What happens when you coin the term ‘basic’ and transform it into its very own URL subculture? You get a spew of Fiat 500 girls, babes.
As defined by PopBuzz, the Fiat 500 girl is “a twenty-something girl who loves Michael Kors, loves going ‘out out’, getting her nails done, always tweets about absolutely meaningless stuff with un-ironic ‘x’s on the end… Essentially it’s just a really specific way of calling out someone who is perceived to be a little bit basic.”
There are even several memes created in honour of our basic queens, and some accounts have even dedicated their whole content to this group of girls. However, it’s important to note that the Fiat 500 girl is stereotypically white, which therefore invites the question: do Middle Eastern and South Asian (MESA) Fiat 500 girls exist?
It’s often a ‘Lucy’ who perhaps owns a horse, contours to the high heavens, and tans like she’s trying to change her race. But what about the Zeyneps and Fatimas? What about our Edgware road queens who simply like getting their nails done and going to shisha bars on the weekend to link with a Mohammed or Hassan?
Surprisingly, not every MESA girl is well-cultured or political. Our girls also love a good fake tan, fleeky eyebrows, and PLT dresses. They most likely shop on Oxford Street, love a Starbucks frappuccino and own a Huda beauty eyeshadow palette. Sometimes, they have Arabic alphabets in their Insta bios and perhaps caption photos with Drake lyrics when posting selfies.
Essentially, they are just a bunch of girls who are easy-going, want a simple life and will probably compliment your outfit in the ladies’ room at popular brunch spot Megan’s or slag off your boyfriend upon request, regardless of whether they are white or MESA.
It’s important to note that when referring to the original, white Fiat 500 girl, they are mostly unproblematic and harmless, yet in other cases, they have been accused of racism. As reported by VICE, when 2018’s Love Island aired: “Some women who fit the Fiat 500 profile developed a negative fixation on the show’s only non-white couple, Josh and Kaz, who were incessantly branded “smug”, despite being sweet and inoffensive.”
“Similarly, you could search Twitter for “Love Island Samira” and see that comments like “can’t put my finger on why, but I just don’t like her” abound, as a number of Fiat 500 tweeters described their “vague” dislike of the show’s only Black female contestant. This jarred other Twitter users, who soon began to view Fiat 500 Twitter, in general, as emblematic of a particular type of veiled racism and small-mindedness in the UK.”
So it’s crucial to understand that while the existence of this subculture is mostly inoffensive, there are instances where this isn’t the case. It makes me question whether the original Fiat 500 girls will ever befriend MESA Fiat 500 girls?
From personal and other PoC and Black female’s experiences, the answer seems to be a mixture of yes and no. Personally, I’ve noticed that in certain parts of London, for example, intense stares and glares are common, at times, a good old push and shove. Even when I have made the effort to look the part of the Fiat 500 girl, fake eyelashes and all, I remember feeling unwelcomed and quite literally foreign in these spaces.
A friend of mine who is South Asian has noted multiple instances where she encountered rude and unpleasant customer service in gentrified areas such as Clapham. Yet, other times, we’ve befriended some of the kindest, most loving ‘babes’ of them all.
There might not be a definite answer as to whether white Fiat 500 girls are welcoming of minority Fiat 500 girls, however, one thing is for certain, and that is that MESA Fiat 500 girls exist, and, are only increasing in numbers, most notably in Edgware road, the birthplace of MESA basics.