When the word “hipster” was first used, it was intended to be descriptive. It was used to describe a kind of counter-culture of (primarily) men who looked, acted and behaved in a certain way. It was the 21st century’s take on other iconic male trends; the descendant of the Teddy Boys of the 50s and the mods of the 60s.
As with most things, something popular was soon seized upon and refashioned. No longer did it define men who stepped outside of the mainstream and liked quirkiness over blending in; no, soon, a hipster came to be the male version of “basic“. Basic is a term predominantly aimed at white women when they like or do something stereotypical.
So somehow, hipster stopped being outside the mainstream and became to mean the embodiment of everything. It became a bad thing; articles sprung up denouncing the things hipsters held dear to their heart. The outsiders became the mainstream.
Okay, let’s cut to the chase: it’s a confusing mess. The base point remains: to be named a hipster is now fashioned as something bad. Just look at the definitions on Urban Dictionary, most of which focus on the downsides of hipster culture. And to an extent, it’s fair: there’s plenty about being a hipster that’s a bad thing.
If you follow the line of thinking that hipsters are ridiculous, then it can be a shock to discover that… you might be one of them. Or, at the very least, you like something that they like. Have you been taken over? They have not only got a hold of the culture as a whole but your own innermost thoughts and feelings? What’s real anymore – which way is up?
While there are variations on the idea of what compromises a hipster, here are a few basics on what most agree constitutes being One of Them. Do any of them fit you? And should you care if they do?
Clean-shaven had a good run of it, perhaps in response to the horrors of the 70s, Ron Burgundy-esque mustache. Sure, you could have a little grazing of stubble, but anything more was generally frowned upon.
Then it happened: beards made a comeback. It’s amazing it didn’t happen sooner, given the bind of the daily chore of shaving. This was one of the first aspects of hipster culture to truly pass into the mainstream, and frankly, it’s one to be applauded.
Unless you enjoy shaving, then embrace the beard. Your facial skin will thank you for it, not to mention the fact that many guys look better with a little facial fuzz.
Ironic and/or Vintage T-shirts
There is some argument over which of the above are the true uniform of the hipster, but both apply to some degree. No longer are T-shirts just plain or perhaps with stripes on days you’re feeling daring; they are all about the ironic statement, usually with expletives.
Is there any harm to these? Probably not. Sure they might signal you out as a bit of a hipster, but if the T-shirt is good enough, most people are going to focus on that. There are a plethora of online stores now selling something that will fit your own personal preferences – and what’s wrong with advertising your likes and dislikes on the front of your chest? It might even be a conversation starter.
The key to preventing going too far onto the Other Side is to have some kind of personal relationship to the thing emblazoned across your chest. This is particularly true if you’re sporting a vintage effort, with the name of a band or TV show from yesteryear – it helps if you actually care about it. At the very least, you don’t want to be asked for more information on what you’re wearing… and have no option but to shrug while you surreptitiously try to Google for the answer.
This is a strange one, as vaping existed long before the word “hipster” entered the lexicon of the populace. By virtue of perhaps just being new things in the general consciousness, they have been wound together.
Unlike the above, this is a pretty easy one to bust. It doesn’t matter if it’s considered a bit hipster; there’s a reason we shouldn’t move on from vaping. It’s better for you than smoking.
If you’ve been a smoker, then switching to vaping is going to improve your life and (most likely) your health. Puff away and come up with some sarcastic, cutting remarks to anyone who tries to suggest you do differently.
There’s nothing specifically wrong with ukuleles…
… No, can’t do it. There’s a lot wrong with ukuleles. Stop it. Stop it now.
Becoming A Collector
It seems hipsters tend to collect the same sort of things, with beer labels and bottle caps being the most recognized. Of course, we’re not talking about beer labels from the standard fare you can find at any drinking establishment! They should be craft beer labels, ideally from bottles only produced once and charged for an extortionate amount.
Collecting is an age-old habit that it’s impossible to find fault with, but it might be worth asking yourself why you’re collecting something. Does it bring you joy? Is it not cool, but you love it anyway – like WWE wrestler-cum-actor Dave Bautista and his love of lunch boxes? That’s real collecting, for the pure enjoyment of it.
If you’re less enthusiastic and more just about wanting something to display to show your unique choices in beverages… then yes, maybe you should nip this one in the bud.
Finally, brewing your own beer is perhaps Peak Hipster.
Like with collecting, it’s not a new hobby – people have been brewing at home for years. If you enjoy it, then continue. If, however, your friends and family are tired of having your latest watery creation foisted on them, then perhaps it should be one you keep for yourself.