One of the characteristics of western society is its obsession with labels. Taking a cue from this individualist lifestyle, I have decided to self-identify as a Hipster.
It’s true. After almost six years in Canada, I have long outgrown any interest in Walmarts, Hard Rock cafes or places that smell like a big corporate entities in general. Instead, I am spotted in independent bars and cafes, discount stores, antique stores and farmer’s markets. This gets reflected in the way I spend my money and time, going to small coffee shops, visiting old clothing stores, cycling everywhere, seeing shows and concerts, and sporting an overall attitude that asserts individuality, independence and non-conformism.
“You are such a hipser, with a blog, a bike and an espresso addiction…”
The internet is filled with discussions on what exactly being a hipster means, and clearly there is no consensus on the definition. (It’s a good thing – the world is excessively filled with precise definitions.)
The subculture is associated with independent music, a varied non-mainstream fashion sensibility, liberal or independent political views, alternative spirituality or atheism/agnosticism and alternative lifestyles.
In addition, hipsters are youngish (late 30s max), recently settled urbanites who tend to be educated, embrace multiculturalism and generally exhibit rebellious social attitudes. Unlike the hippie movement of the 60s, there isn’t any particular event that contemporary hipsters associate themselves with. However the subculture has really flourished in the internet age and the age of social media.
↑ Skinny jeans, flat shoes, leather jacket but an overall match-it-yourselves clothing style. If it doesn’t work, highlight the independent aspect and criticize others for being conformist. Carry a Macbook (ignoring the irony) to look genuine.
Let me give you a tour of my hipster lifestyle through pictures. It is safe to assume that no two hipsters are alike. It is also possible that hardcore hipsters may dispute my claim and association with that subculture. But one of the hipster characteristic is to ignore others who are critical of you for no reason.
↑ The caffeinated hipster: Always on the hunt for independent cafes sometimes wearing knitted winter hats (even during summer), drinking more espressos and weird combinations like a herbal-tea latte with soya milk.
PS: It is assumed that you’d Yelp and/or Facebook your observations immediately. You’ll also start annoying grammar nerds by using proper nouns as intransitive verbs.
↑ The self confident hipster: Deceptively queer, and I am not (necessarily) talking about sexuality. Cycling = freedom. Freedom from car companies, insurance companies, oil companies, debt, etc. and let’s admit, it is also faster than cars for driving in the city.
↑ The social media hipster: Take pictures of quirky things, colour all pictures in a yellow, purple or green hue (or use instagram (which really annoys me)). Post every little thing on facebook and construct an identity around such behaviour.
↑ The trendy hipster: Ditch McDonalds, flock to salad bars and local markets. Eat junk food from an independent restaurant because it comes with extra parsley garnish and sweet potato fries. Comment on needing a carb-fix every few days (while adjusting oversized nerd-glasses) and not being able to resist it.
↑ The experimental hipster: Paleolithic diet is only a theory. A hipster will have a diverse palate and will experiment with a wide variety of foods. Often enjoying the tastes, but the foodie exercise is more symbolic than anything else.
So those were some of the characteristics that make me a hipster and I am really tempted to work on a followup post. I’ve only touched the surface; hope you enjoyed it!