Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What's With The Hipster Hate?

I'm going to say something that no one has ever said out loud: I wish I were a Hipster. Let me back up.

See, I found this online:

via Samantha Hahn

And I thought, "But I LIKE all those things. (Except the girl in the middle in the orange drapery but that's really more because I just can't pull that look off.) And I'm not a Hipster. being classified as a Hipster really such a bad thing?"

And then I went off into this whole inner struggle where it's like, I like indie things but I don't feel like a Hipster but I have friends who are Hipsters but they don't think they're Hipsters and some people are more Hipster than others or really is that possible and WHAT THE FRICKEN HELL I CAN'T EVEN TELL IF BEING A HIPSTER IS GOOD OR BAD AND IF I AM ONE OF THEM!!!!1g

So then I sat back and thought about it.

Maybe the issue is that there are different classifications of what makes someone a Hipster and it's become so broad it sometimes seems to include anyone who does anything against the norm. We'll come back to that.

There is definitely a type, though. An I'll-know-it-when-I-see-it kind of person who is truly, undeniably Hipster. But not just Hipster. Annoying Hipster. These are the people who try too hard to be part of the counter culture, get really snobby (hence the "you've probably never heard of it" meme) and it makes them annoying. Like such:

(via, I do not know this person. He might be hilarious and awesome. But you get the point of the kind of people I'm talking about.)

Don't be weird for weird sake. Be weird because it's legitimately who you are...within the boundaries of being a functional human being. I think we can all agree: people who do things JUST to either be pretentious or for attention are annoying. And yes, this is coming from the girl who regularly wore rainbow knee-high toe socks in the 8th grade. But guess what? IT WAS THE 8TH GRADE. I'm an adult now.

But there's still all this Hipster Hate out there, besides toward this outlying group of individuals. It's like leftover anger. Just because the people who crochet their fixed gear bike out of vegan hemp are stupid, all people who do anything against the norm don't have to be stupid.

There seem to be two kinds of Hipster Hate: People who hate Hipsters for going against the norm, and people who hate Hipsters for going WITH the norm.
a) You can't find pink hair in J. Crew so YOU'RE A DAMN HIPSTER AND I HATE YOU.
b) Why are there so many people with pink hair nowadays?! YOU'RE A DAMN HIPSTER AND I HATE YOU.

Why don't you people swallow the fire coming out of your throat and let the girl/boy have pink hair if they damn well want to have pink hair?

My two problems with this entire Hipster hating ordeal:

1. The Hipster classification

It's like, if you don't shop at big-box stores and you do enjoy farmer's markets, that's enough for people to throw you into one giant category: Hipsters. And then "Hipsters" all classify everyone else as "Yuppies." Why are there only two categories? THIS ISN'T THE GOVERNMENT. Sure, people try to weave in new categories, like "twee" or reclassify "hipster" as "indie" so that it won't sound so offensive. But if a girl in a funky floral dress and thick-rimmed glasses almost ran over you on her vintage bike, you'd spit, "F--king hipster" under your breath and don't say you wouldn't.

2. The Hipster denial.

So if we can't break the Hipster classification, if everyone with a fauxhawk has to be Hipster, let's at least just suck it up and admit it. Say it with me: "I'm a Hipster."

Let's stop this. Let's quit hating on Hipsters when we probably are all a little Hipster ourselves. It's starting to feel like the study that found homophobic people are most likely gay. I call it "The Whoever Smelt It Delt It Theory." Or possibly the "Steve Mandarino Theory." (Steve Mandarino was a kid in 7th grade who made fun of my nerdy hair in math class because he was roughly 4 feet tall and had a serious need to compensate in order to feel cooler.) Hating on other people just reflects poorly on you. Regardless of the god you may or may not pray to, it's just good sense to love one another without judgment.

And really. Is it such a bad thing to be a Hipster? Can't I wear funky sunglasses without being scoffed at? What if I legitimately like Hemmingway? Why does riding a bike have to be for "image" and not because it's cheap, good exercise, and environmentally friendly? Can't we just let people do things they want to do without snarling?

So I'm here to say: YEAH. I'm a little bit hipster. And I wish I were even more so. I'm not saying I want to see my face on Look At This F--king Hipster Dot Com. and I don't want Fred Armisen to mock me in a sketch on Portlandia. But if doing and owning things you can't find in a mall makes me Hipster, then FINE. I accept your overarching, slightly-cynical classification. Call me a Hipster. And call me a Hipster Wannabe. I'm a little of both.

Things I do That Classify Me As A Hipster
- Get short/asymmetrical haircuts sometimes
- My sunglasses have an extra bridge over the top
- Lived in Wicker Park
- Own vintage luggage
- Tweet? Is that hipster?
- Drink PBR cans at bars to save money
- Complain about cheap American lagers while I do it
- Go to shows with audiences under 50

Things I Wish I Did That Would Classify Me As A Hipster If I Did Them
- Take fashion risks
- Support more local (artists, bands, restaurants, food, etc.)
- Ride a moped
- Ride a bike
- Read a lot of smart books and talk about them with my friends
- Listen to music by people who do not make bank
- Wear no makeup/tons of makeup/risky makeup/make art on my face and feel comfortable with it all
- Get a big tattoo in plain sight and f--k worrying what I think about it when I'm 80
- Knit
- Get crafty
- Decorate my whole apartment with vintage-y things
- Hang out in coffee shops
- Wear big, seafoam green headphones
- Shop at Whole Foods (Some day, Whole Foods...some day.)

Basically I want to be Zooey Deschanel in the Cotton commercial and I don't care who knows it.

And are those things so bad? Why? I'm not ruining lives. I'm not hurting myself (well the tattoo would sting a little but otherwise...) Let's all back off and let people do things they like. For once. I know it's human nature to lash out at people who are different from you because they make you question your own choices. But maybe other people don't do things SPECIFICALLY to fit in/stand out/annoy you. Maybe they made choices because they know who they are.

And what kind of choices do YOU make?


PiaPie23 said...

Love it. Every part of it. Especially the Steve Mandarino reference.

Teena said...

Omg, I clicked on "comment" to specifically address the Mandarino reference as well. Awesome. And just so you know, I totally digged your cool flipped out hair, Em!

Liketohike said...

I had no idea hipsters were discriminated against! (this is part of living in the country)

I agree with everything with one major exception: I don't believe hard-core hipsters shop at Whole Foods. WF is expensive, and that says "yuppie" or "wannabe" to me. (not that I don't want to check it out for myself...)

Emily said...

Pia: Yay! I'm glad you guys got that one. I never know what other people remember.

Teena: You are thinking of The Great Meg Ryan Hair Attempt of 2002, but thank you! I was actually referring to my air-dried, oily, parted straight down the middle, junior high nerd hair.

Katie: Hipsters are in fact quite discriminated against, mostly by other people who are scared someone will think they are hipster, too. I would argue with you about WF, because one stereotype about Hipsters is that they HAVE money (usually their parents) but choose to look like they don't. And farm-fed, vegan, gluten-free, organic quinoa is a hard thing to pass up.

Liketohike said...

Well, now I have to add that I have been on what is starting to feel like a lifelong quest for quinoa but still have yet to try it. GOD, I can't wait till I live in the city again!

adrienne said...

i'm a hipster and i'm damn proud of it.
i ride my bike
i wear leggings
my sunglasses are far larger than my eyeballs
i own more than one pair of toms shoes
i think mustaches are rad.
just deal.

hey want to go to karaoke tonight? i'll message you later but in the off change you somehow read your blog comments all the time, i'm asking now.

Anonymous said...

Ha! Been holding that one back a while?

I have been trying to figure out what, exactly, a hipster is FOREVER. Because there are none here, and everyone makes fun of what frankly sounds like an awesome lifestyle.

But from what I've pieced together, the key to hipsterdom is someone who does ALL OF THE ABOVE really cool stuff, but does it while scoffing at everything, including themselves.

So the key component isn't the style, it's the superiority complex.

Emily said...

Yes I've definitely been holding it back in that I didn't really know how to put into words how I felt about it. But mostly it just seems that way because I actually spent time writing it, unlike most word-vomits that comprise this blog.

I think you're TOTALLY right about the superiority complex being the true definition. Now people need to quit calling me a Hipster for having red tights.

Joe Campos said...

I'm right there with you