In [Partial] Defense of the Hipster Generation

Hipster-y looking young man poses in front of picture of lion

All this talk about youth in the pro-choice movement and the legacy of baby boomer activists, including civil rights leaders, has got me thinking about what my own generation’s legacy will be. And, surprisingly, scarily, tellingly, I’ve come up with this one word, a word that inspires fear, disgust, and admiration simultaneously; a ubiquitous word, an over-used and under-examined word, a foul word, depending on what circles you run in: HIPSTER.

Ah, yes, the “hipster generation.” How I both love and despise thee. No other movement can do what you do- you make me laugh, you make me cringe, and then you make me laugh again. You entertain me and shame me. You occupy my weekends, but not so much my consciousness. You’re pretentious and ironic, without always necessarily knowing why, or to what end. And, despite the tons of amazing activist efforts happening right now in my generation, you threaten to outshine them all. And I’m not just talking about your neon leg warmers. Because right now there are a lot of social and cultural movements that I believe will come to define these times. And one of the major ones, for better or worse, is hipsterdom.

Here on Feministing, we’ve spent a lot of time criticizing some of the egregiously offensive and/or anti-feminist practices of our hipster brethren (or, as Gawker has renamed them, fauxhemians). Jessica has mused on whether Andy Samberg is actually pro-feminist or just an ironic hipster douchebag. Ann has called out sexist hipster bullshit of the “it’s not hip, it’s racist/sexist” variety, and Samhita has posted extensively on the subject, tackling the racist use of “Afrika” prints by American Apparel, the phenomenon of “kill whitey” parties thrown by white people, and hipsters’ role in gentrification of her neighborhood.

So it’s pretty clear that there are problematic elements of hipster culture. I don’t deny these at all. But I’ve been reflecting on my relationship to hipster culture lately, and I’ve started to believe that it’s possible that time will be kinder to the hipster movement than we feminists have been so far. I’ve come up with a few reasons that most hipsters aren’t as bad as you’d think, and some might be actively contributing to the same social change that we feminists are working towards. Plus, at the highest rungs of hipsterdom, they’ve got something figured out that we’re still struggling with. Check it.

It’s hard to define the word hipster because it’s come to represent so many things. But for my purposes, when I use the phrase, I’m loosely talking about members of a subculture of relatively young, urban, mostly middle class adults and older teenagers with interests in non-mainstream (aka “alternative”) fashion and culture, particularly music (independent rock), and a general tendency towards ironic and postmodern worldviews. Another good indicator is how often they use “quotes” around words and primarily judge people and things based on how “meaningful” and “culturally relevant” they seem (via hipsterrunoff).

Young hipster man

While not exactly a card-carrying member of the hipster community, I do occasionally engage in activities and events that could be described as hipsterish, and sometimes like music or fashion that could be similarly classified. Why? You might ask. No self-respecting socially conscious feminist anti-racist activist would stoop so low! Not so, I’d say. Here are some things this feminist digs about hipster culture (note: I recognize that all of these qualities are rather subjective and certainly could be debated, but these are just my personal impressions, and quite generalized ones at that):

-creative fashion
-freedom to not care/be dominated by what others think
-good music (indie rock in particular)
-some level of self awareness
-general thoughtfulness to reexamine mainstream norms (also key component of social activism)
-more accepting of different body types than mainstream pop culture
-hot, hot abundant androgyny (that is hot)

I think these characteristics play an important social role. They are not just silly empty youthful trends for older people to make fun of and “not get.” Within my definition of hipsterdom, they are deliberately posited social signifiers intended to indicate rebellion against a zombified and played out dominant mainstream narrative. They are redefining “cool” to be something other than conventional beauty norms and sugary pop culture narratives. This is actual social work that I think is important, and basically parallel to the work I’m interested in doing, on this site and as an activist in general.

Young hipster woman

So I guess the main point I want to make is that positing oneself as being “above” the racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, and other ‘isms commonly found in mainstream culture, as many hipsters do, may not be the tactic that people who identify as social activists think is the most effective, or meaningful, way to engage with fucked up mainstream norms. But it is just that- a tactic. It’s a tactic for coping with a world that we are all in agreement does not feel particularly just, and being angered and confused by that as a young person, and existing in that space the best and most fully realized way you know how.

So although hipsters as a movement may not be as self aware as they claim, or separate from the social ills they profess to be above, and they may not be contributing to structural social change as much as they could be, I respect that they’re actively choosing to live in rebellion against some of the same harmful and dangerous mainstream narratives that feminists like me have been trying to counter for years.

In conclusion, carry on, young hipsters, carry on. I’ll see you in Williamsburg.

All pics via LATFH.

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30 Comments

  1. Kessei
    Posted April 30, 2010 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Okay, in all due deference, I’m having trouble seeing how this is, in those respects, unlike every other youth culture ever.

  2. Comrade Kevin
    Posted April 30, 2010 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    My criticism of hipster culture is mainly out of a concern that some take themselves a little bit too seriously. I admit that when I was younger I wore my feelings of rebellion on my sleeve, but now I simply don’t feel the same compulsion to scream it from the rooftops. It makes me a bit uncomfortable to observe hipster culture but not because I don’t understand it, rather because it turns the mirror towards me and allows me to observe how I must have been to some extent earlier in my own life.
    Now I’m more comfortable with myself and as a result I’m not nearly as inclined to need to make a direct statement that reflects something about how I am or how I want to be perceived. To be honest, I think our negative opinion comes in when the people who take it too far end up being singled out and held up as indicative of the larger group dynamic.
    I know that I used to be a bit of a hipster in younger days and that I’ll always retain some of that identity, based on the person I am and my interests.
    Our culture is notoriously cruel towards people who try to be something they are not or who seem inauthentic. Still, I think that part of the maturation process is at play here too. When I think about the people I went to high school with, for example, I’m amazed at how the passage of time has changed them, not just for worse, but often for better.
    I’m also a bit critical of the aging hipster dynamic, mostly because I see it as indicative of incredible immaturity. That may be too harsh of me, but it’s something that instantly comes to mind.

  3. Kate
    Posted April 30, 2010 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Serious points to you for making the case for hipsterdom, at the very least, conscious moderation. For starters, while the “hipster generation” is undoubtably guilty of all the transgressions it gets flack for, it’s important to recognize not only that attributing all these faults to the generation as a whole would be be a grossly inaccurate generalization, but also to acknowledge the contributions that they do make. Plus, it’s also essential to remember that we, the hipsters (and yes, I feel that in the spirit of full disclosure, that I should fess up to my membership in this culture, as I sit here in my flannel shirt and Doc Martens, sporting ironic non-prescription horn-rimmed glasses listening to Animal Collective) are still very, very young! We have a lot of growing up to do and I think that we have a lot of potential to make valuable social contributions in the years to come. I can at least speak for the ladies, if not the men (we do have some really douche-y specimens in our midst, but, granted, that has a lot to do with the fact that teenage and twenty-something guys have a tendency to be jerks, hipster or not), when I say that many of us are deeply passionate about women’s issues, and correcting social injustices in general.
    Enh… I’m beginning to ramble now. My point is: thanks for putting this out there. Hipsters are definitely not perfect, but we’re far from a lost cause.

  4. konkonsn
    Posted April 30, 2010 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure if I fall into the correct age range for your generation (24?), but I don’t see hipster as defining the generation. It really does depend, as you said, what circles you run in.
    I’ve lived in Midwest USA all my life, and as hard as I’ve tried, I can’t seem to get a job/school that’ll put me in an urban environment. I’ve seen more cornfields and random farm animals (seriously, nobody just raises cows anymore!) than people. Goth is still pretty unique around here. I had no idea what a hipster was until this post.
    So breathe easily.

  5. Toongrrl
    Posted April 30, 2010 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Are there more info about Hipsters?
    They don’t run rampant around
    Bakersfield.

  6. Stephanie89
    Posted April 30, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    When you say that hipster culture is “more accepting of different body types than mainstream pop culture”, do you really mean to say that hipster ideals tend to be thinner/less busty than pop culture ideals? Because while I love my skinny jeans and my obscure bands, as a fat woman I feel not only excluded by hipster culture, but excluded moreso there than in the general population. Maybe it’s just a Toronto thing. Or maybe I’m thinking of a very specific type of judgemental hipster found here, as opposed to a broader definition of people who just like the music and the clothing. But when you speak of hipster sexism and hipster racism, yeah, mandatory thinness/androgyny (the latter of which I agree is totally hot, but anyway) does seem to go with the territory.

  7. Lilith Luffles
    Posted April 30, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    So I’m a little confused on this post… the hipster generation does things that make you uneasy based on what a few famous hipsters do? What ever happened to judging an individual based on their character? It seems to me as though hipsters did not label themselves, but had others label them. Whatever happened to people having the power to name themselves?
    I live in the midwest and have heard the word, but didn’t know what it meant until your post. I guess I’m mostly uneasy at the idea of all people who don’t fit into the mainstream on purpose fitting into one label. Of course, I probably haven’t experienced the hipster since everyone in my area is either preppy or sporty or a mix of both. If there is an actual hipster movement, I’m unaware of it. I’ve always stuck closer to the punk label, and mix in cyber, goth, and visual kei/lolita.

  8. miranda
    Posted April 30, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    i think hipster culture is especially confusing in regards to the ideal body image. it seems as though the typical hipster is white, tall, and skeletal. but i’ve also met a lot of proud, curvy, and even obese hipster females. i think part of the hipster mentality is to not give a fuck. that’s why hipster boys can be stick-thin without any muscles yet wear muscle-shirts and tank tops. whenever i go to a hipster-infiltrated party, it always seems like the fat girls are the first to take off all their clothes and start dancing, and it’s hot.

  9. clementine
    Posted April 30, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    One reason I try to stay away from discussions of “hipster” culture is because it really is many different cultures that have been lumped together in a “kids these days” sort of way. Maybe 5 years ago “hipster” referred to a specific phenomena or subset of young people but now that the word has gone main stream it’s just a fall back term for anyone who acts or looks weird/different in the eyes of the person doing the labeling. I can’t imagine having a discussion about hipster culture because it’s different depending on who you ask and many of the people who are being lumped together under this umbrella term hold very different and distinct core beliefs and ideas.
    A favorite quote from my lovely roommate that exemplifies what I’m talking about: “what is that green stuff you hipsters put on your sandwiches?….oh right, avacado” :P
    Ugh, and did anyone see that Adbusters cover a year or so ago about how hipsters were ruining culture or something? What a cop-out. Blame the downfall of western civilization on a vaugely defined group of 20 somethings that everyone loves to hate.

  10. miranda
    Posted April 30, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    It’s really interesting that people are starting to discuss and think about the hipster movement. As a 21-year old female who has always been on the fringe of popular trends, I’ve watched the hipster movement develop and become a national (even global) phenomenon. I just want to note that I don’t consider myself a hipster, a lot of my friends do, I’ve been to a lot of parties and shows, and I can generally slip in and out of hipster association. I’m also talking about west coast hipster culture. I think it varies by location.
    One of my biggest issues with hipsters has to do with class. Every hipster I’ve met has been upper-middle class, but from their appearance, you’d never know. They wear “grungy” clothes (usually unwashed american apparel), drink cheap beer, live in squats, and don’t have jobs. But the reason they don’t have jobs isn’t because they have the “fuck the man” mentality, but because they’re living off of mommy and daddy’s money. Most hipsters i know have had the luxury to attend a major university only to drop out after a year or two.
    I think a good example of this hipster tendency to pretend to be lower-class than one actually is is reflected in the infiltration of pabst blue ribbon. PBR has always been the cheapest of cheap beers, my dad calls it hobo-beer, but i recently found out that as a result of its popularity among hipsters, it can cost over $6 for a can at a bar. Despite this ridiculousness, hipsters keep buying it for its image.
    I think the hipster generation is an embarrassment. As a young “alternative” adult with strong political opinions, i get really upset when I look back on my parents’ generation and the social change that they enacted and experienced, in comparison with one of the major “sub-cultures” of my time. Hipsterdom is more about image than social change. Hipsterdom is about not giving a fuck, and “hipster” doesn’t deserve to be put in the same sentence as “racism, sexism, classism” etc.

  11. IAmGopherrr
    Posted April 30, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    I have no problem with hipsters. To a certain degree it reminds me of what went on during the 50′s of which alot of feminists and progressives spawned from. Sadly I think if anyone remembers gen y it will be stupid superficial things like Britney Spears, facebook, stupid youtube videos and being hooked to a computer/new tech device 24/7. Nothing that even mirrors the progress spurned by the Boomers. Pretty superficial and embarassing actually.

  12. clementine
    Posted April 30, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    about PBR. i believe the reason it originally gained popularity was because of the lack of advertising for it. other cheap beers that college aged kids could afford like miller or coors were advertised in often offense/degrating/sexist commercials and billboards whereas PBR ads were nearly nonexistent save for for old logos in shop windows and such.
    maybe there are some kids nowadays that drink it to “pretend to be lower-class,” i don’t know. i’ve never met any of those people. i know the reason i drink it, when i do, is because it’s often all i can afford and it’s better than the other cheap options, imho.
    and i find it really hard to believe that you can tell just by the way someone is dressed or the music they listen to whether or not they can afford university or what their political views are. you describe yourself as a “young ‘alternative’ adult with strong political opinions,” there’s probably someone out there who thinks you fit their idea of a hipster too. maybe they are making the same judgments about you that you are making about these kids? just a thought.

  13. Jessica Lee
    Posted April 30, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    My problem with hipster culture is the feeling of entitlement and the incessant need to look down upon others. I think it’s very classist, even if their whole image is very “anti-capitalism”. Their big thing is being condescending toward others who like the same music, movies, etc. that they do, which often requires the money to go to shows and other places to become involved with the culture. This disenfranchises middle/lower class people who might have not the money to afford going to shows or doing other activities to discover underground culture.
    Also, the picture of the first guy you posted with the pink shirt is extremely racist, sexist, and homophobic. I can’t find the link now, but latfh.com posted a post about him, and he tends to spew out offensive bullshit if you dare joke about him or his band.

  14. lindsay
    Posted April 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    I think that the hipster subculture breeds a lot of arrogant dweebs who think that they’re contributing to social change by voicing a stance that’s popular among their friends. But even so, I don’t really see anything wrong with a group of people making the idea of social change more accessible to younger kids, kids who probably just want to identify with something bigger than themselves. And if their newly found identification with hipsterdom leads to the eventual transformation from self indulgent fashion nerd to real social activist, so be it.
    I’ve seen a lot of kids get into hipster or punk culture without a clue and end up really well informed. It seems pretty questionable to me to judge an entire group of people on a few generalizations. That’s not to say we shouldn’t be skeptical.

  15. lindsay
    Posted April 30, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    I think that the hipster subculture breeds a lot of arrogant dweebs who think that they’re contributing to social change by voicing a stance that’s popular among their friends. But even so, I don’t really see anything wrong with a group of people making the idea of social change more accessible to younger kids, kids who probably just want to identify with something bigger than themselves. And if their newly found identification with hipsterdom leads to the eventual transformation from self indulgent fashion nerd to real social activist, so be it.
    I’ve seen a lot of kids get into hipster or punk culture without a clue and end up really well informed. It seems pretty questionable to me to judge an entire group of people on a few generalizations.

  16. Stephanie89
    Posted April 30, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Hmm, I think perhaps it is a regional thing and also a personal experience thing. I have met actual progressive and smart people who wear alternative clothing and such, but the sort of exclusionary, judgemental attitude is a bit inextricable from what I think of when I think ‘hipster’. I think I’m using a narrow definition because it is one that seems pervasive and troubling here. I can well imagine that your own social realm may be quite different and I wish I saw more of that here.
    Also, not to pick on you or play word police, but I do find ‘obese’ to be problematic.

  17. brightred
    Posted April 30, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    I am confused about how a culture that has systematically set about creating *alternative* forms of racism/sexism/structural violence (eg, cultural appropriation, aforementioned Samberg douchery, and perhaps most egregious of all, gentrification) warrants a “partial defense” simply because these new cultural forms can’t be easily characterized as “mainstream.”
    Also, assessing our ENTIRE generation as distinguished by its hipsterdom? That to me suggests way more about the particular social and cultural location of the author than it does about about the actual realities faced by many (even most?) young people living in the United States (let alone worldwide). We live in an era characterized by (among other things) the erosion of the welfare state, draconian immigration reform, and mass incarceration… I’ll go out on a limb and wager that overall, those of our generation who have most keenly felt the effects of these national transformations firsthand probably have quite a bit less to say about the distinctive “hipsterness” of our times.
    Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I have some massive vendetta against hipsters (altho I will just say that I think the trademark “irony” thing slips so easily into a really gross simultaneous fetishizing and ridiculing of lower income/working class cultures). I even identify with various aspects of hipster culture (my closet’s full of Levi 511s)… I just think attempting to mount some sort of *political* defense of hipsterdom strikes me as a little on the ludicrous side. But everyone should feel free to correct me if I’m off-base here.

  18. Shy Mox
    Posted April 30, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Same here! Either the definition is too broad or I clearly have no idea what it means, I get accused of being a hipster when I say I’m vegan o.O

  19. Gular
    Posted April 30, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    I come from an area which is a hipster hotbed. I wouldn’t say that hipsters are the same everywhere; I would say that I think there’s a lot that could be said for some of the mores of hipster thought.
    I will admit that I can be a bit of a hipster — my sunglasses are Buddy Holly style. I’m wearing plaid shorts and I love thrifting for the sheer joy of finding an awesome, ironic and funny t-shirt. So, I will totally own up to any rose-colored bias coming out of this.
    I would surmise that the biggest thing that hipster culture(s) can be traced to is being told that “indifference” is “tolerance”. We’re of the generation that was told that “I don’t care if you’re black, white, purple or green. You’re still a person.” That was what tolerance was taught to us in school.
    Hipsters also know the power that comes with that outward indifference. If you act as if you don’t care, then you also take all the power out of the person who’s trying to control you.
    But, when you look at the actions on the whole, you find that hipsters go for more sustainable living — biking, public transit, local grown — and more liberal politics — LGBT equality, racial equality.
    The hipster in me finds it funny that so many people have already commented that they “choose to live below their socio-economic class” in so many words. But then, the markers of living below your class are rebuying used clothing to save production and using public transport to lower pollution. I might be a bit defensive in saying this, but I think it’s also something to consider that part of responsible citizenship is seeing where everything makes an impact.
    Starbucks is a fair-trade company. American Apparel has similar stances for its workers.
    Sure, it might be a look, but there’s substance there that’s easy to glare at over the “mismatched social signals” of being a hipster.

  20. Emeraldcityserendipity
    Posted April 30, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    I think the term hipster has just become a label of convenience (akin to the prefix ‘post’) that detractors use to dismiss and discredit a group of people and/or movement they disdain from the outside. I have never been entirely sure what a hipster is, or if (god forbid) I fall into that categorization, because it seems to quite generally describe the subculture (or perhaps conflate a wide variety of subcultures) of hirsute, inked, pierced, self-important, trendy, entitled, retro-wearing slackers. (The fact that that description spells out hipster and may as well be its (b)ac(k)ronym is just a coincidence…)

  21. Brittany
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    I don’t think hipsters define the generation at all, and I’d hardly call it a movement. They’re just a subculture/trend like any other. I personally have negative feelings toward the word “hipster” because to me it means someone who is insincere about everything and just does things to be cool or ironic. That’s the only thing that defines a hipster for me, actually. I don’t think anyone deserves to be labeled that just because they dress a certain way or like certain bands.

  22. mollybee
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    i hate how everything slightly alternative is deemed “hipster” now. Not to be a pretentious hipster asshole, but like, for example…punk culture has been doing a lot of the things that people deem “pretentious and hipster” for awhile now. It just is stupid and not real. Honestly, I lot of the time I think people who use the word hipster excessively are just putting people down so they can feel cooler.
    anyway, that had nothing to do with feminism…but I don’t know, its annoying that because I like bikes and feminism and punk rock and funny haircuts that I’m a hipster. Last time I checked, the normal label for that would be punk rock. Is this like, misuse of the word or have I suddenly switched subcultures?
    this whole “hipster” business is just SOOO STUPIDDDDD let’s just hate assholes for being assholes.

  23. April
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear god I hate PBR. Not because it’s a crappy beer, but because I can’t turn my head without seeing some neon, smelly turd with giant thrift store glasses and too-short pants drinking a Tall Boy at the local dive bar. Not to mention the fact that PBR, once purchased by hipsters for it’s cheapness, is now (like you touched on) one of the pricier beers at the Uptown liquor store.
    If hipsters want to appropriate poor culture and still get drunk, they can buy a “cube” of Mountain Crest. It’s $9.99.
    post. I have sort of a love/hate relationship with hipster culture. I certainly embody many of the hipster qualities, but when I find myself surrounded by people with retro haircuts and high-waisted black tapered jeans and glasses that I laughed at my mom for wearing in the early 80′s, and I hear them talk about ABSOLUTELY NOTHING OF ANY RELEVANCE, I want to smack them all.
    I’m in Minneapolis, btw. As many others have said, it’s totally regional. I’ve never met non-Minneapolis hipsters.

  24. April
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Also, as far as social change is concerned? Most of the “hipsters” I know seem to think their contributions begin and end when they join an anti-oppression group of some kind on Facebook. I do know quite a few activists, though, but none of them are really all that “hipsterish.”

  25. clementine
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I get accused of being a hipster because I ride a bike! haha

  26. brightred
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    I think the PBR renaissance is often attributed not just to the anti-corporate sensibilities of whoever it was in portland that got the whole thing started, but also significantly to the perception of the beer as “authentic” or “retro” (enter particular cultural and class-based *associations* rather than simple economic necessity as determining factors) — I think it’s noteworthy that in the ascendence of PBR over any of the kajillion other cheap, non-advertised beers out there, the one that’s a hipster staple now is the one that has that’s notorious from that cult David Lynch movie Blue Velvet (there’s this memorable scene where the super creepy villain played by Dennis Hopper yells that his favorite beer is “Pabst Blue Ribbon, baby!”).

  27. graciebird
    Posted May 2, 2010 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Chalk me up as another whiner, but I’m going to throw my two cents in and say that hipsters have done no worse and no better than the social/cultural movements that have come before, but it’s hard to see that when we’re currently riding the backlash wave. I think the media and folks in particular are inclined to malign anything so long as it’s in the limelight for too long.
    It’s true that hipsters have spawned Dov Charney, Cobrasnake, ironic racism, and Vice magazine. They’ve also spawned guerilla gardening, Not An Alternative, “Helpsters”, and more bicycle demonstrations that you can shake a stick at (I am going to agree with the OP in that subsets of the hipster movement have outdone Bowie and his ilk in terms of gender play). For my own part (being a hipster feminist) I’ve seen some of the most progressive art, literature, and activism come from the hands of hipster friends who recycle, take public transit, and correct others on racist/sexist/ablist language. I’ve also overheard more than one or two hipsters telling racist/sexist/ablist jokes, buying pabst for six dollars, or putting someone down for liking the latest Black Lips album. Does this cancel the progressive activities of other hipsters? It would seem so. This doesn’t seem to be the case in movements like punk, for example, that gave us both Blondie and the Ramones, but also Tragic Minds and White boss, not to mention Siouxie Sioux wearing the swastika arm band for shock value. I defy anyone to read “I Was A Punk Before You Were A Punk” without having the movement deftly deflated in their minds. But hipsters are particularly easy to malign because, as we can see from above, no one really knows what a hipster is.
    In the end, thankfully, it gets harder and harder to give a shit. To be a progressive hipster doing good work but getting lumped in with kids who buy “vintage” looking sneakers at $200 a pair while their neighbors starve is certainly not the worst thing that could happen. I do appreciate, however, being able to go to a cheap bar and talking to a girl in a dress and a fake moustache about her ideas on polyamory, or going to free shows in basements where you are invited to play along with whatever you can, or participating in the manifold community gardening projects around my city. In the end, people are going to do good or bad things, regardless of how they dress or what music they listen to.

  28. bradley
    Posted May 2, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    “Heineken?! Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!”

  29. mollybee
    Posted May 2, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure you said some of what I was trying to say just way more respectfully and elegantly haha.
    I would like to add that yeah, early punk rock had its weird “shock value” stuff, but right now, a lot of punk is really about progressivism–community, equality, sustainability; as well as creativity, freedom. and I guess if that makes me a hipster then being a hipster is way awesome, even if no one CAN really define the word.

  30. Katy
    Posted May 3, 2010 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    As an artist, I have a very special relationship with hipsters….mainly that relationship consists of me wanting to put a bag over my head anytime someone introduces me to one of their hipster friends who claims to also be an artist.
    I take my art VERY seriously. I work full time at a 9-5 job, and I go home every night and spend about 3-6 hours painting or researching ideas (also I spend a lot of time at work online researching stuff). I show my work at professional galleries, and, and I’m about to start MFA in painting in the fall .
    After I put my heart and soul into my passion, it never fails that I go to a gallery opening and find out that I’m the only artist under 30 who is wearing dress pants and doesn’t smell like American Spirits. I feel like I’m in the middle of an artistic movement that consists of a bunch of upper class kids that majored in art because their parents made them go to college, and now they’re just half-assing a career because it looks cool.
    Thats kind of the general vibe I get from hipsters-everything is a joke. Maybe it’s just the area I live in, or it’s just bad luck on my part, but I don’t think I’ve ever met a hipster who drank PBR because of their lack of sexist advertisting, or wore thrift store clothes to be environmentally friendly. All of the ones I seem to meet just do it to fit in and look cool.
    I feel like it’s 100 times worse than the kids I new in 9th grade that wore Tommy Hilfiger from head to toe. Hipsters I seem to meet don’t just have clothing rules-they have to eat the right food, drink the right beer, smoke the right cigarettes, and half-ass the right career.
    The fact that they feel the need to make everything ironic is making genuine things that I love (like art) look like a joke.
    Sorry if my statment is long and rambling, but I just had to put in my 2 cents.

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