I read this article before you did, but now that it’s on the Internet I don’t like it anymore.
I’m sure you’ve heard that style of speech before. Or perhaps the phrase, “I liked it before it was cool.” How about, “What music do you listen to? –Don’t worry about it, you’ve never heard of them.” Over my time growing up in the city, being a biker, and enjoying the Indy scene, I’ve seen my fair share of hipsters. For those of you who are so underground you make hipsters look mainstream, or think your best friend may be a hipster but are unsure, continue reading and I’ll inform you what a hipster is, and how to identify one. Let me first explain the hipster ideology.
Hipsters don’t like to be mainstream. Hipsters prefer things that are ironic by mainstream standards. Being mainstream is to conform; hipsters don’t like to conform. Being authentic is key to beating mainstream. Once something has become mainstream it has lost it’s authenticity. Being original also means being the first. Liking something first, by the hipster ideology, means you are entitled to special treatment. A typical statement by a hipster might be, “I liked MGMT before they abbreviated their name.” Having the appearance to be broke is key due to the fact that it is ironic for two reasons: society often looks down on those who do not have a large income, and hipsters tend to be trust fund babies, therefore, their income is infinite, thus being ironic. Because of this attempt to be nonconformists, or underground, the hipster is easy to spot.
The hipster style can be summed up into a few words, ironic, cheap, and dirty. As a focus on the hipster ideology, irony, their attire and lifestyle are often an attempt to be ironic. Hipsters tend to shop at thrift stores to look for vintage clothes. Shopping for vintage, or vintage style, allows the hipster to become more unique and break away from the standard norms. Plaid, scarfs, and ironic tee’s are very common amongst the hipsters. For instance, the keffiyeh became an instance success when Urban Outfitters sold them as “Freedom Scarfs.” The irony being, America is Pro-Israel and the keffiyeh is worn by the Palestinians. Moustaches on men are typical of those worn either in the 60’s and 70’s or those dating as far back to the 19th century. Although beards matching a specific time-period are popular, having an unkempt beard is also common. More common amongst early turn of the 21st century hipsters, not so much any more, hipsters ate only organic and raw foods. Believed to be better for your health, and at the time was considered underground. Organic food is no longer a requirement but it’s still ironic because organic food is unjustifiably more expensive and the idea is to appear broke. The sins of choice often tend to be Pabts Blue Ribbon and cigarettes. As a result, hipsters will often smoke American Spirits (additive free cigarettes) or Parliaments. The irony being, American Spirits are expensive and the concept of an organic cigarette is classic, and Parliaments, demographically speaking, tend to be cigarettes of the elderly. Music plays a large role in the hipster lifestyle but it is difficult to classify the hipster music into a category. Because hipsters don’t listen to mainstream music, or music with any notable recognition, it is difficult to track. When it comes to music, hipsters are in a constant scramble to find music. While hipsters are constantly trying to be ironic and underground, often their attempts become mainstream, thus creating the hipster paradox.
Because of hipster values, they have put themselves into what is known as the hipster paradox. Hipsters cannot admit they are hipsters. Hipsters do not believe in labels and by calling yourself a hipster, you void hipster status. Admission of guilt makes one a poser, thus becoming product of mainstream society. Due to the massive hipster invasion irony is now mainstream. With the large emphasis to be underground, underground has become a sellout idea. What is to become of the hipster? The hipster is now put in an unintentional paradox. While being the opposite of mainstream is ironic, what is the opposite of ironic?
By now, you are, for the most part, fully informed about the hipster. Hipsters are often found, but not limited to, the Wicker Park and Bucktown area of Chicago, or SoHo and Meatpacking District areas of New York riding a fixed gear bike they’ve modified themselves. You know the main basics of the hipster ideology and how to stop a hipster, you know the paradox that the hipster faces. Remember, hipsters are people too, if you feel the need to make more friends who are unique, go talk to someone who fits my description, just don’t call them a hipster.