If you listened to Episode 62 you would hear Charlie and I discussing the currently oh so common pastime of hating hipsters and how annoying I find it. Blogs, books, t-shirts, and even Che Guevara all proclaim their deep and abiding hatred of hipsters. But what exactly is a hipster?
Hipsters seem to be the boogeyman of alternative culture. They are the evil embodiment of privilege, self-satisfied coolness, and irony. Hipsters are to blame for rising rents, annoying fashion, and your favorite band breaking up/selling out. We all claim to know one when we see one but no one has ever actually admitted to being a hipster, or even to being friends with one. So what is behind the vitriol?
Like so many problems in society it all comes back to insecurity and an us vs them mentality. Hipster is what we call anyone we perceive as believing that they are cooler than we are. These are often people who are younger, dressed more fashionably, or seem to be more affluent than us. Often they are people who are pursuing a creative career of some kind. Frequently they seem to be people who have similar interests as us and have the nerve to speak confidently on the topic. All of these things make us feel insecure around them and that insecurity quickly turns to hatred. But the fact is that it is that it’s much more likely that you are judging the hipster than that the hipster is judging you. Most people are self-absorbed and are far more likely to be checking their hair in the mirror than to be evaluating your fashion choices. Not to mention that the type of people who get called hipster most often are probably pretty comfortable in their place in the world. They do tend to be young, dressed in a way that they have obviously put some thought into, and working on their own projects. Those kind of people probably don’t spend a lot of their time judging strangers around them and if they do they are assholes not hipsters.
I read the word “real” a lot when reading some of these blogs devoted to hating hipsters. We are “real” and hipsters are not. We “really” love something but hipsters are just trying to look cool. This is all just the new way of calling someone a poser, which was the insult of choice amongst my friends in high school. It is a high school mentality to try to classify someone based on how they are dressed and then to like or hate them for it. It is time for us all to grow up.
So instead of spending your time taking pictures of strangers on the subway and making fun of them for how they are dressed how about you just live your own life, do the things you love, and don’t worry so much about if some young guy in skinny jeans and a handle bar mustache thinks you are cool or not.