Someone Has to Say It: We’re all hipsters here.
Hipster. It’s not a new word. This word actually came around in the 1940’s to describe the popular crowd that knew everything there was to know about Jazz culture. Now that isn’t so negative, is it? Unfortunately time changes many things and the definition of this word is one of them. The word “hipster” can now be so derogatory that there are literally websites popping up like diehipster.com which fantasizes elaborate beatings of hipsters. Websites like this are classified under the First Ammendment…an Ammendment I oh so love and oh so hate all at the same time. It must be true love.
So before I go on about prejudice and violence, let’s try to define the hipster. Anyone can tell you that this is a nearly impossible task and even quite a few of the people I approached just stammered until they said, “tight jeans!” However, I wanted to delve a little bit deeper into the modern presumed definition of the hipster culture just so I could find out how many of us really are hipsters. Turns out that we all have a little bit hipster in us. Here’s a small list:
- Clothing: Thick glasses, tight jeans, t-shirts, thrift store shopping
- Lifestyle: Bicycles, photography, pseudo-European, coffee drinkers, bookstore lackies, computer nerds
- Age: 20-35 who can’t get past the nostalgia of their childhood (Transformers, Comics, etc)
- Attitude: Dismissive pretentiousness, smug, obsessed with counter-culture, irony complex
- Entertainment: Cult films, indie rock, NPR
- Consumption: Pabst Blue Ribbon, Organic and local food
- History: Suburban white kids who think they had it hard, or maybe not. Just suburban white kids.
And the following list is from my one conservative Republican friend who absolutely abhors hipsters but for some reason has loved me to death for years, Greg Grockenberger.
- Aversion to productive endeavor
- Crimes against aesthetics
- Music and art they scour the rubbish bins for. The reason this music is obscure is because it’s crap.
Okay, so there are some hipster definitions. In the end most people gave up and admitted that it was really hard to define. People seem to use the phrase on a certain age group that they just don’t want to deal with or don’t want to give time to understand. Sure there are scene kids who go to the extremes, but are they the real hipsters? Perhaps we are the real hipsters and they are trying to be like us. Metahipsterism. How many of us have those qualities? I know all my friends do and most of them outright deny being hipsters. But I love them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having hipster qualities.
Someone actually referred to hipsters as the “dead end of Western civilization.” That’s a little extreme considering us hipsters will likely be taking care of said person when they are old and feeble. We’ll see who is a dead end here. I have to strongly disagree with this statement. I know hipster-like friends who are extremely productive, working at companies like Google, Apple, Netflix. They are the future, not the dead end. Anyone can agree with this.
One thing I noticed in asking all my friends what they thought a hipster was, not a single one of them said they were unintelligent. I think many of them are the minds of our future generations. Some of them are our future Bukowskis and even if you think Bukowski was scum he did amazing things for poetry and literature. I would like to share some quotes from books and articles on what I see are extremely accurate views of hipsters:
In his book The White Negro,” Norman Mailer characterized hipsters as American existentialists, living a life surrounded by death — annihilated by atomic war or strangled by social conformity — and electing instead to “divorce [themselves] from society, to exist without roots, to set out on that uncharted journey into the rebellious imperatives of the self.”
This, to me, leads me to believe that the hipster culture is a culture of discovery of the self and how we may advance in the world we are given.
Hipsterism fetishizes the authentic” elements of all of the “fringe movements of the postwar era—beat, hippie, punk, even grunge,” and draws on the “cultural stores of every unmelted ethnicity,” and “regurgitates it with a winking inauthenticity.”
As much as I admire this writer’s vernacular, why all the animosity? Regurgitate? What about inspired by? Yes, hipsters do enjoy recreating old styles but with every era style and fashion has been created based on what existed in the past. Time repeats itself. Why is it so bad that it is repeating itself this time?
Stop and think about it. Look at all these qualities. Couldn’t they also be applied to geeks and nerds? Isn’t this a general term to apply to all semi-forward people between 18-40? Anyone who is urban and not blue-collar? Quit with the hate. You’re probably a tad bit of a hipster yourself.
I’d like to close this off with my mom’s definition of a hipster. My mother lives in a very small town, the same town I grew up in, where there are no hipsters but only hippies. Out of all the hipster definitions I heard, I think my mother hit the nail on the head. Thanks mom. You’re the best.
Hi, I did not google this to get a definition so this is what I have in my mind.
I would say a hipster is someone age 20 to 30 that lives in the city or wants too…and is up the latest styles, fads, things to do, places to go. Some people would look at a hipster for information while others would think it is a bad thing, that these people are shallow and want to be seen and heard ahead of others. I sometimes think hipsters are out to get exactly what they want but they don’t seem to mind working for it or getting it the best way they can . They have their on style and don’t give any excuses for it except if you don’t like it don’t look at me…. I also think these persons can put material possessions over practical situations and their feelings over others , but not always because it depends on the person.. I would have to say, about me, if I were young I would probably be one!
-Jeanette Awtrey, 2011
-Jes Gearing of http://www.eatingappalachia.com/
-Sean Flynn of http://www.seanflynnphotography.com/
-Amy Manlapas http://amy-elizabeth.net