By Shannon Turner, Mayfair High School, Lakewood, California
Do you associate yourself with independent music? Do you reject the culturally-ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers? Or maybe you take pride in your cool, seemingly-effortless appearance?
If yes, then any quick scan of Wikipedia or UrbanDictionary would tell you that you are, in fact, a hipster.
While the term “hipster” most commonly refers to anybody sporting vintage-inspired fashions, tight-fitting jeans with old-school sneakers, and, perhaps the most stereotypical, thick-rimmed glasses, the evolution from “bohemian” occurred seamlessly.
However, the term “hipster” emerged in the jazz age of the 1940’s when fans of bebop jazz adopted the jazz fashion, slang, relaxed morals, and dry humor of their favorite musicians. The word “hep” referred to anybody “in the know” about an emerging culture, and “hipster” replaced the phrase hepcat when swing was replaced by jazz.
In 2009 Time magazine depicted hipsters as “irony-sporting, status quo–abhorring, plaid-clad denizens” in the magazine’s attempt to clarify the subculture that reemerged in the early 90’s.
“The Hipster Handbook” was published in 2003 by Robert Lanham to organize the rules of being a hipster. The handbook consists of 11 Clues You are a Hipster such as, “You graduated from a liberal arts school whose football team hasn’t won a game since the Reagan administration,” and 11 Clues You are Not a Hipster, “You are a big fan of the suburbs and vinyl siding.” Also included in the book is a slang glossary and The Hipster Work Ethic, which is a link to a Page Not Found Error.
Darius Clay, senior, believes hipsters were originally people who were tired of “normality” and, in turn, pushed the envelope further and further to not be like everyone else.
“Unfortunately this became cool and people who wanted to be hipsters to be elitists joined in the culture and modern hipsters ended up becoming [jerks rather] than just people who wanted to escape the chain of forward thinking,” Clay said.
While it is easy to point out people who can easily fit into the wardrobe descriptions of a hipster, attitude is everything. One who abhors the commercialization of society is completely separate from one who dresses in vintage-inspired garb because that is what is in style.
Haleigh Peterson, junior, claims to be a half-hipster and enjoys both Indie and mainstream music.
“Being hipster can be more of a state of mind sometimes, but I am usually caught wearing the hipster fashion. I never fail to spend most of my money at thrift stores, and I almost never fail to be seen in the usual skinny jeans and sweater, plus the black thick-rimmed glasses.”
Peterson likes the “edginess and effortlessly cool the bilateral style.”
“It’s funny because most true hipsters refuse to even be considered hipsters… [they] can’t really be put into a mold.” Peterson said.the original article from hsj.org, written by Shannon Turner