My earliest memory of the term “hipster” is probably when I made my Tumblr account in December of last year. I would always hear other Tumblr users mentioning it in a negative way, lamenting of hipster blogs and how annoying they were. As I became more and more absorbed into the Tumblr world, I began to put together a vague image of what a hipster was: those girls and guys with the cool clothes, nerd glasses, frequently used Instagram accounts, and an addiction to coffee. I liked them (despite their use of Instagram) and just couldn’t understand why they were so hated. It wasn’t until I confided in my boyfriend about how I would love to live like a hipster in New York or London that I started to wonder, what was a hipster exactly?
So, naturally, I turned to the internet.
According to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, a hipster is “a person who is unusually aware of and interested in new and unconventional patterns.” They shun the mainstream social conventions and principles and refuse to be influenced by advertisements and media.
Need for me to elaborate?
Hipsters tend to range from their teens to their 30’s, though this doesn’t mean that there aren’t hipsters outside of this range. They gravitate towards artsy, urban, and liberal areas such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Portland, or the Brooklyn suburb of Williamsburg. Looking outside of the USA, hipster cities include London, England; Melbourne, Australia; and Montreal, Canada. These are the cities to go to if you’re looking for the hipster crowd.
My research on hipster fashion was probably my favorite part of this not-so-philosophical journey into a subculture, because it allowed me to look at clothes and pretty people for the better part of an afternoon. I’ve always noticed the pretty and cool looking clothes hipsters wore. That’s how I recognized them- the vintage, the beanies, the nerd glasses (though I’m not much of a nerd glasses person)- I thought they looked so cool. I wanted to dress like them. Most hipsters tend to wear vintage-y type clothes from various thrift stores, or buy from stores that cater to the hipster scene, such as Urban Outfitters, H&M, American Apparel, or from other independent retailers.
Tight skinny jeans are a big staple in the hipster look and are worn by both genders. Hipster girls are also usually seen wearing leggings, jeggings, treggings, or even those cute high waisted “mom” jeans. Hipsters are big on ironic eyewear- from shutter shades to Ray Ban Wayfarers to the obvious “Nerd” glasses. Plaid tops, vintage dresses, converse, doc martens, bird/owl necklaces, messenger bags- they’re all included in the hipster look.
When it comes to hipster hairstyles and cuts, the gender lines become blurred. You may have noticed the growing popularity for short haircuts on girls. Emma Watson, Anne Hathaway, Miley Cyrus, and Ginnifer Goodwin, Solange Knowles- they were pretty much my own inspiration to finally just cut my annoying shoulder length hair. While hipster girls may be cutting their hair short, sometimes in asymmetrical styles, there are some guys who are letting their hair grow longer than normal. Like British Youtuber VeeOneEye, or Johnny Depp.
Seriously though, I’m pretty much obsessed with the hipster look.
Now here is where I started to think that maybe, just maybe, I might be a bit of a hipster myself- the hipster lifestyle. Hipsters tend to be very educated and intellectual, but also pretty creative. As a result, they end up basing their career choices around music, art, or fashion. They tend to be early adopters in things like fashion, music, thinking, etc; and start trends that later become mainstream.
The key element of being a hipster is not defining yourself to others.
I kinda stared at the sentence for a minute when I was doing my research and thought, “Damn, that’s me.”
Hipsters pretty much refuse to be influenced by mainstream advertising and media. They shun mainstream social conventions and principles, such as those referring to dating. Interracial dating is actually typical of most hipsters (just another thing that reminds me of myself…) or even dating the same gender.
The hipster-esque crowd is also known for their strong sense of irony and sarcasm, as well as the fact that they don’t take themselves too seriously. They aren’t afraid to be different from mainstream society, and go against conformity. They value an independent mindset, counterculture, and progressive politics (hipsters are generally democratic or liberal). They also have an appreciation for indie rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.
Hipsters do a lot of reading, it sets them apart from other subcultures. They usually tend to read classics such as 1984, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, On The Road- pretty much anything you’d read in AP English Literature- or books dealing with sociology, anthropology, or political science. They like to watch foreign films or attend independent theater productions. Hipsters also like to listen to newly emerging and independent music. Their music genres can range from independent rap and nerdcore to classic or punk rock.
Getting closer to the end of my research I had found this article on Cracked dot com with a little more on hipsters, and what the author felt was wrong with the subculture. I decided that I would include what I figured may be more of the outside or public opinion of hipsters. To keep it short, a lot of non-hipsters do not like hipsters.
Now, let me explain: hipsters are generally seen as being arrogant and having this “holier-than-thou” attitude. They’re thought to be unemployed and living off their parents’ trust funds. An earlier article I had read had claimed that this wasn’t true, that a lot of hipsters weren’t lazy at all and actually went to college and found jobs. Personally, I believe that some hipsters could be lazy while others are more self sufficient, I’m not one to generalize. You, the reader, being an individual person, may think what you’d like of this and make your own assumptions.
According to Cracked dot com, “The hipster rebels against social norms by paying way more attention to them than anyone else. Every aspect of hipster culture amounts to little more than an elaborate pissing contest.” If you’re not as well versed in street knowledge, like myself, a pissing contest is any argument that goes back and forth between two individuals but is never resolved. Hipsters are known for their “unwarranted self-importance.” They’re known as being judgmental: judging bands, activities, items, companies, clothes, themselves, and others.
They often do things “just to be ironic,” meaning that they are entertained by how terrible something is. Such as watching a bad series or listening to a terrible music- (cough) Jersey Shore and Justin Bieber (cough). They are thought to be those who strive to be ahead of everyone else and therefore may listen to a band and then abandon them once the band becomes popular and more mainstream, using variations of the phrase “I liked them before they were cool.” This translates over to fashion and other things as well.
The July issue of Time Magazine said, “Everything about them is exactly constructed to give off the vibe that they just don’t care.” This uncaring attitude has become a signature characteristic in hipsters as well as an annoyance to others. There was actually a poll done by the Public Policy Polling in which 27% of voters actually believed hipsters should be subjected to a special tax for being so annoying.
So, there you have it. To some of you this has been an introduction to an entirely new culture, one that you will either embrace or reject. To others, this may have be the awkward reintroduction to a culture you have already rejected or view with a “been there, done that” mentality. And to even more others, this may have meant absolutely nothing and could’ve just been a wasted 20 minutes of your life.
If that’s the case, well, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.
No matter, this has been a summary of my findings from the research of a subculture previously unknown to me. Maybe this is a bit more philosophical of a journey than I first thought, to me it seems that I have finally found the subculture I would fit into. I am a newborn hipster and I am quite pleased to make your acquaintance. Maybe someday you’ll see me in New York City, riding my bike to the nearest cafe in my oversized sweater, typing away on my Macbook. Maybe, just maybe.
I’m assuming you all followed me for sole reason of me being a Youtube blog, however, I’ve deciding recently to change this blog up just a bit. I have too many posts to just delete them or reblog them all over to my main blog so they’ll just stay here. However, I’m planning on turning this blog into an actual article style blog. I’m actually going to write long-winded blog posts with about my opinions and post them here and hope someone reads them, maybe.
So, yes, I just wanted to make sure you knew that. I’ll still post Youtubers on here, but not as much as I will post articles.
Happy Halloween! Here is a Zombie Dan and Phil (with a hint of demon possession) coming to get you.
The drawing is massive and saving it as a gif hurt the quality, so I’ll be posting the non-gif original frame + some edited ones in a second (I imagine the size of the drawing is big enough to be a desktop background ;))
Please do not repost, there is a reblog button for a reason! <3
this is v cool :o