Hipster (N) a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.
As I sit here on a Monday afternoon drinking a cup of organic coffee sporting a flannel with a handmade scarf, I wonder if I have caved into the hipster lifestyle that is sweeping the nation. I quickly realize that this has been my lifestyle for the past five years when I decided to start making choices that influenced my interpersonal self and was not influenced by the media telling me what I should be doing. I know, so hipster and mainstreamed. But really it wasn’t the most popular thing to do back in 2009. Choosing organic, supporting non-profit organizations and deciding to embrace my love for flannel outside of the cabin up north was a decision that I chose on my own, before the influence of the hipster lifestyle came into play. The stereotypical hipster is only what the media wants us to believe is popular and cool; when in all reality, we have been living among these ‘hipsters’ all of our lives with different identities. It’s not like someone concocted a mixture of beards, flannel, tight pants, converse shoes, and some indie music to create the stereotypical hipster. I can promise you that I will not tell you what is cool and what is mainstreamed; you know because all hipsters dictate what is mainstream and what isn’t. The hipsters that fit into the above stereotype are the ones that are trying to be a hipster and trying to fit into the desired social group. True hipsters do not want to be publicized and showcased for being themselves. This is why I say the hipster life chose me, because I did not influence myself to become popular or fall into the current trend. I told myself to be true to my own identity and embrace the lifestyle that I enjoy most.
When we think about how the hipster lifestyle has evolved over the years, it really gets brought back to the early 2000’s when Ashton Kutcher wore the Von Dutch hat and suddenly everyone was Ashton with the hat, sunglasses, and occasional bandanna. The hipster lifestyle then evolved to being focused around music and keeping up with the local bands, not the top 40 hits. Guilty. That was me all through high school. I did not appreciate the electronic sound of top 40 and if a band could throw out an acoustic album that is full of soul, I would be right there in the front row of their next concert. The hipster moved on into 2008 when the flannel loving Paul Bunyan with a slouchy hat came into your class. Tight pants came next with those mainstreamed v-neck t-shirts. If a female was spotted with a camera in a dress, they were immediately pegged as the hipster. This was the modern day hippie that is mirrored from the 70’s. Every era has their hipster from the wing-tipped shoes and bow-ties of the 60’s to the chunky sweater and bright colored lovers of the 80’s. Moving into the past few years, the hipster lifestyle has become less of a physical appearance and more about their lifestyles and their ideals. That’s where I fit in. We appreciate nature, the simple things in life, and doing good things for the earth and we are not afraid to stand up for what we believe in. My lifestyle and passions should not categorize me into the wanna-be hipsters since I my life has been so hipster for the past five years. It makes me squeamish to even think about calling myself a hipster, but in all reality it is a lifestyle that has been formed around me. I chose to go organic and all-natural before the hype of GMOs and HMOs and oh no here is another three letter acronym for something that they are artificially putting into our food. I chose to knit and do hand made crafts before it was mainstreamed to sell on ETSY. I chose my music taste before today’s hipsters decided to turn it into a social stereotyped scene. Name brands, not for me. Make up, not for me. Ingesting pesticide filled food that has been pumped with hormones, not for me. I chose my lifestyle and slowly watched the society form around the same beliefs and parameters I live my life around.
On that note, who decided that the male hipster should have chiseled cheek bones with beautiful hair and a freshly waxed mustache but the female hipster has to look like a college drop out with gauges and frumpy clothing? I would like to think I carry myself well and keep hygiene up to a pretty high standard over some people in our community. The idea of being hipster is an attractive look on males but looks almost homeless on the female population.
In a recent outing with a few classmates, a mutual friend told me to stop being so hipster. Stop being so hipster? Should I just stop being who I am and showcasing my passions on my Nalgene water bottle and cave to the latest trend because that is what society is telling me to do? I’m sorry, but I have too much confidence and pride in who I am to fall into the ‘popular’ lifestyle and try to be something that I am not. I guess I am hipster because I would rather have a home-brewed craft beer over the mainstreamed domestic draft. So I will go back to drinking my organic coffee at a coffee shop that has a great art vibe and enjoy the simple life because before we know it, the term hipster will change and I will no longer fit that stereotype.