Hipsters

By: Erica

In recent years, the
term “hipster” has become a household term created and used by society to
define a specific subculture of people. But what exactly is a “hipster”? Hipsters
can be grouped into four main categories that support a very broad definition
of what it means to be a hipster. Those categories are; the creative and
intelligent hipster; the fashion forward hipster; the environmentally friendly,
‘green-obsessed’ hipster and lastly; the hipster that does not know that they
are even a hipster. Each definition is equally true as the next.

Urban
dictionary dot com is a useful and reliable source for information and
definitions on all things “slang”; in this case, the term “hipster”. A hipster
is defined in a variety of ways, one of the most popular being a group of
people who “value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics,
an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty
banter”. But in this sense of the word it is very easy to be a hipster. True,
these are all qualities that Hipsters have in common, but does that mean that
if a person values art, progressive politics and intelligence that person is
automatically a hipster?

Another
definition states that a Hipster is someone who chooses to “reject the
culturally-ignorant” lifestyles of the “mainstream consumers”. Hipsters, in
this definitions sport asymmetrical hair-cuts equip with side-swept bangs, for
instance, or vintage-inspired clothing purchased from a thrift store. Perhaps a
hipster wears tight-fitting jeans or thick rimmed glasses. It is the “effortless
cool urban bohemian” look of a hipster and such fashions demands are met
through providers such as Urban Outfitters and American Apparel. These hipsters
usually bounce from trend to trend so that once mainstream society can capitalize
on the latest look, the hipsters move on to the next trend because mass
production is not cool to a hipster.

The
environmentally friendly, green-obsessed hipster is most popular here in
Portland. What began as an ambitious call to action in the fight against environmentally
damaging things such as global warming and deforestation has now become a
trendy statement to make. The “eco-bottles” that can be reused instead of
plastic water bottles is now a must-have item in a fashion statement. Bicycle
riding started as an environmentally friendly way to navigate through the city
instead of the gas guzzling auto mobile. Now, the bicycle is a stylish unit of
transportation. Are you a hipster simply because you like to ride your bike?

Because
of the number of classifications for hipsters to identify with, many people are
actually unaware of the fact that they themselves are hipsters because they
only associate hipsters with one of the many definitions. For example, a good
friend of mine in high school only identified hipsters as the eco-friendly,
bicycle-riding, thick framed glasses-wearing kids who rolled up their pant legs
and were seemingly under the impression that every thought in their own head
was a deeply profound and intellectual. What she did not realize was that she
was in fact a hipster. Her daily wardrobe consisted of trendy over-sized
sweaters she found at thrift shops and tight “distressed” jeans with an asymmetrical
hair style and only indie rock on her iPod. She did not understand that she was
classified in someone else’s mind, as a hipster.

The
point is that a Hipster can be made up of many different qualities that a
person who is not classified as a hipster may also share. Perhaps Hipsterism is
a state of mind rather than a fashion statement. Is it necessarily a bad thing
to be a hipster? Is it an inescapable fate for us all? Are we all closet
hipsters and we just don’t know it?

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About psupopa

I like to run.
This entry was posted in Fall 2011, Student Posts. Bookmark the permalink.

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