Meet The 'LA Basics'

A sit-down with Instagram's carefree culture critics.
09/15/2017 03:22 pm ET Updated Sep 15, 2017
LA Basics/Instagram

Well, The LA Basics have won my heart, and they’re about to win yours, too, particularly if you haven’t heard of them. In short, The LA Basics are a coterie of “basic” gay men who launched an Instagram account barely a month ago and have seen followers catapult to over 35,000, which is no small feat for those who have risen from basic obscurity without buying followers.

The Instagram account is part parody, part snark, part self-deprecation, and ALL hilarity. Gay men across the globe ― from Los Angeles (naturally), to New York, to London, to Sydney ― are having a chuckle or, in many cases, a guffaw over the carefully crafted posts, with their desperate art direction and their pithy, woefully “self-unaware” commentaries. But could it be something more?

I recently caught up with the creators of the account, who shared that the content is very much spilling over into other demographics, including straight women and straight men, who appreciate the universality of the account’s many messages, including, perhaps fundamentally, the importance of being able to laugh at oneself and those around us.

As The LA Basics continue to trend – and we all know “trending” is the near-pinnacle of fame – I sat down with the actual LA Basics themselves for a quick Q&A sesh.

Enjoy.

It’s nice to meet you, Kyle and the other LA Basics. Did you guys ever think you’d become so popular so quickly, particularly given all the basic gays and betches who’ve been saturating social media for so long?

Honestly, I never imagined. I’m just a small-town guy from Utah who had his heart set on living the LA dream. And, like you said, there are so many basics with thirsty selfies ― I’m just glad that mine don’t get lost in the mix! Though, I’d like to think my sparkling personality has helped engage my following. Love you, Basics!

So, Kyle, as the spokesperson for The LA Basics, tell us a little about yourself beyond the obvious (i.e., that you’re a model, actor, protein powder/charcoal pore-cleansing face mask “influencer,” etc.).

I’m just a regular guy who wants the simple life; you know: a house in the Hollywood Hills, a hot pool boy, and like a reality show on MTV.

Now come on, Kyle, don’t be so modest. Let’s come at this a different way: like, give us a glimpse into a typical day in your life.

Well, most days I try to wake up at 10am, pop an addy, and get rolling. You can usually find me at Equinox, pursing my lips and giving side-eye while I get a lift in and chat with my other friends who don’t work. (But, like, if you’re carrying an android or not wearing Lululemon please don’t talk to me.) Afterwards, I might stop in for a spray tan, a touchup on my botox, head home in my new Mercedes, and prep for my next Instagram photoshoot. On the rare occasion I don’t have an audition, I’ll be forced to clock in at the restaurant I’m a host at.

How do you find the time to do all that WHILE looking so effortlessly, impossibly attractive?

I mean, I get a lot of help. Comp’d gym memberships, skin care, haircuts, meal-prep, etc. I get all that for free—perks of being so influential. I definitely pride myself on being a successful social climber—I have a lot of connections. People think I only hang out with hot people, but that’s not true at all. I’m not that shallow. If you have the right access, I’ll give anyone the time of day. It’s all about who you know in this town, and knowing exactly when to leverage those “friendships.”

While Kyle is the current standout, there are, in fact, other LA Basics. How many of you are there; and do any of you want to take this opportunity to share more about who you are as individuals?

I have a really tight crew of my best Basics. Diego is my Brazilian roommate, and we go way back. I remember he was such a twink! We’re so different, but we just, like, *get* each other. Thank god he’s put on a few pounds of muscle ― it makes it so much easier to make friends in LA. Diego will definitely be featured in The LA Basics more in the future.

Melissa is another bestie of mine and Diego’s. She’s a bit of a man eater, but we love her to death.

Brodie is definitely a lady of means. She has a fab house in the Hollywood Hills and hosts the best after-hours.

So these days the term “basic” is more commonly used as a pejorative, yet you actively and unabashedly embrace it. Why?

I don’t know, I just am who I am and I don’t care to apologize for it. I post my shameless selfies, my daily international adventures, hot AF squad of friends, and if that makes me basic, then, whatever, I’m basic. If you love something that is coincidentally cliché, whatever, just post it anyway, and embrace your inner basic. Just don’t be shady and act like your thirst trap ain’t a thirst trap. It’s a thirst trap. That’s the whole point.

Tell us more about what it *means* to be an LA Basic. Is it membership of an exclusive squad? A lifestyle? A message? A higher calling?

Oh, it’s definitely a lifestyle. You’ve got to eat, sleep, and breathe basic. There is some layered meaning in my posts, but only the most devoted Basics will find it. Even though my Basics can throw some shade, we’re not here to bully. The lifestyle is totally INCLUSIVE. But if you come for me, prepare to be dragged gurl. You will feel the fury of my loyal fans: The Basics.

As far as membership, that’s easy, the moment you posted a falsely demure and almost-naked selfie featuring an inspirational quote (just to add a touch of humility), you gained full rights and a lifetime membership. Welcome to Team Basic. We love you!!

With fame and notoriety comes, of course, hateration. How do you respond to those who call you “plastic” and “reductive?”

Haterade is my beverage of choice. In the words of Miss Paris Hilton, Mother of Basics, “When people who don’t even know you hate you, that’s when you know you’re the best.” I live for the drama, my haters give me purpose; so please come at me.

What’s next for you? What comes after unpaid modeling gigs for unknown underwear designers?

I don’t know, I am thinking about my own TV series, or a chic AF clothing line… Who knows? Though I can tell you: MY UNPAID PHOTOSHOOT DAYS ARE DONE! I used to accept a box of underwear as compensation (tragic, I know), but it’s nothing but cash money from here on out. Stay tuned, Basics.

“I take, like, 500 selfies to get one I like.” ~Kylie Jenner

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