Hipsters: It’s a loaded word, especially for hipsters itself. It’s a collective term for people that don’t ever want to be categorized or defined by any generalizing label.
Hipsters: It’s a loaded word, especially for hipsters itself. It’s a collective term for people that don’t ever want to be categorized or defined by any generalizing label. Hipsters don’t want to be put in little boxes; they don’t want to conform to any obvious trends or movements; they just want to be their own unique selves. So when you ask any ‘real’ hipster whether he or she perceives him/herself as a hipster, you’ll definitely get a fierce denial as reply. The absolute ideal of the modern hipster seems to be being as non-conformist and authentic as possible. A label like ‘hipster’ doesn’t really strengthen this image of course, so he is forever bound to deny its own definition.
But despite their refusal to be appointed a shared identifier, everybody knows exactly what kind of people I talk about when I use the term hipsters. Most of us have a pretty clear image of what a hipster tends to look like, because despite their efforts of being the most unique and non-conformist individuals they could possible be, they all look painfully the same.
One simply has to wear some prominently framed glasses, listen to obscure electro (only on vinyl of course) and wear vintage clothing (preferably accompanied with a scruffy hat and, why not, put some feathers on it too if you really want to stand out!), follow these three simple steps and you can relax knowing that you are no longer part of the simple common folk, but have now instantly become a free-spirited, original individual. But, don’t sit back just yet. To ensure that people actually notice you as the new authentic self you have created, you need to make sure you make as many arty pictures of yourself as possible.
And if this humble list of prerequisites still impresses or even scares you, don’t be fooled. It really isn’t as hard to follow all these steps of authentic self-reinvention as it may seem. Due to the great demand for it, vinyl records are now offered in great numbers again and as for the vintage clothing it doesn’t even necessarily have to be authentic vintage anymore. There are a lot of big department stores that now supply this tatty look in mass production.
So don’t bother spending hours looking around flee markets or vintage shops to create your own unique music collection and fashion ensemble. You can find just what you need at Amazon, H&M or any other big companies. You don’t even have to be creative or artistic to make these tons of pictures of yourself, even a picture of your hands looks nostalgic and original when you use Instagram or Hipstamatic.
It appears that authenticity can easily be faked these days. As long as you look special or if you behave in an original way, you come across as a unique personality that does not get carried away by the prevailing trends. Meanwhile, on a more general level, this forging of such unique personalities has become the trend itself. It almost looks like we have forgotten what real authenticity is all about. Being authentic actually means that you are able to make your own individual choices and live entirely from your own truth (to what extent this is really possible is questionable of course), but for most hipsters it seems that authenticity to be solely about image and appearances.
Of course there might be hipsters out there that are truly living out of their personal beliefs, and I must admit that there are indeed some very creative and talented people among them. But it is time that we start realizing how completely idiotic this culture of fashionable non-conformism really is. A truly authentic person would never have deliberately chosen the hobo look, but would have gradually grown into it as a result of his honest and well-considered life-choices.
The hipster on the other hand carefully constructs this casual and ‘authentic’ look and then showcases it theatrically as a personal image. Their perfectly nonchalant way of clothing, messy hair (but don’t you dare touch it!) and even this air of authenticity all hipsters seem to give off in exactly similar ways merely indicate that you are merely dealing with dedicated followers of fashion, even though most of these self-absorbed individuals don’t like to admit that.