“Basic white girls.”
A little while ago, I watched a YouTube video in which the speaker casually used this term. It was a video about the two newest American Girl dolls, Nicki and Isabel, who are twins from the 1990s. The YouTuber stated that she is not a fan of the twins overall, but praised the fact that American Girl decided to make the sisters half Jewish, so that at least they are not just “basic white girls.”
The more I thought about it, the more this flippant, offhand comment bothered me.
Why are white girls considered “basic”? Why are white people considered more “basic” than black people or Asian people or Hispanic people or indigenous people? What exactly is it about light skin that makes a person “basic,” while people with darker skin tones are not classified that way?
To label white girls as “basic” is racist.
People come in a wide range of skin colors, from dark to light. All skin colors are equal. People with light skin are not “basic,” any more than people with dark skin are.
People come with a wide range of eye colors, hair colors, hair textures, and hair lengths. Nicki happens to have long, brown hair and blue eyes, while Isabel has medium length blond hair and green eyes. These attributes do not make them “basic,” any more than a doll with dark skin, dark brown eyes, and black hair would be “basic.”
There is also the attitude that the only characteristic saving Nicki and Isabel from being completely “basic” is their Jewish ancestry. This, of course, implies that Christian people are “basic.” Therefore, this comment reeks not only of racism but of religious prejudice as well.
People – both fictional and real – have all different personality traits, backgrounds, life experiences, abilities/disabilities, hobbies, interests, preferences, and views. People have different stories, different struggles, different obstacles to overcome. Yet our society has seemingly decided that some attributes make a person “interesting” and deserving of having their story told, while other attributes make a person boring and “basic.”
Honestly, comments like these hurt. I am tired of seeing and hearing comments like this being thrown around so flippantly and casually, as if they are nothing. Comments like this are not nothing. They are racist. The fact that it is so common for these types of comments to be casually tossed about, and so rare to see them called out as the bigotry that they are, demonstrates the systemic, anti-white racism that pervades our society.
Nicki and Isabel are white girls. But they are not “basic,” and neither am I.