THE BLOG

How I Learned to Relax and Embrace My Inner Basic Bitch

06/04/2014 05:22 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 00:58 EDT
Flickr: jronaldlee

"I looked in to my closet this morning and actually had a conversation with myself about which of my many Lululemon bras I hated the most and was okay with ruining! So that was disturbing!"

I'm in a love/hate relationship with Colour Me Rad. This past weekend I got as close to "Burning Man" as a preppy comedy nerd can get, I ran Colour me Rad. For those of you who are not chicks between the ages of 19 and 29 let me explain. Colour Me Rad is a 5k-charity race where runners are blasted with colour bombs (dyed corn starch -- it's gluten free!) to the sounds of electronica music. It's kind of like an adult summer camp activity with a conscience. It was honestly pretty "rad" and also pretty disturbing.

I'm 22 so anytime there is a large group of people and loud music and I'm asked to scream I'm probably gonna get super in to it. And I did. It was like a sober day rave with a bunch of attractive young people so I'm not going to lie to you and tell you it was awful. It was fun, it was loud, it was messy and it raised money for Big Brothers Big Sisters. These are all things I can get behind. I totally appreciate the event of Colour Me Rad, but it also brought out I side of me that I rarely like to indulge. It brought out my inner basic bitch.

But Hannah, what pray tell is a "Basic Bitch"? Well if we consult my good friend Urban Dictionary you will find that it's "any person involved with obscenely obvious behaviour, dress and action." Can I use it in a sentence? Sure! In grade 11 I only wore Abercrombie and Ugg boots like a totally basic bitch! Are we all on the same page? Great! Colour Me Rad was undeniably fun but it also was disturbingly stereotypical. The last time I indulged in something so broadly stereotypical for a white 20-something woman I was on the floor at a Taylor Swift concert. So let me give you a clearer image of what I mean and how it all went down.

Me and my (smart, talented, critical thinking) race partner show up to Downsview Park wearing matching white tank tops, booty shorts, the Lululemon bras we can stand to sacrifice, our "old" highly technical and expensive running shoes, and hot pink sunglasses. We are met by hundreds of young women who look EXACTLY like us. Like I would turn to say something to my friend and not be confident which of the tall, brunette, white girls was her. I have never been in such a large group that was so completely homogenous.

Then the hot frat boy they hired to host the event starts outlining how the proceeds of the day will go to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and there was a laughable din (including myself) of "Oh yeahhhh, that's what it's for!" That doesn't look great on us. This was followed by a Zumba warm-up to a Pitbull song! Have you ever heard of something so "White Chicks"? If you told me Daman Wayans wrote the plot of this day I would 100 per cent believe you.

Once the "race" (I use that term very lightly) began it became very apparent no one was there to run. I physically ran in to girls who abruptly stopped to take a selfie on the route at least four or five times. The point of the race was to Instagram a picture proving you and your girls had done something cool that day. So I Instagrammed it! My friend and I wanted a jumping picture, which, as we all know, takes serious dedication, timing, and practice so we needed to enlist a photographer. "Find a dude! They'll be more willing to spend time with us to get a good one" said my rad runner friend (did I mention she was super smart?) we found a very willing young man and got the perfect shot! Of course the "likes" started pouring in and we couldn't help but feel validated at our achievement of being the whitest white girls who ever white girl'd.

I like to think my friend and I are pretty interesting gals. We have incredibly specific interests, skills and goals. I personally have spent a lot of time carving out my unique voice as both a woman and an artist, so why did it feel so so so good to indulge my basic bitch-dom? I try so hard to not be boring, to not be the person some marketing firm has decided I should be. That being said, letting myself indulge a little brain wash-y groupthink was just so fun. I don't know what to make of that! Hence my love/hate relationship with Colour Me Rad. Did I love every second of that day? Sure did! Did that same day send me in to an existential tailspin? You betcha!

I suppose what I've learned is I need to become friends with my own basic bitch. Being a unique individual with a bevy of thoughts and interests and opinions doesn't mean I can't love and appreciate my own stereotype. Confession time: I am a white, middle class, young woman and I love Starbucks, and country music, and Hunter rain boots, and tweeting about my nail polish obsession, and Colour Me Rad. That doesn't mean you can't like those things and it doesn't mean I only like those things. I don't want to reject things at the risk of being too mainstream or stereotypical anymore.

2014-06-04-image1.jpeg

So that's what happens when a hyper self-aware person runs in a charity 5k! What did you guys do this weekend? Did it shake the foundation of who you are as a human? No...Just me?...Great!