How to be a Hipster

July 29, 2012
By SusannaHeller BRONZE, Cresskill, New Jersey
SusannaHeller BRONZE, Cresskill, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

As with every generation, a new forerunner of pop culture has evolved. Just as flappers, hippies, and punk rockers are associated with their respective generations, hipsters have recently become the face of the current age group. A hipster is defined as “a person who follows the latest trends and fashions.” Hipsters avoid mainstream society like Paris Hilton avoids last seasons’ Jimmy Choo’s, yet they ironically set the standard for pop culture. Love them or hate them, hipsters are everywhere as of late. While some chose to resist their slow transformation into a so-called purveyor of cool, others embrace the inevitable. Becoming a hipster is an intricate process, but if one follows these outlined steps it can be possible.

The first step to becoming a hipster is dressing like one. Hipster girls are often seen wearing over-sized knit sweaters, patterned tights, Doc Marten boots, high-wasted pants, and floral-print dresses. Their male counterparts generally wear v-neck or band t-shirts, skinny jeans, and skater shoes, such as vans. All of the aforementioned items can be purchased at any commercial retailer, but a hipster would never set foot in a store that their peers frequent. Instead, one must pursue thrift stores, online shopping forums, or the closet of one’s grandmother in the search of chic clothing. The more obscure the store and the more vintage-looking the clothing, the better. In the realm of beauty, a true hipster does very little to enhance one’s looks. Hair-care products and makeup are far too mainstream and conformist for one to even consider. Finally, every good hipster knows how to work his or her accessories. Large-frame glasses, knit hats, oversized scarves, and vintage jewelry are the standards. Although the original hipsters were broke college students, hipsters today are generally suburban teens whose parents pay for all of their worldly possessions. Although one may be living off of their parent’s six-figure salary, it is imperative that one upkeeps the image of destitution. Once one looks like a hipster, it is important one envelope oneself in the under-ground culture of hipsters.

Music is the core of hipster culture. However, listening to popular artists such as Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, and Drake is extremely taboo in hipster culture. Instead, artists such as Arcade Fire, Wavves, Neutral Milk Hotel, Death Cab for Cutie, and Bon Iver rank supreme on hipsters’ iTunes. As with clothing stores, the more unknown a band is greater value it has in the eyes of a hipster. Furthermore, a true hipster would never listen to a mainstream radio station, unless it is National Public Radio. The ideal social gathering for a hipster would be a concert at a small venue for one’s “indie” band of choice. These happen frequently and attendance is key to entering the hipster social-sphere. Annual music festivals, such as Coachella and Ultra, are to hipsters as conventions, like Comic Con, are to intellectuals. The aforementioned gatherings are one of the few times a year that hipsters abandon their apathetic demeanor.

The hipster lifestyle is complex and ironic, but in order to truly become a hipster one must have a complete understanding of it. If one wishes to be a hipster it is crucial that one acquires a unique talent or hobby. Some of the most common include film photography, art, playing an obscure instrument, and writing deep, existential poetry. Another key essential characteristic of a hipster is having a pretentious yet indifferent attitude. It is vital that one maintains constant feelings of being a “special snowflake.” One must maintain feelings of intense individualism while caring very little about how others view them. Although they are known for their ennui, hipsters tend to be resolute in their viewpoints. Hipsters generally tend to support radical causes such as veganism and the occupy Wall Street movement. Being opinionated and apathetic at the same time adds irony to one’s life, which hipsters value above all else. The final defining characteristic of a hipster is having a propensity to live in an urban city. As the initial breeding ground for hipsters was Brooklyn, many still can be found in the greater tri-state area. Although most hipsters live within the confines of the metro New York area, their eccentric and eclectic culture is spreading across the nation.

Hipster culture is a fast-growing trend among teenagers across the country. In recent years, hipsters have become synonymous with trendsetting and being extremely enigmatic. Hipster culture is comparable to the recent occupy Wall Street protests in that the general population is aware of its existence, but very few people can describe what it really is. To put it simply, to be a hipster, one generally needs a stylish wardrobe, an “indie” music taste, and an affected yet uninterested attitude.

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