Pabst Blue Ribbon, more popularly known as PBR, black-rimmed glasses, “obscure” music, skinny jeans, blogging, all things vintage, vinyl, Urban Outfitters, Polaroid, iPhone, coffee, underground music, shows, riding bikes, “organic”, vegan, grandma/pa sweaters, suspenders, unkempt appearance, Tumblr, Facebook Timeline, Twitter, handmade, American Apparels hoodies, old-school sneakers, American Spirits, v-necks, cardigans, racerback tank tops with exposed bras, claim to know about literature and film, fans of philosophy, should I go on?
We have all stereotyped hipsters to the point of exhaustion. We think we know at least ten of them, we get defensive if we’re called a hipster and let’s face it, we judge ‘em. So who are they…really?
According to Urban Dictionary, Hipsters are a subculture of men and women who live in cosmopolitan areas such as New York, Chicago, or San Francisco who value independent thinking, counter-culture, witty banter, irony, and creativity. They reject all things that are mainstream consumerism. Their style can be defined as “effortless cool” with a side of urban bohemian – like the styles you see in American Apparel and Urban Outfitters.
They strive to stay ahead of mainstream and stay on the cusp of music, especially. “Obscure” would be the best term used for their genre of music. Not available on vinyl? Probably not even worthy of the next hipster. They have been known to overuse the phrase, “I was into them before…”, advertise they saw them with only 10 other people in an off-the-map music venue, or at some music festival when they performed on the smaller stage. Once a band hits over maybe 300 fans, it’s totally mainstream to them.
Another popular guideline to being a hipster is not caring. They portray that guideline through their style, hygiene, but most of all their attitude. The July 2009 issue of Time Magazine said, in regards to hipsters, “Everything about them is exactingly constructed to give off the vibe that they just don’t care.”
Even fonts such as Helvetica (if you’re not a hipster or graphic designer, I don’t expect you to know this) have been dubbed as hipster property along with something as mundane as PC versus Mac. Why does our society issue them as the biggest joke? Even hipsters don’t like to be called hipster. Is it a phase? It is the new “emo” or “scene” subculture? Why is there so much hate? Just Google search hipsters and every site portrays hate and mocks them. Take a look at sites like Look at that F* Hipster.
Maybe it’s the idea of self-importance and their contradictions of irony. As much as they try to avoid mainstream, they are actually guided by it. Maybe it’s the arrogance of denying their Hipsterdom? Or maybe, just maybe, all these hipsters know exactly that they are one of the biggest jokes in our society and totally go with it just to piss everyone else off, because it surely has been. Maybe they have a plan to take over the world and everything mainstream through their ridiculous use of social media. Everything hipsters touch becomes trendy. Now that’s a contradiction to their Hipsterdom.
Regardless if you hate a hipster, are a hipster, or just don’t give a crap, just like anything trendy trying to be untrendy, it’ll pass with time only to pop up again in a handful of decades with another set of guidelines. Personally I don’t mind the style, the throwback to all things vintage (especially the vinyl and film), or the importance of discovering new bands. I think we have hipsters to thank for bringing back vinyl records, retro style, framed glasses and for supporting social media, B-list films, and the importance of literature/art. So thank you hipsters for making things once cool, cool again. Through your rebellion, you have brought back some (not all) authentic trends.
Just change your attitude. Please?
Disclaimer:The author of this article gets called a hipster at least 20 times a day.
Photo source: http://undercovergeekgirl.blogspot.com/2011/02/hipster-disney-princesses.html