Hipster. Reminiscent of the 60s, where anti-establishment was the norm and peace, love, and hair grease was a well-known mantra. Urban Dictionary states that hipsters are a subculture of men and women that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter. This culture has been embraced by the youth and exploded with this non-conformist movement, spanning from fashion and music to even a way of thinking. Stores such as Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie are trailblazing the fashion and indie labels are monopolizing the music. “Hipster” is now a culture, an adjective, and just a way of life. The irony of it all is that hipster culture seems to have become more of a mainstream joke.
The modern hipster culture began as a movement focusing on original ideals and beliefs. I saw the hipster subculture as a “purity movement”. They listened to music artists that hadn’t signed away their originality and sound on the dotted line of their contracts. They wore vintage clothes and local labels to show support of the unique and not the trend. They didn’t believe everything they were told and always questioned what was established as the norm or reality. Then the culture evolved into this superficial “non-popular” popularity contest of who can be the most uncool, awkward, laid-back and geek chic. I find that many don’t know how to explain the concept of “hipster” or what its origins are, but they can spot a “hipster” person a mile away. It has become so popular that calling someone a “hipster” can be deemed as an insult to a true hipster because of the commercialized fad it has become. People don’t want to be associated with the over popularization of the culture, even when their attitudes, clothing, and demeanor scream it.
As with any culture, there are those that understand the true meaning and significance and then there are those that come along for the ride when the popularity gets high. To be or not to be a hipster: that is the question. I say, let’s eschew the needs for labels and be human beings that occasionally have some commonality points. Wait, that might be too “hipster” of me.
All Images Copyrighted by Morgan -O-Donovan