Basic Instinct

“Basic.” It’s a hot word right now – currently being overused to describe an extraordinary amount of young adult females. The basic bitches. As much as I like this general concept, I think there’s a lot of misuse surrounding the word. There needs to be some clarification: What exactly makes a bitch basic? Is it an insult? What is the societal relevance?

Basically – pun intended – what I have gathered is that to call a young woman “basic” is to call her “common.” To me, that’s a whopping insult. To me, that says I am so lacking in unique and illuminating qualities, that I’ve been reduced to another shadowed face among the crowd. For many, that is acceptable – some people aren’t narcissistic attention seekers like me don’t prefer to stand out, and that’s okay. Common is a word that has never sat well with me. Typical. Average. Maybe it’s the trophy generation upbringing once again, but I have never been comfortable with being considered average. Even the word normal hasn’t often been in the cards, but that’s another post for another time.

Well, this scene was anything but basic...
Well, this scene was anything but basic…

To really dive into this social epidemic of “basic,” we need to dissect the qualifications of the basic bitch. This is where the misuse of the word comes into play. The criteria appears to be as simple as possessing a pair of Ugg boots and a penchant for Starbucks. That idea seems too… well, basic. It is acceptable to be somewhat of a corporate consumer in the capitalist society we live in, and to avoid that can be a little impractical as well as inconvenient. I fail to see the correlation between the enjoyment of skinny caramel macchiatos and a chick’s personal style, personality, or intellect… Things we should really be making more of our judgments based on, if we’re going to be judging people, which we usually are.

Does she have fangs? I'm pretty sure she has fangs...
Does she have fangs? I’m pretty sure she has fangs…

We’re throwing out this label to any female we disapprove of, with little to no regard for the meaning. It’s almost like when people use the word “literally” but mean “figuratively” and they aren’t using it ironically – they literally don’t understand what “literally” means. Let’s go deeper. (That’s what she said.) Let’s look at an individual’s substance. Their originality. Their sense of humor. The qualities they bring to the table. Few things are so simple and so black and white. Life is not a Buzzfeed list.

What kind of music do they listen to? Is it strictly overplayed Hot 100 songs? Do they have any taste of their own, or do they unwittingly rely on commercialism and marketing campaigns to tell them what they like? The same goes for movies. Books. Clothes. I suppose we’re just assessing individuality and replaceability. Shouldn’t we all strive to bring something new to the table? To be as wholly ourselves as possible? To be shepherds instead of sheep? To be original?

Maybe wearing a Catholic school uniform for the majority of my life pushed me towards a slightly more eccentric lifestyle. I desired to stand out among the seas of matching skirts and polo shirts. I never really wanted to be another Cathy Jean shoe. The challenge has always seemed to be fitting in without blending in. To be accepted, but striking.

When it comes down to it, I don’t find myself to be a basic bitch, although I doubt very many women do. My lifetime obsessions with things like Sci-Fi, vintage films, and classic rock music set me apart long before I really appreciated being a nomadic individual as opposed to another member of the crowd. I spent a hot minute in the Lord Of The Rings Club in high school, but I didn’t really know enough Elvish for the experience to benefit me. I’ve even ventured toward the other extreme of attempting that platinum blonde hair/ pumpkin orange tan look, and I can’t even begin to tell you what a disaster that was. However, do these qualities sum up who I really am as a person or what kind of person I am? Not in the slightest. I don’t think the determining factors of “basic” do that either.

“Basic” isn’t a moral compass, but more of an original one. Few want to be the extreme Venice Beach Freakshow fighting every ounce of their being to be as unique as possible, while simultaneously exiling themselves from society – so it’s still about finding that balance. Distinguishing yourself while still being socially “acceptable.” It’s sort of tragic.

Thank you very little

Even after all of this examination, I don’t think the “basic” trend is really doing anyone any favors. If you are basic, you might be unoriginal. If you call someone basic, well, who are you to call someone basic? If nobody was basic, wouldn’t that make it more difficult to be original, and then if everyone were original, would everyone then be basic? And now, so many people are using the term, that “basic” is, in itself, becoming basic. Basically.

Like most things, we should all probably give less of a shit and just do what makes us happy.

Sautter, out.


P.S. Here are a couple other great reads that have been sent to me regarding the basic phenomenon:

NY Mag





Take Notes ♪ ♫ – 4.22.14


American Royalty

I saw these Brooklyn based guys at a Halloween event last year and I’ve been hooked ever since. Their psychedelic sounds are funky and soothing and I can’t wait to see them perform again. They’re also chill AF.

John Newman

I had only heard his vocals on Rudimental’s tracks “Feel The Love” and “Not Giving In” and after seeing him perform with them at Coachella, the kid has some badass talents. Definitely another name to check out in this white boy soul/R&B/pop/Motown thing that is happening right now.


Mentioned above, I saw Rudimental at Coachella and their set was off the hook. I didn’t really know what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised because the entire thing was fun and filled overall great performances. “Feel The Love” got me started, but my far and away favorite is “Free” featuring the vocal stylings of Emeli Sande.


Tove Lo

I’m gonna be honest, I’m not really sure how to pronounce her name. Is is “Tove” like “Love” or like “Stove”? Someone answer this for me. Anyway, her song “Habits” is addicting. Definitely started a habit of listening to this chick on repeat.



Liz Nistico and Louie Diller are a talented and totally cool duo. Their songs are upbeat and definitely bring great vibes. It makes sense they have a song called “Happy With Me” because that is exactly how I feel listening to their music. Way to go, Louie!


If you can’t wait until my next post and want to stalk me check out what I’m currently listening to, follow me on Spotify, Soundcloudand DayJam.






After getting a surprising amount of shit from an apparently large male audience for not including menswear suggestions in my Hey! Shiny Objects! Coachella post, I decided to avoid doing my day job attempt one… until I thought to myself, why the fuck are you asking for my advice?

“You’re a guy, stfu – this isn’t about you and what clothes you’re going to ruin from getting super bro-sweaty.”

– JP Barcenas

But seriously – I’m flattered by the amount of requests I’ve gotten from dudes, considering I do not work in fashion, nor am I knowledgeable at all regarding men’s attire. Fellas, you’ve been warned.

The general man wardrobe for ‘Chella is pretty simple: bro tanks, short sleeved button ups, ironic or trendy T’s, short shorts (sky’s out, thighs out – right, guys?), hipster jorts for those nuts (pun intended) enough to brave the heat and lack of ventilation, Vans or Converse or flip flops, a good pair of shades, and maybe a hat. Not complicated. Consider bringing a backpack and a flannel. Don’t be afraid to mix things up with prints, colors, body paint, and facial hair. Don’t wear any Native American headdresses. That’s pretty much all I’ve got for ya. Here are some pictures you could have Googled yourself of guys who should be my Coachella boyfriend whose outfit choices I support.



Sup, Aaron Barker
Sup, Aaron Barker


You’re welcome. Now stop messaging me on Facebook asking for outfit advice and put my whale body on your shoulders.


Your Coachella Spirit Guide (via Hey! Shiny Objects!)

Apparently I did something right, because the lovely Hannah Lux Davis of Hey! Shiny Objects! asked me to pen my 2nd guest article. This time: how to plan for Coachella. Bear with my obnoxiously detailed information and enjoy a voyeuristic look into my boudoir.

Oh, hey, didn't see you there, photographer in my bedroom.
Oh, hey, didn’t see you there, photographer in my bedroom.

The time is almost upon us when thousands will make their annual desert pilgrimage. For many, myself included, Coachella is like a modern day Mecca – where we gather together in various forms of worship, with maybe a little more hedonistic activity. It’s a place where tribes of every kind can all unite in musical and youthful celebration. As my fourth trip to Indio approaches, I can’t help but feel like somewhat of a veteran. It’s hard to believe how much has changed since 2011. My first Coachella was about as spontaneous as it gets – I ventured to the desert without any companions or real plans; simply a wristband gifted by a generous ex-boyfriend. Lucky for me, the entire experience resulted in complete serendipity, but I wouldn’t recommend that route to those less extroverted or insane than myself. These days, I strongly suggest going in with a few solid plans. You can always mix things up once you get there, but at least you have something to fall back on. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about spontaneity and freedom, but a little prep never hurt anybody.

That said, allow me to be your Coachella spirit guide!

Click here to read the rest on Hey! Shiny Objects! 


Whaaaat's in tha baaaaxxxx
Whaaaat’s in tha baaaaxxxx
Help me, I'm poor
Just on one weekend of debauchery.

Click here for last year’s post on the controversial 2013 lineup!

Click here for my friend Kara Buettner’s hilarious take on festival fashion!

(All photos taken by artsy babe Hannah Lux Davis)


Take Notes ♪ ♫ – 4.7.14

Well, here goes nothing. If I can provide you with some quality tunes and help expand your musical horizon, then my job here is done. Listen and enjoy.


Andrew Hozier-Byrne is a tall, skinny, Irishman with the voice of a god. I had the pleasure of seeing him perform at the intimate Hotel Cafe in Hollywood at the end of March and everything was utterly unbelievable. When he speaks, there’s something adorably awkward about him, and then the music starts and this booming, soulful voice flows from his mouth. It’s breathtaking. Not to mention, his lyrics are pure poetry. I’ll be seeing him again next month at The Troubadour for another sold out show.



Matthew Hemerlein (better known as Lo-Fang) is a classically trained musician and badass. He opened for Lorde on her tour, and I caught his sold out show at The Troubadour last week. His album, Blue Film, is filled with beautiful indie sounds that always leave me feeling absolutely hypnotized. As if his songwriting ability wasn’t enough, he plays every instrument. His demonstrated versatility at his concert was impressive – alternating instruments with ease – swinging his guitar behind his back to play the violin, while still singing gently into the microphone. It was stunning. Lucky me got to chat with him for a few after his performance and he is one chill dude.


I’m really digging the tunes from this indie-electro-pop duo. Maybe it’s just me, but I hear some similarities to Bowie in their sound and it is groovy AF. I prefer to keep GEMS close to artists like Lo-Fang and Banks on my playlists because they all bring very spellbinding vibes.


I am so stoked to see Jillian Banks perform at Coachella this year. Her sound is like a female version of The Weeknd, whom she’s often compared to and eventually toured with, and it leaves me mesmerized. Banks is one of those artists who really draws a specific feeling from me each time I listen to her music, and I think that’s definitely a quality I appreciate.




If you can’t wait until next week and want to stalk me check out what I’m currently listening to, follow me on Spotify, Soundcloudand DayJam.