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On the omnipresent hipster

Published: November 3, 2011
Section: Opinions


For those that know me well, I really hope that, after reading this, you don’t run after me with metaphorical pitchforks, calling me a hypocrite for writing this, because I will perpetually dig my heels into the ground and insist time and again that I am not a hipster! I stand by that statement, despite the fact that I dressed up as a “hipster” one night this Halloween weekend by using all my own clothing.

Now, for those of you not quite up to date with current colloquialisms, a hipster is a person who has a very specific and long-winded definition. I promise you, if you are in college, you have met, worked with, are friends with or know of a hipster. So, if you are unaware of what to look out for, here is my checklist of qualities becoming of a quintessential hipster.

The age bracket of hipsters ranges from late teens to early 30s, and they are typically fairly well educated and opinionated individuals—not a bad thing.

They absolutely love obscure indie bands and can talk for hours about art house and cult classic films at length. It is quite possible that you have seen their lengthy, abstract photo albums on Facebook where everything is shot in black and white and heaven forbid if someone smiles. It is incredibly easy to spot a hipster.

Their standard uniform, for both men and women, usually encompasses a few of the following items: Ray-Ban wayfarers, John Lennon or Elvis Costello inspired sunglasses, skinny jeans about two sizes too small, vintage t-shirts of indie bands or ironic slogans sometimes found at Salvation Army and almost always paired with a plaid, flannel shirt.

As far as headgear is concerned, you will most often see hipsters wearing fedoras or saggy knit hats (even in the summer time). Footwear consists of Converse sneakers that are falling to pieces, beat up combat boots, post-ironic oxford loafers or any other type of vintage shoe of which you can think.

The hipster hair-dos usually range from the ever-popular man bangs to a faux-hawk, and you will often see hipster males with heads strategically shaven in places and left long in others in a seemingly stylish manner.

For the swanky ladies, there are three things that you must remember when choosing a hipster girl hairstyle: bangs, bangs and bangs.

They have side bangs, front bangs, multicolored bangs and any other kind of bangs-related style you can imagine. The more of the face they cover, the more successful the female hipster.

Many male hipsters will also have ironic facial hair (no explanation needed). While hipsters are for the most part intellectuals, many will have unnecessary, thick-rimmed, glasses—yes, fake lenses so they can appear to be actually visually impaired. If it is chilly outside, the savvy hipsters will add a tattered scarf to the uniform.

Now that you have a visual idea of what to look out for, let me go back to the characteristics. Like I’ve said before, hipsters are smart and they know it.

That being said, many have an air of perpetual sarcasm and some even like to claim “how ironic they are.” Many hipsters pride themselves on the fact that they are in fact “original” and reject “mainstream culture.” I hate to break it to you, my hipster darlings, but if you’re all rejecting mainstream culture and cultivating originality together, then aren’t you back at square one?

So my advice to you, my patient readers, be wary of self-proclaimed hipsters and, if you run in their circles, give them a pat on the back because, as you can see, it takes a lot of time and effort and meticulous calculation to be that effortlessly cool, laid back and original.