkin Spice Pet Treats
Your pets can enjoy pumpkin spice just as much as you do. Greenies’ dental treats is just one small example of chewable dog treats in pumpkin spice flavour. There is also a long list online where people can find the recipes for these treats for their canine pet.

I think I’ve said the word pumpkin enough times for today. Let us know in the comments below some crazy pumpkin spice themed products you’ve come across.

What’s the deal with the unicorn trend?

Google “unicorn” and hundreds of thousands of things will pop up. Everything from the trendy Starbucks frappucchino to brightly coloured hairstyles. It’s verging on the ridiculous and I, for one, don’t really understand the appeal.

What’s with this obsession with unicorns? First of all, in most lore, unicorns are majestic and rare creatures. They have a pearly white skin tone and a long, luscious mane. Most mythology attributes the unicorn as a symbol of purity. In these stories (and throughout modern film), the unicorn becomes a metaphor for magic and uniqueness. A person is described as a unicorn if their personality is quirky and different from those of their peers — a rarity among a society of conforming sheep.

Unicorn: unique, rare, mysterious, and impossible to find.

And yet, here we are in 2017, quite literally mass producing this idea. If there was a need to re-define irony, it would be called “the unicorn.” We have icy cold drinks, hairstyles, makeup lines, clothing, movies, and television shows. There are books, comics, phone cases, water bottles, and even nail art!

Now, I’m not saying we should ban the unicorn. Quite the opposite! As children, fantasizing about mythical and magical creatures is a big part of growing up. I think young adults should constantly be questioning reality and searching for the impossible. I also like the idea of using a unicorn to represent individuality. Young people are constantly searching for something to relate to, something to symbolize them! Using a unicorn as a blanket representation for individual thought and uniqueness is fine, but, the unicorn of 2017 is doesn’t quite measure up.

This unicorn, the one that is trending all over the Internet, is a mad concoction of cartoonish pink and blue. It’s not majestic or pure or rare — it’s just everywhere! The unicorn has become a fad, consumed for high-prices and Instagram likes. It’s become the theme of athletic races and a weird trend during concerts. It’s no longer about originality. It’s no longer about fantastical creatures and adventures. It’s no longer about standing out in a crowd.

It’s about money and social media fame.

The Starbucks unicorn frappucchino was the latest insane venture from the unicorn fan club. Admittedly, I did not purchase one, but was curious enough to ask a few friends what it tastes like. The verdict? It was supposed to taste like mango and blue raspberry, but instead tasted a bit like expired birthday cake. Not terrible, but not delicious either. I don’t regret not purchasing one, even if my description for this article is a bit lax. Most people didn’t enjoy it a whole lot, but they took lots of selfies with it. It looked cool! And it was “unicorn-themed” — so they bought it. Now that the limited-time drink is gone (all the baristas are saying ‘thank god’), I think it’s time to remind the public about the original unicorn. The one that didn’t look like a clown threw up.

Can we all just admit that it’s okay to be different. It’s okay to be a unicorn among a crowd. And we don’t need a specialized drink, hairstyle, or nail polish to believe it?

 

What do you think of the unicorn fad? Have you tried the frozen treat? Let us know in the comments below!