Hipster

Marisela M
10/28/11

The term “Hipster” nowadays is seen as a style created by a subculture of young adults inmainstream society. This is largely due to groups of people who are finding new ways to reinvent themselves unlike any other person. This global phenomenon has not gone without criticism. Some people have gone as far as saying hipsters are the dead end of western civilization. Other people view this as a trend that lacks individuality and originality. So who is a hipster many people ask?

Hipsters have established a hypocritical norm of what a typical hipster would be wearing; which include skinny jeans, an American Apparel T-shirt, nonprescription glasses, and riding his or her bike. The hipster culture main ideal is to not conform to the social norms that society tries setting upon them but instead to what they want. This subculture of young, middle class adults and older teenagers and college students try to avoid labels and being labeled. Most importantly they strive to show the originality of their tastes in music, vintage clothing, coffee shops, bookstores, and bars. In general, all hipsters have a similar taste and are interested in the same culture
Many wonder if the hipster culture will go away just like fashion styles go out of style after a season. The reason many believe this is possible is because of the tendency hipsters have in disposing of styles that aren’t “in” anymore. They will support a band, sound, or style that they believe has not received much exposure and when it becomes “popular” they go to something else for fear that they will lose relevance. This can become a problem when lack of authenticity and rebellion runs out. Many would view this to them trying to achieve “cool” rather than creating it.

 

The importance of why the hipster culture happened would be due to the “counter culture” that was created by the advertising industry’s desire to manipulate and target this specific group consciously and unconsciously. Only this was made possible when these agencies acknowledged the power and influence these group of people had in appealing a large range of consumers. Chain stores such as Urban Outfitters is a great example in their success to gain high sales in 2008. Urban Outfitters had a 30% increase in sales to $454 million. This was the second highest quarter in the company’s history. Their response to this success was said to be because of their “unique ideas.”

 

The thought that hipster are trying to create a look of their own yet they buy from stores that promote this exact look is a paradox. Is it really possible to fully rebel against the corporations who are constantly trying to sell items to certain groups of people? I personally think it is hard to promote individuality when marketing is always a step behind or ahead. Just as the “being green” movement becoming aware of carbon footprints being a hipster is become aware of social footprints along with being environmental conscious. Should the hipster culture be seen as a consumer trend rather than a group of people who reject popular culture? Perhaps this is a reason why the hipster trend could be seen as a fad.

 

Portland, Oregon brings a cultural trend to the hit show Portlandia. Themes such as food being local and organic are addressed along with feminist bookstores and their obsessions with birds as a form of art, riding bikes as transportation. Everyone has an idea about what it means for someone to be like in Portland and that does not exclude the hipsters. According to the Huffington Post, Portland State University rated #5 for “Most Hipster College” for the 2010 school year!
Therefore, hipsters will continue to wear what they want, listen to what they want, watch what they want and do what they want and rebel against the social norms. They are often seen on the brighter light by contributing to this society with the innovation they have in taking risks and the attitude of trying something new. Most importantly they support local shops that contribute to the thriving of independent businesses.

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