There are two kinds of people in the world: people who are called hipsters and those who call others hipsters. Almost nobody self-identifies as a hipster, as the label is seen as rather undesirable and something that isn’t ingrained in you, such as your race, gender identity or sexuality.
However, it still begs the question: just what exactly constitutes a hipster? The invaluable Merriam-Webster dictionary defines one as “a person who is unusually aware of and interested in new and unconventional patterns.”
So, is that it? A hipster is somebody who favors things that are out of step with conventionality? Well, that’s the dictionary’s definition, and it might be a lot of people’s definition. However, it’s not everybody’s definition. Hipster is a label with so much flexibility that the definition of one now might be completely different that it was ten years ago.
Being a hipster is as much about location as it is about attitude. You might hear somebody decry big cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago as being “full of hipsters.” Why? Because they’re urban environments, which is where hipsters thrive. You can find hipsters in smaller, more homogenized populations. However, they won’t be as readily apparent as they are in eclectic neighborhoods in large cities.
Being a hipster is not a paying job. (If you have a lead that says otherwise, we’re moving to Brooklyn right now). However, the typical hipster lifestyle is rife with hobbies and interests. It is established doctrine that hipsters must have a strong opinion on music. Conventional wisdom used to be that hipsters exclusively liked indie rock bands. Now, it is acceptable for hipsters to like all sorts of music, ranging from classic rock to current radio pop. However, they cannot just like music passively. They must have strongly formulated opinions on a variety of music and be willing to bring them up at a moment’s notice. If a hipster comes across somebody criticizing Katy Perry, they must immediately come to the defense of Perry, using phrases such as “subversive” and “commentary on gender roles.” Whether a hipster actually agrees with what they’re saying does not matter.Hipsters should have creative pursuits. They don’t need to be particularly talented or even choose a hobby with a steep learning curve. They just need to be able to convince others that they’re doing things. Learning a couple songs on the ukulele or being able to draw semi-decent portraits are examples of hobbies a hipster can take up without taking too much time out of their lives. However, they need to make sure they update their Facebook and Instagram accounts with news about their hobbies. After all, if they don’t use their hobbies to help craft an image for people online, then what’s the point in having them?
If you see someone in a record shop with a pair of black-framed glasses, then you can all but guaranteed that person has been called a hipster before. (Also, you might be something of a hipster too for being in a record shop) Still, fashion choices for hipsters are not universal. While some embrace style and will spend a significant amount of their income on nice clothes (or t-shirts that cost $40), others embrace a low-cost lifestyle and shop at thrift shops for hidden gems or clothes so very unfashionable, they become chic by virtue of a hipster wearing them.However, a hipster never willingly admits to trying to impress anyone with their clothes. They might agonize over a purchase and have an internal debate about which ironic T-shirt would suit them best for this particular day, but once the clothes are on, there should be no visible trace of caring.
Hipsters are very conscious of their purchases. They are less concerned about the price or usefulness of something then they are about its value to their image. If a hipster comes across something that no one else in their neighborhood or social circle has, they will buy it and share their amazing find on social media. A hipster might not have essential things like a first aid kit or ironing board in their residence, but you can bet that they’ll have plenty of cool things.
Hipsters have to eat, but it doesn’t necessarily have a huge impact on their lives. Your stereotypical hipster has a thin build and will subsist largely off of junk food. They will receive enough nutrition to stay alive, but their smoking and drinking habits aren’t particularly beneficial to their bodies’ well-being.Some hipsters adhere to strict diets, such as vegetarianism or veganism. Others will embark on “fad diets” such as the Paleo diet. Some hipsters are interested in fitness, but few are committed enough to fully disband their bad habits.
Did you read through this article and find yourself relating remarkably to all/most of these descriptions? Well, if you did, you might be a hipster. We’re not saying you are for sure a hipster. It’s just that if somebody were to ever derisively call you a hipster, you shouldn’t be too surprised.You might protest and say that you’re not a hipster for a variety of reasons. For instance, maybe you’re a diehard sports fan or you like Will Ferrell comedies. Surely, those aren’t hallmarks of a hipster, right? Well, a hipster can like just about anything, and nothing makes you look like more like a hipster than vehemently denying that you are, in fact, a hipster.
The good news for you is that being a hipster is nothing to be ashamed of. As a hipster, you are immediately assumed to have better taste in everything and to be smarter than everyone else. Your cutting-edge ideas are sure to astound the world, as will your free verse poetry. We say to embrace hipsterdom and never give it up. That is until the skinny jeans don’t fit as well anymore. (probably around age 30)