Comments on: A new definition of hipster /2012/04/02/a-new-definition-of-hipster/ Identity, society and work in the age of perpetual connectivity Thu, 21 Feb 2013 22:21:04 +0000 hourly 1 By: Anonymous /2012/04/02/a-new-definition-of-hipster/#comment-16553 Anonymous Thu, 21 Feb 2013 22:21:04 +0000 /?p=647#comment-16553 [...] [...] [...] [...]

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By: Crumb Catcher /2012/04/02/a-new-definition-of-hipster/#comment-15468 Crumb Catcher Wed, 06 Feb 2013 01:23:12 +0000 /?p=647#comment-15468 Great article. As with any other trend this will come to pass and then be revisited again in 20 years. Doesn't bother me so much though except...skinny leg jeans on dudes. Look mates, it makes your bloody feet look huge. Please stop. thanks again for the read! cheers! Great article. As with any other trend this will come to pass and then be revisited again in 20 years. Doesn’t bother me so much though except…skinny leg jeans on dudes. Look mates, it makes your bloody feet look huge. Please stop. thanks again for the read! cheers!

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By: aaron /2012/04/02/a-new-definition-of-hipster/#comment-13924 aaron Sat, 19 Jan 2013 19:49:23 +0000 /?p=647#comment-13924 fuck ur being hipster is awesome u get trendy stuff n ur i guess an artist writer n thats cool fuck ur being hipster is awesome u get trendy stuff n ur i guess an artist writer n thats cool

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By: Erik the Red /2012/04/02/a-new-definition-of-hipster/#comment-7699 Erik the Red Sun, 28 Oct 2012 03:34:30 +0000 /?p=647#comment-7699 I would beg to differ with some things noted in this article. while people may brand the other as a hipster just because they are different, There is a trend of hipster. The goth was about individuality as well at first. it was eccentric and outlandish and very different from what was generally accepted. they were "freaks" and claimed to be trying to express individuality. Popular media took advantage of this group of individualists and created the standardized goth image. people follow this image to display their individuality, which is rather ironic. Now, goth is a trend, somewhat accepted, like the Emo variant of the goth trend. Hipster is a trend like any other. we associate hipsters with fixies, PBR, skinny jeans, converses, clashing clothing, thick glasses, and extreme pretentiousness because that is what a Hipster is. Hipster is a fad of people trying to be individual by fitting in and emulating other individuals. goths all had their reasons for wearing the gothy clothing, just like hipsters with the their glasses. regardless of the reason, it is a clique that people are trying to fit into. it is a style of clothing, it is a general attitude, and it is types of activities. I would beg to differ with some things noted in this article.

while people may brand the other as a hipster just because they are different, There is a trend of hipster.

The goth was about individuality as well at first. it was eccentric and outlandish and very different from what was generally accepted. they were “freaks” and claimed to be trying to express individuality.

Popular media took advantage of this group of individualists and created the standardized goth image.

people follow this image to display their individuality, which is rather ironic. Now, goth is a trend, somewhat accepted, like the Emo variant of the goth trend.

Hipster is a trend like any other. we associate hipsters with fixies, PBR, skinny jeans, converses, clashing clothing, thick glasses, and extreme pretentiousness because that is what a Hipster is.

Hipster is a fad of people trying to be individual by fitting in and emulating other individuals.

goths all had their reasons for wearing the gothy clothing, just like hipsters with the their glasses. regardless of the reason, it is a clique that people are trying to fit into.

it is a style of clothing, it is a general attitude, and it is types of activities.

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By: Sophy Bot /2012/04/02/a-new-definition-of-hipster/#comment-6930 Sophy Bot Mon, 01 Oct 2012 16:45:35 +0000 /?p=647#comment-6930 Very thoughtful comments, Derek. First, to answer your question, "would you like things or dress the same if no one else was to know about it?"... The answer is yes - I would and I have. Let me explain. These days, I've actually been moving further and further away from what might be described as a hipster aesthetic. I now prefer, as do you, to fit in - or rather, not to stand out. But if and when I do dress loudly, it honestly has nothing to do with impressing others or drawing attention; I do it strictly for my own amusement. And now that I've grown tired of standing out, I tend to only wear my crazier outfits at home or among like-minded friends. Dressing that way is now - and pretty much always has been - for my own amusement. The attention I once drew for leaving the house in loud outfits was, to me, a negative. I had no great desire to be noticeable, but I was so amused by the ability to dress strangely that I decided to ignore it. So the next question would be, why did I find this so amusing? It sounds like our backgrounds aren't all that different, actually. I was born to Russian immigrants who had come to this country just three years earlier. My childhood was one big, long battle to fit in. My family wanted nothing more than to be accepted by this society, to find work for themselves and education for their children, and to live a simple life free of the oppression they'd faced as Russian Jews. My life's trajectory was thereby set for me and I had little choice in the matter - I was to get a good education, a good job, get married young, have kids, get a house in the suburbs, and pave the way for the next generation to do the same. I was on step 3 of their master plan when I realized that it wasn't what I wanted - at least not right then. I wanted to make use of the very freedom that had brought my family to this country. I wanted to experiment and to see what was out there. Having spent my childhood being teased for (a) being Russian, (b) being Jewish in a non-Jewish community and (c) being significantly overweight, all I'd ever wanted was to blend in. By the time I landed back in NYC as an adult, things had changed, and I saw an opportunity to express myself in a way that I had never previously been allowed. I saw the chance to hang out with artists and to wear crazy things and to be able to do so without the relentless taunting of my youth. Sure, I wanted to be cool sometimes - I won't deny that. But for the most part, it was simply a release of all that pent-up frustration. I was enjoying a freedom that had previously been denied to me. So Derek, we've both shared our stories of why and how we chose to dress in certain ways. To my mind, self-expression is a conscious decision brought about by exactly these kinds of backgrounds and situations. My motivation behind this project was to make people think twice before throwing around an insult based strictly on outward appearance. I guess it's also born of the fact that I was badly bullied while growing up. That being said, I do agree that the majority of people we call "hipsters" are overly invested in impressing others. The more I've researched it, the more I've realized that maybe I gave people a bit too much benefit of the doubt - there really are a lot of hipster jerks out there. But I firmly stand by the fact that not everybody we call "hipster" has the negative characteristics we associate with the word. I just don't think we should insult anybody based on outward appearances alone - everybody has a back story. I think we ought to get to know people before automatically judging them based on our own assumptions. Very thoughtful comments, Derek. First, to answer your question, “would you like things or dress the same if no one else was to know about it?”… The answer is yes – I would and I have. Let me explain.

These days, I’ve actually been moving further and further away from what might be described as a hipster aesthetic. I now prefer, as do you, to fit in – or rather, not to stand out. But if and when I do dress loudly, it honestly has nothing to do with impressing others or drawing attention; I do it strictly for my own amusement. And now that I’ve grown tired of standing out, I tend to only wear my crazier outfits at home or among like-minded friends. Dressing that way is now – and pretty much always has been – for my own amusement. The attention I once drew for leaving the house in loud outfits was, to me, a negative. I had no great desire to be noticeable, but I was so amused by the ability to dress strangely that I decided to ignore it. So the next question would be, why did I find this so amusing?

It sounds like our backgrounds aren’t all that different, actually. I was born to Russian immigrants who had come to this country just three years earlier. My childhood was one big, long battle to fit in. My family wanted nothing more than to be accepted by this society, to find work for themselves and education for their children, and to live a simple life free of the oppression they’d faced as Russian Jews. My life’s trajectory was thereby set for me and I had little choice in the matter – I was to get a good education, a good job, get married young, have kids, get a house in the suburbs, and pave the way for the next generation to do the same. I was on step 3 of their master plan when I realized that it wasn’t what I wanted – at least not right then. I wanted to make use of the very freedom that had brought my family to this country. I wanted to experiment and to see what was out there.

Having spent my childhood being teased for (a) being Russian, (b) being Jewish in a non-Jewish community and (c) being significantly overweight, all I’d ever wanted was to blend in. By the time I landed back in NYC as an adult, things had changed, and I saw an opportunity to express myself in a way that I had never previously been allowed. I saw the chance to hang out with artists and to wear crazy things and to be able to do so without the relentless taunting of my youth. Sure, I wanted to be cool sometimes – I won’t deny that. But for the most part, it was simply a release of all that pent-up frustration. I was enjoying a freedom that had previously been denied to me.

So Derek, we’ve both shared our stories of why and how we chose to dress in certain ways. To my mind, self-expression is a conscious decision brought about by exactly these kinds of backgrounds and situations. My motivation behind this project was to make people think twice before throwing around an insult based strictly on outward appearance. I guess it’s also born of the fact that I was badly bullied while growing up. That being said, I do agree that the majority of people we call “hipsters” are overly invested in impressing others. The more I’ve researched it, the more I’ve realized that maybe I gave people a bit too much benefit of the doubt – there really are a lot of hipster jerks out there. But I firmly stand by the fact that not everybody we call “hipster” has the negative characteristics we associate with the word. I just don’t think we should insult anybody based on outward appearances alone – everybody has a back story. I think we ought to get to know people before automatically judging them based on our own assumptions.

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By: Derek Az /2012/04/02/a-new-definition-of-hipster/#comment-6921 Derek Az Mon, 01 Oct 2012 07:20:30 +0000 /?p=647#comment-6921 The question I will pose is whether people will do the same if there is no one to notice or see it. Would hipsters, or people in general, wear what they wear or act how they do if there is no one to care or comment? The answer I reason is probably not, since most things that take effort and money to achieve usually urges us to want to be noticed. I myself use the insult hipster, but personally think I have a different view than most. I spent most of my teenage years trying to blend in as to not get attention. This was my way of easily avoiding being picked on by peers on the subways to and from school in NYC. Not having attention also made it easier to observe others instead of being in my own little world, which in part is due to my father who introduced the importance of being aware of your surroundings. I also have younger cousins that are watching me and my brother as role models, engraved in our brains by my mother and aunt. Lastly, I have a family of blue collar workers who are not required to have creativity for their jobs but instead rely on function rather than form. Improvising is one of my mother's favorite terms. Father, a general carpenter and uncle with a body shop for classics and another as postal technician. With this background, I see hipsters wanting to send a statement with their behavior and style, which I don't see having much function in fundamental daily life. To deny this is what puts me off more than the hipster appearance. An example is with cars that I prefer, a "sleeper". A modded fast car that no knows about and is mostly for the driver's enjoyment. This, opposed to a Lamborghini that is obviously fast, and most would just stunt. My brother has the contrary preference of a awesome looking car and not caring how it performs. The difference between my brother and a hipster is that he knows and will state freely: "its just for looks". I was trying to understand the reasoning validating the 'hipster' trend but so far have found just personal 'identity'. I've also just watched your TEDx video of 'The Hipster Effect'. This is where I also agree with Cameron, where true out of the box thinkers don't necessarily spend time worrying about their physical appearance, or many other appearances for that matter. I like to find the human emotional reasons why people do the things they do and it seems many of the 'hipsters' I label try hard to be different while being the same as others being different, with no substance. Without their 'strict' surroundings where/whom they try to differ, hipsters would not exist. I don't see it possible to be a rebel if there is nothing to rebel against. Now may I ask again, would you like things or dress the same if no one else was to know about it? Is it just a conversational piece? Something actually sentimental? Trying to blend in? I'd understand if the person just wanted to be cool, but just state it that way, simply and honestly without searching a deeper non-existent meaning. I do the same and often want to spend money for the same reason. Individuality is what hipsters are searching for isnt it? But its in the definition, trying to be different. This, opposed to uniform. The question I will pose is whether people will do the same if there is no one to notice or see it. Would hipsters, or people in general, wear what they wear or act how they do if there is no one to care or comment? The answer I reason is probably not, since most things that take effort and money to achieve usually urges us to want to be noticed.

I myself use the insult hipster, but personally think I have a different view than most. I spent most of my teenage years trying to blend in as to not get attention. This was my way of easily avoiding being picked on by peers on the subways to and from school in NYC. Not having attention also made it easier to observe others instead of being in my own little world, which in part is due to my father who introduced the importance of being aware of your surroundings.

I also have younger cousins that are watching me and my brother as role models, engraved in our brains by my mother and aunt.

Lastly, I have a family of blue collar workers who are not required to have creativity for their jobs but instead rely on function rather than form. Improvising is one of my mother’s favorite terms. Father, a general carpenter and uncle with a body shop for classics and another as postal technician.

With this background, I see hipsters wanting to send a statement with their behavior and style, which I don’t see having much function in fundamental daily life. To deny this is what puts me off more than the hipster appearance. An example is with cars that I prefer, a “sleeper”. A modded fast car that no knows about and is mostly for the driver’s enjoyment. This, opposed to a Lamborghini that is obviously fast, and most would just stunt. My brother has the contrary preference of a awesome looking car and not caring how it performs. The difference between my brother and a hipster is that he knows and will state freely: “its just for looks”.

I was trying to understand the reasoning validating the ‘hipster’ trend but so far have found just personal ‘identity’. I’ve also just watched your TEDx video of ‘The Hipster Effect’. This is where I also agree with Cameron, where true out of the box thinkers don’t necessarily spend time worrying about their physical appearance, or many other appearances for that matter.

I like to find the human emotional reasons why people do the things they do and it seems many of the ‘hipsters’ I label try hard to be different while being the same as others being different, with no substance. Without their ‘strict’ surroundings where/whom they try to differ, hipsters would not exist. I don’t see it possible to be a rebel if there is nothing to rebel against.

Now may I ask again, would you like things or dress the same if no one else was to know about it? Is it just a conversational piece? Something actually sentimental? Trying to blend in?

I’d understand if the person just wanted to be cool, but just state it that way, simply and honestly without searching a deeper non-existent meaning. I do the same and often want to spend money for the same reason. Individuality is what hipsters are searching for isnt it? But its in the definition, trying to be different. This, opposed to uniform.

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By: James /2012/04/02/a-new-definition-of-hipster/#comment-6836 James Wed, 26 Sep 2012 14:06:19 +0000 /?p=647#comment-6836 Well it was certainly well said, but I don't get your point. The article as I read it basically says no one knows exactly what it meant by the term hipster, and you can't be sure what image is popping into the head of someone you're talking to when you use it. That's clearly a fact, sorta' like the term racist or racism. The author then offers up a definition of his own based on what he perceives it to mean. I guess the first question to be asked is, Do you consider yourself to be a hipster?" You mentioned your glasses on several occasions, but clothes don't necessarily define a sub-culture, even less so when that sub-culture gets co-opted into the mainstream. Just look at the punk, or goth movements. The punks had a term for that called poseurs. Still you seem to know exactly what a hipster is as you tell the author where they are wrong at every point. Perhaps you'd like to give us your definitive def. of what a hipster is, so someone could perhaps debate you? Well it was certainly well said, but I don’t get your point. The article as I read it basically says no one knows exactly what it meant by the term hipster, and you can’t be sure what image is popping into the head of someone you’re talking to when you use it. That’s clearly a fact, sorta’ like the term racist or racism.

The author then offers up a definition of his own based on what he perceives it to mean. I guess the first question to be asked is, Do you consider yourself to be a hipster?” You mentioned your glasses on several occasions, but clothes don’t necessarily define a sub-culture, even less so when that sub-culture gets co-opted into the mainstream. Just look at the punk, or goth movements. The punks had a term for that called poseurs. Still you seem to know exactly what a hipster is as you tell the author where they are wrong at every point. Perhaps you’d like to give us your definitive def. of what a hipster is, so someone could perhaps debate you?

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By: Sophy Bot /2012/04/02/a-new-definition-of-hipster/#comment-6448 Sophy Bot Tue, 04 Sep 2012 19:37:37 +0000 /?p=647#comment-6448 Thank you Cameron and Ulf for your thoughtful comments. Cameron, you mention that "The final definition you postulate for ‘hipster’ makes absolutely no sense…unless we are talking about completely different things." And that is true: we are indeed talking about different things. I spent two years researching and writing about the hipster phenomenon, and at the end of it came to a simple realization: you cannot defend a concept whose definition cannot be agreed upon. Throughout my research I found contradiction after contradiction surrounding the meaning of the word "hipster" - the very same types of contradictions you yourself point out. I cannot disagree with the points you make, nor can I fully agree with them. They are based on your definition and make sense in that context, but I do not agree with your definition. Ultimately, as you mention, "we are talking about completely different things," with each of us having built up a definition based on different environments, different opinions and different realms of experience. Ulf, your definition is different from both mine and Cameron's, again demonstrating the difficulty of defining the word "hipster." When I began this project, I had a simple goal: get people to think twice before using the increasingly ubiquitous term "hipster" as an insult. At the end of two years, I still fervently believe that we should not use the word as an insult (and with my post above, was attempting to provide a more pragmatic way of viewing the term without the negative connotations). However, I chose to close down this project when I realized, as mentioned, that you cannot defend a concept whose definition cannot be agreed upon. I will say only this: not everybody who dresses strangely is seeking attention, and it is a mistake to assume that they are. I stand by the assertion that nobody deserves to be ridiculed for the way they choose to outwardly express themselves. Thank you Cameron and Ulf for your thoughtful comments. Cameron, you mention that “The final definition you postulate for ‘hipster’ makes absolutely no sense…unless we are talking about completely different things.” And that is true: we are indeed talking about different things. I spent two years researching and writing about the hipster phenomenon, and at the end of it came to a simple realization: you cannot defend a concept whose definition cannot be agreed upon. Throughout my research I found contradiction after contradiction surrounding the meaning of the word “hipster” – the very same types of contradictions you yourself point out. I cannot disagree with the points you make, nor can I fully agree with them. They are based on your definition and make sense in that context, but I do not agree with your definition. Ultimately, as you mention, “we are talking about completely different things,” with each of us having built up a definition based on different environments, different opinions and different realms of experience. Ulf, your definition is different from both mine and Cameron’s, again demonstrating the difficulty of defining the word “hipster.”

When I began this project, I had a simple goal: get people to think twice before using the increasingly ubiquitous term “hipster” as an insult. At the end of two years, I still fervently believe that we should not use the word as an insult (and with my post above, was attempting to provide a more pragmatic way of viewing the term without the negative connotations). However, I chose to close down this project when I realized, as mentioned, that you cannot defend a concept whose definition cannot be agreed upon. I will say only this: not everybody who dresses strangely is seeking attention, and it is a mistake to assume that they are. I stand by the assertion that nobody deserves to be ridiculed for the way they choose to outwardly express themselves.

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By: Ulf /2012/04/02/a-new-definition-of-hipster/#comment-6307 Ulf Fri, 24 Aug 2012 08:50:15 +0000 /?p=647#comment-6307 Well stated, Cameron. I find that the problem with hipsters is that they draw on superficial cues that were established by real outsider subcultures from the past (40s hipsters, beats, etc) that actually sacrificed material posessions and social standing for the freedom to do what they wanted. Contemporary hipsters are middle-class youth that make good money in "creative" professions like ad agencies or media, and who follow the dress code of these industries. Well stated, Cameron. I find that the problem with hipsters is that they draw on superficial cues that were established by real outsider subcultures from the past (40s hipsters, beats, etc) that actually sacrificed material posessions and social standing for the freedom to do what they wanted. Contemporary hipsters are middle-class youth that make good money in “creative” professions like ad agencies or media, and who follow the dress code of these industries.

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By: Cameron /2012/04/02/a-new-definition-of-hipster/#comment-6298 Cameron Thu, 23 Aug 2012 04:59:36 +0000 /?p=647#comment-6298 I don’t like to be a hater, but there are so many glaring contradictions and misrepresentations in this I had to point them out. Just so you know who I am… I have thick rimmed glasses and shop at op shops, because that is what everyone cares about right? you say..."Hipsters don’t share…that single set of aesthetics". But then you also say..."none of these definitions even mention the things we associate with hipsters most:skinny jeans and PBR, wild outfits and fixed gear bikes, ironic mustaches and American Apparel". Aren't the things you listed a fairly identifiable set of aesthetics akin to the shared aesthetics of any other group? You say... "hipsters are, in fact, focused on individuality." More accurately, they are focused on outwardly asserting that they are individual through their clothing. This is very different from actually being individual; since anyone can buy skinny jeans and pin roll them, or grow a stupid looking mustache. you say... "It’s more about expressing yourself and doing your own thing, no matter how wild that may appear to others" But most 'wild' people don’t really give a shit about the way they look, vagrants, political radicals, poets, iconoclasts, people that achieve real and lasting monumental changes in society against the odds – this is because they probably realize that ‘wild’ clothing is a shallow and unstable signifier of identity. You say.. "Though half of the people in a room may be wearing thick-rimmed glasses, odds are good that each of them has a different reason for doing so." Really!? How many reasons are there for wearing thick rimmed glasses as opposed to any other style of glasses? I can only think of one…appearance/fashion… I have wooden thick rimmed glasses and I love them! But I wear them coz I think they look really good, that’s it. Sure, I probably think they look good partly due to the fact that I saw other people wearing them… but I'm not afraid of appearing shallow, because my identity rests on other things, and i don't need to falsely claim there's some deep and meaningful reason for my choice of glasses. To think that, by wearing a certain style of glasses, you are indicating to others anything more than an aesthetic taste, also indicates that you are self-absorbed enough to think that everyone around you is scrutinizing the exact minute reasons for your choice of glasses, which is utter crap. 99% of people have more interesting and relevant things to think about…this is the whole problem with the hipster thing. Hipster is an insult because it indicates that the accused ‘hipster’ thinks identity begins and ends with the stuff they wear and that everyone else cares. The statement above represents exactly this kind of thinking. Only hipsters are lured into thinking about, or even caring about, why someone is wearing thick rimmed glasses, instead of just thinking, ‘hey that looks cool’, coz there really is no other reason to wear thick rimmed glasses apart from the fact you think they look cool…or that they looked cool on Bob Dylan, big whoop...pretending anything else is a result of the anxiety that people have when they consider the fact that they are the same as everyone else. Odds are that if you asked them why they were wearing thick rimmed glasses most of them would look at you confused! You say... "We, as a society, assume this (that everyone is wearing the same thing) to mean lack of authenticity" Exactly which 'society' did you ask?? only people that think your whole identity in encased only in your clothing (aka hipsters) think like that… Many ‘authentic’ people spend time formulating interesting ideas, challenging opinions, fighting for people’s rights or working hard in their area of passion. This usually means they don’t have time to care about being fashionable and ‘looking individual’, their identity is more solid, and focused around ideals and actions rather than clothing. They are not insecure enough to need everyone else’s validation by overtly displaying their supposed ‘authenticity’and anxiously postulate that their glasses choice is anything more than a subjective aesthetic preference. Lastly... The final definition you postulate for ‘hipster’ makes absolutely no sense…unless we are talking about completely different things….a better definition would be something like ‘someone who is greatly concerned with creating and expressing an authentic and individual identity to others through clothing and other outward displays of obscure or unusual activities’. Hipsters are caught in this stupid trap of thinking that identity is only about clothes and that everyone else cares…(which is all throughout this post). But not everyone cares THAT much about what you look like, only other hipsters do! That’s not to say these things are irrelevant. Clothing and unicycles are important signifiers of identity. Looking good (or looking like everyone you hang out with at least) can help boost your confidence and will help people form a more positive image of you as a person. Likewise, performing unique activities like riding a unicycle might be fun, or it might just allay the anxiety that some people have about being anonymous pawns in giant cities… But that’s it! Its nothing to do with being an authentic individual, but this is the very thing that a true hipster must constantly deny in order to maintain their ‘unique’ identity. I don’t like to be a hater, but there are so many glaring contradictions and misrepresentations in this I had to point them out. Just so you know who I am… I have thick rimmed glasses and shop at op shops, because that is what everyone cares about right?

you say…”Hipsters don’t share…that single set of aesthetics”.
But then you also say…”none of these definitions even mention the things we associate with hipsters most:skinny jeans and PBR, wild outfits and fixed gear bikes, ironic mustaches and American Apparel”.

Aren’t the things you listed a fairly identifiable set of aesthetics akin to the shared aesthetics of any other group?

You say…
“hipsters are, in fact, focused on individuality.”

More accurately, they are focused on outwardly asserting that they are individual through their clothing. This is very different from actually being individual; since anyone can buy skinny jeans and pin roll them, or grow a stupid looking mustache.

you say…
“It’s more about expressing yourself and doing your own thing, no matter how wild that may appear to others”

But most ‘wild’ people don’t really give a shit about the way they look, vagrants, political radicals, poets, iconoclasts, people that achieve real and lasting monumental changes in society against the odds – this is because they probably realize that ‘wild’ clothing is a shallow and unstable signifier of identity.

You say..
“Though half of the people in a room may be wearing thick-rimmed glasses, odds are good that each of them has a different reason for doing so.”

Really!? How many reasons are there for wearing thick rimmed glasses as opposed to any other style of glasses? I can only think of one…appearance/fashion…

I have wooden thick rimmed glasses and I love them! But I wear them coz I think they look really good, that’s it.

Sure, I probably think they look good partly due to the fact that I saw other people wearing them… but I’m not afraid of appearing shallow, because my identity rests on other things, and i don’t need to falsely claim there’s some deep and meaningful reason for my choice of glasses.

To think that, by wearing a certain style of glasses, you are indicating to others anything more than an aesthetic taste, also indicates that you are self-absorbed enough to think that everyone around you is scrutinizing the exact minute reasons for your choice of glasses, which is utter crap. 99% of people have more interesting and relevant things to think about…this is the whole problem with the hipster thing. Hipster is an insult because it indicates that the accused ‘hipster’ thinks identity begins and ends with the stuff they wear and that everyone else cares.

The statement above represents exactly this kind of thinking. Only hipsters are lured into thinking about, or even caring about, why someone is wearing thick rimmed glasses, instead of just thinking, ‘hey that looks cool’, coz there really is no other reason to wear thick rimmed glasses apart from the fact you think they look cool…or that they looked cool on Bob Dylan, big whoop…pretending anything else is a result of the anxiety that people have when they consider the fact that they are the same as everyone else. Odds are that if you asked them why they were wearing thick rimmed glasses most of them would look at you confused!

You say…
“We, as a society, assume this (that everyone is wearing the same thing) to mean lack of authenticity”

Exactly which ‘society’ did you ask?? only people that think your whole identity in encased only in your clothing (aka hipsters) think like that…

Many ‘authentic’ people spend time formulating interesting ideas, challenging opinions, fighting for people’s rights or working hard in their area of passion. This usually means they don’t have time to care about being fashionable and ‘looking individual’, their identity is more solid, and focused around ideals and actions rather than clothing. They are not insecure enough to need everyone else’s validation by overtly displaying their supposed ‘authenticity’and anxiously postulate that their glasses choice is anything more than a subjective aesthetic preference.

Lastly…
The final definition you postulate for ‘hipster’ makes absolutely no sense…unless we are talking about completely different things….a better definition would be something like ‘someone who is greatly concerned with creating and expressing an authentic and individual identity to others through clothing and other outward displays of obscure or unusual activities’.

Hipsters are caught in this stupid trap of thinking that identity is only about clothes and that everyone else cares…(which is all throughout this post). But not everyone cares THAT much about what you look like, only other hipsters do! That’s not to say these things are irrelevant. Clothing and unicycles are important signifiers of identity. Looking good (or looking like everyone you hang out with at least) can help boost your confidence and will help people form a more positive image of you as a person. Likewise, performing unique activities like riding a unicycle might be fun, or it might just allay the anxiety that some people have about being anonymous pawns in giant cities… But that’s it! Its nothing to do with being an authentic individual, but this is the very thing that a true hipster must constantly deny in order to maintain their ‘unique’ identity.

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