Where Readers and Writers Meet

The Basic Bitch Exists in Books and We Have Five Favorites

in Fiction by

Fall is the season of basic bitches: pumpkin spice everything, infinity scarves, knee-high boots and scented candles that smell like “Autumn Wreath.” A basic bitch devours these things, or at least Instagrams herself with them on the regular: #lovingfall #pumpkins #uggsarewarm.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, let me educate you: a basic bitch is a girl with no real distinct personality, who loves anything that’s popular and paints her life as an endless stream of duck-face selfies while clutching a Starbucks latte. We all know a basic bitch—hell, sometimes we are basic bitches (pumpkin spice just tastes sooo good!). And basic bitches have been around a lot longer than you’d think: they’ve been cropping up in our books for years and years.

In honor of the fall season, here are our top five favorite basic book bitches:

Daisy Buchanan, from The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Daisy is the original manic pixie dream girl, only without the manic part. Or the pixie. Or even the dream, really. She’s not much more than a vessel for Gatsby’s love and his fantasy of her is way more interesting than her real personality. She’s easily swayed, unwilling to take real risks and pretty much just a blank slate for men to project their desires onto. Wrap her up in oversized knits and stick a froyo in her hand, and Daisy is the perfect basic bitch.

Bella Swan, from Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer

First of all, Bella has the most basic bitch name in the entire universe. Beautiful swan? Yeah, sure. She’s described as quiet, introspective, and so “deep” that Edward can’t even hear her thoughts. We’re not buying it; Bella’s actually a pretty basic girl who just thinks she’s a special snowflake (having a few hotties fight over her doesn’t hurt). She loves predictable girl literature like Wuthering Heights, doesn’t really have much personality to speak of, and is “adorably” clumsy. It’s not hard to picture her pinning artsy photos of foliage on Pinterest for the rest of eternity.

Kitty Bennett, from Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

From Mary’s dour vanity to Lydia’s flirty lust for life, the Bennett sisters all have strong personalities. But Kitty is the one who gets lost in the shuffle, following Lydia’s lead despite being older. She only ever talks about boys and clothes, whines about being left out and never manages to accomplish much. This girl is one boxed wine away from busting out her Sex and the City DVDs and calling it a day.

Princess Buttercup, from The Princess Bride, by William Goldman

This one is tough—The Princess Bride is my favorite movie, and one of my favorite books. But let’s face it: Buttercup is the definition of basic. She’s supposed to be, too, and it’s something that gets a little more addressed in the book when Westley praises her beauty and she wishes he’d praise her intellect instead. Not that there’s much intellect to speak of. In a book that’s so sarcastic it hurts, Buttercup is basically a stand-in for “beautiful girl.” This is the girl with a flower crown at a music festival secretly wishing Taylor Swift would take the stage.

Amy March, from Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott

Amy is kind of the worst. She’s whiny, self-absorbed and needs so much attention that she burns Jo’s novel (I’m still pissed about that). Even as a grownup she doesn’t get much better. Whatever childhood spark she has disappears and we’re left with a milk-toast adult who manages to snag Laurie despite her fairly boring—but somehow still vain—personality. She’s a pretty girl who looks great in those skinny jeans and boots, but oh-man do you not want to have a conversation with her.

Who are your favorite basic bitches from books? Let us know in the comments!

Rachel Carter grew up surrounded by trees and snow and mountains. She graduated from the University of Vermont and Columbia University, where she received her MFA in nonfiction writing. She is the author of the So Close to You series with Harperteen. These days you can find her working on her next novel in the woods of Vermont.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Go to Top