I find myself fascinated with the concept of a basic white girl who likes PSL. The intrigue is both in the sexist assumptions about women and the class issues – I can name dozens of women like me who grew up desperately aspiring to be a basic white girl. It finally dawned on me that the essence is consumption – basic white girls consume without reflective thought and that’s a valuable transactional mode for corporate America. It is how we are groomed.
I say we because I grew up as in a working class white family in the 1980’s – right on the cusp of being a mall kid and a typical suburban girl. I just wasn’t typical. But of course I wanted stuff – I was a true believer in the mythology that the right jeans, the right shoes and the right hair could help me find happiness. It was even more true for kids like me who didn’t have anything. Those of us who didn’t even have food on some days much less great winter gloves. Of course I knew that these were symbols – that having STUFF meant I would have even more important things, like stability and security and love and endless days without yelling, booze or someone weeping hysterically.
I can totally see that a nice pair of aviators, Uggh boots and a great sweater on a crisp autumn afternoon with a delicious hot drink would seem — perfect. That’s how powerful consumption culture is. Even all these years later, I can see the allure. It is powerful. I still feel drawn to be a basic white girl. And I can admit it.
Plus, I really like the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks. It tasted good. 🙂
So here’s a few more amusing memes for your enjoyment. I can laugh at myself. And maybe this is the year I’ll get me some Uggh boots.