Subculture: “Hipsters”

I decided to express my curiosity for this subculture I’ve yet to fully understand. As somebody that isn’t from New York or California, this one was new to me. There was always certain people I would meet at school or around the city that had a peculiar way of dressing – this being vintage and thrift store inspired fashions, tight-fitting jeans, old-school sneakers, thick rimmed glasses, messy shag cuts and asymmetric side-swept bangs. They’d have a distinct type of music and reject pretty much anything that is mainstream. They were all about supporting any uprising indie band and they’d usually have this laid-back, “effortless cool” attitude about them that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Then I discovered that these people had a name: they’re the rising subculture currently known as “Hipsters”. Hipsters are men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter. The greatest concentrations of hipsters can be found living in the Williamsburg, Wicker Park, and Mission District neighborhoods of New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Hipsters reject the culturally-ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers. The urban bohemian look of a hipster is exemplified in Urban Outfitters and American Apparel store ads which cater towards the hipster demographic.

However, hipsters tend to be well educated and often have liberal arts degrees, or degrees that require certain creative analytical thinking abilities despite misconceptions based on their aesthetic tastes. I personally don’t mind having this type of subculture around, seeing as its going to be around us for quite a while. I have noticed, however, a lot of people trying to imitate this lifestyle. Few ones are actually able to pull it off, others just look pretty lame trying to do so. I’ve also noticed how they’re all about emphasizing their use of cigarettes, drugs, parties and ‘artistic’ photography. Being around them for as long as I have, I think I can already tell which ones are actually real “hipsters” and who are trying to exemplify this lifestyle. There are even websites and blogs that draw attention and express their opinions about it, some of these being:
http://www.latfh.com/
http://www.hipsterhandbook.com/
http://diehipster.wordpress.com/
http://stuffhipstershate.tumblr.com/

Picture: from a friend’s album on Facebook. (Got permission for it. )

Stephanie De Jesús


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One response to “Subculture: “Hipsters”

  1. I love the hipster paradox. They appose mainstream yet are becoming mainstream. We even recognize Urban Outfitters or Opening Ceremony as hipster labels. When the first hipsters exclusively shopped at vintage stores and Salvation Army. Now, even there are hipster vintage stores that sell christmas grandma sweaters for around $75. I’m from Pittsburgh and trends normally take their time before hitting the youth but, even there some hipsters are sprouting up. Each time I go back home I seem to be able to spot a few more but, that all depends on where I go. If I go to my favorite coffee shop it’s littered with hipster but, if I went to the mall I probably wouldn’t see any. Maybe find this phenomenon so amusing because I live in Williamsburg and am around the epicenter of it all. But, I feel like this happens with all subcultures if it grows enough. So at what point is a subculture so large that it is mainstream? I feel that with hipsters they are at their breaking point, and soon maybe they will abandon their ways for something that is “probably something you haven’t heard of yet”.

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