Hipsters are a misunderstood character type, because nobody seems to be able to agree on who they actually are, or they assume they’re the popular stereotype of unemployed, overeducated indie lovers who care about nothing but ‘being cool’. Examples of Hipster Subculture are everywhere, from the streets of Canada, Europe, and America’s biggest cities, to contemporary TV shows such as Portlandia and Happy Endings, to ads for American Apparel and Urban Outfitters.
So what is a hipster? Good question! Urban Dictionary summed up hipster subculture perfectly. According to Urban Dictionary hipsters are ‘men and women, in their twenties and thirties that value independent thinking and progressive politics, with an appreciation of art and indie rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.’ Hipsters pioneered everything from skinny jeans to indie rock but some aspects of Hipster subculture are just plain weird.
10. Different Influences But The Same Values
Did you know that back in the 1940s there were Hipsters, who were Hipsters, before being a Hipster “was cool”? On the surface contemporary Hipsters are a lot like 1940s era Hipsters. 1940s Hipsters were known for their fashion sense, their relaxed attitude towards sex, and their love of getting high. They rebelled against the American dream that became popular in the 1940s, of getting a stable job, raising a family, and moving to the suburbs. The society they were rebelling against also had a strict attitude towards sex, and favoured racial segregation.
1940s hipsters wore outfits that are still a popular part of contemporary Hipster culture such as dark-rimmed glasses and berets. The core difference: their outfits were worn with no hint of irony. The 1940s hipsters were lovers of jazz, and contemporary hipsters are fans of the contemporary, indie underground.
9. Don’t Openly Admit To Being Hipsters
It’s actually quite common for people to hate the term “Hipster” and not openly admit to being a Hipster. The answer in terms of why this is so common is simple. A person may genuinely enjoy indie rock, or like indie culture, while challenging people’s expectations, through liking something super mainstream, or doing anything else that challenges stereotypical assumptions. Hipster is a term filled with stereotypical assumptions, like the words “Feminism”, “Girly”, and “Manly”, therefore people who get called this may not identify with the label, because they challenge the stereotypes of what it actually is, but if you follow the Urban Dictionary definition it’s a synonym for an individual that’s smart, witty, original, and cool, which is actually a pretty great compliment.
8. Vintage Clothing
Because vintage clothing is part of Hipster subculture Hipsters keep the vintage clothing craze alive and well. Vintage clothing is the perfect tool for wearing clothing ironically, and a lot of Hipsters love reusing old stuff, and turning it into a fashion statement. The problem with vintage clothing is that there’s vintage everything, even underwear, the riskiest vintage purchase of all but we doubt a true hipster would touch vintage underwear, unless they’re going to a party where guests wear vintage underwear ironically.
7. Wearing Clothing and Listening to Music Ironically
Hipsters love wearing clothing ironically, and not just the Alanis Morissette definition of irony, that proves a lack of understanding of what irony really is, but genuine irony. A popular trend in Hipster culture is wearing clothing not for fashion, or comfort, but with a hint of indie movie style wit and sarcasm. This applies to music too: there’s a popular belief out there that the Hipster label gives you permission to like a band not because it’s good but because it’s so bad it’s enjoyable to listen to, while appreciating how ironically hip it is, and soaking up its horrible quality.
6. The Lumberjack Look AKA “Lumbersexual”
This one is a really, really popular look, thanks to Hipster subculture. According to oddee.com Lumbersexual refers to men with the desire to be (and be seen as) rugged, and the heteronormative version of manly. The Lumbersexual look brought the outdoor industry’s clothing and accessories into the mainstream. Lumbersexual men wear clothing and accessories worn by hunters, fishers, and lumberjacks, with no intention to hunt, go fishing, or be a lumberjack. It’s about looking as rugged as possible, without having to know anything about the outdoor activities your clothing and accessories are designed for.
5. One Of The Most Parodied Subcultures On The Internet
Hipsters are parodied heavily on the internet, and teased for being consumers of things, because they’re either “cool”, or “ironically cool” (or both) but many of them are also the artists, and political activists of their communities. Some live up to peoples’ stereotypical assumptions, but they also have jobs in diverse sectors as well. Hipsters were at the front lines of everything from the Occupy Movement, to Ferguson. They’re also consumers of everything from fair trade coffee, to clothing brands that treat, and pay their workers fairly.
4. What’s Acceptable Is Constantly Changing
In Hipster: The Dead End Of Western Civilization, an Adbusters article on Hipster culture, Douglas Haddow made a pretty great point about the most problematic aspect of Hipster culture:
“Hipsterdom is the first counterculture to be born under the advertising industry’s microscope, leaving it open to constant manipulation but also forcing its participants to continually shift their interests and affiliations.”
Everything from the bands that are considered “cool”, to the political causes, and clothing, which suit Hipster sensibilities are constantly changing. Although a real Hipster will deny their Hipster status, while identifying as a non-conformist, Hipster culture is subject to change based on trends, and affiliations so Hipsters might love a look, or band right now but when you least expect it, it may be a subject of Hipster scorn.
3. Some Hipster Circles Consider Greasy Hair “Cool”
Unkempt hair is extremely Hipster. Anything that gives off the impression that you’re extremely low maintenance, and don’t conform to conventional beauty standards is an important part of mastering Hipsterdom. If you look like you just woke up, and didn’t put any thought into the way you look, you’re one step closer to mastering the Hipster look. Why is the greasy hair look acceptable in Hipster social circles? You come across as a non-conformist, that’s why.
2. Grandma And Grandpa’s Wardrobe Is Hip
The grandparent that’s the original owner of that shirt, dress, sweater, etc, worn by their Hipster grandchild never thought, when they went shopping, that the outfit they genuinely loved would be worn ironically, and worn in front of friends/peers, at the most indie music festivals, coffee shops, breweries, restaurants, and record stores in town, but it happens a lot. If the original owner of a Hipster’s outfit never experienced what it’s like to have a Hipster grandchild they might of sold it to a local thrift store, or died, and then had their wardrobe donated to a local thrift store, then the Hipsters swooped in, and figured out how to wear it ironically, while sipping on fair trade coffee or craft beer, and listening to something super indie you’ve probably never heard of.
1. Hipsters Are Making Taxidermy Have An Unexpected Comeback
Taxidermy is popular again thanks to Hipsters. Why? Because it’s a vintage art therefore Hipsters are loving it and willingly invest their time and money in it. Artists and designers are making the art of stuffing dead animals trendy again, through creating DIY stuffing kits and homemade skull jewelry, and running taxidermy workshops, and making lots of money off the flock of mostly Hipster consumers who adore taxidermy, love it because it’s so old school, therefore somehow “cool”. Hipsters enjoy taxidermy both ironically, and non-ironically, although what they’re overlooking is the fact that their Victorian ancestors were Taxidermists before being a Taxidermist was “cool.”
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