Be hip, avoid the hipster lifestyle


Photo credit: Helen Suh

They’re so complex that they’re simple. Or maybe they’re so simple that they’re complex? Either way, the hipster lifestyle has grown to become more than just a trend, drawing in young adults seeking individuality but ultimately categorizing themselves further.

iPhone commercials, polaroid cameras and tumblrs dedicated to the man bun. Hipsters are urban dwellers, gravitating toward concrete places covered in graffiti. Or coffee shops that double as thrift shops. They transcend the normal. I once knew a hipster that was so deep into indie music that he came back around to liking Hannah Montana.

That’s why the hipster lifestyle is an intriguing one. It promises an alternative life of style, perception and relevancy. This way of living is appealing to many during the early years of high school when the pressure begins to establish a place in society.

This is also around the same time that these teenagers begin to form their ideologies. Hipsterism becomes the ground zero from which their fundamentals bloom.

Hipsters are like a North Korean supermarket. They appear prosperous and well-constructed on the outside, yet offer no real, productive content. They’re empty. They’re shallow. They’re the kiddie pools of people.

Do not blame hipsters for engaging in this lifestyle. None of them enter the process with negative intentions. They are simply trying to act in accordance with a lifestyle that they want to be part of. Yet somewhere in between their ultimate goal of total immersion and the early stages of transitioning into hipsterism, the hipster prototype is approached.

Most hipsters fall extremely close to this prototype. It can be broken down into three main factors: appearance, attitude and relevancy.

The primary way of identifying a hipster is their appearance. All that they have to do is walk into Urban Outfitters, make a purchase and bam, phase one is complete. Hipsters are known for either dressing extremely well for no reason or deliberately dressing terribly. Random Tuesday at 8 a.m. and a guy in your class is wearing dress shoes and a bow tie? Hipster. 18-year-old girl wearing a dress that makes her look like a Russian grandmother? Hipster.

The second aspect is the attitude that hipsters put on. They’re extremely condescending to those that are not hipster. Discrediting people not based off their actions, but simply because of how they classify them. They also develop a strange sense of confidence by downplaying others. This can be through the personality of others as well as the interests that others take.

The last aspect is the need to claim what is popular. To maintain relevancy. After all, this is what keeps hipsters “hip.” They’re a function. Put something in, let the hipsters chew it up a bit and they spit it out into the mainstream. Hipsters feel the need to make it known that they enjoyed things before they were popular.

From songs to TV shows, they will be in your face about their past interests. The weird thing is that once these things become popular, they no longer show interest in these things. It’s as if hipsters are afraid to show a liking in anything that is mainstream.

Sure, we can’t deny the positive aspects that hipsters produce. Being a hipster will make you confident and allow you to develop good taste and awareness of pop culture. Yet overall the lifestyle is an illusion. This all comes at the expense of others and shallowness of character.

Very few hipsters can channel only the positives of this lifestyle without carrying around the negative aspects. People need to understand that the perfect hipster can never be achieved. It will not erase your flaws or insecurities, it will suppress them or channel them to other places.

To accept that hipsters are not who they appear to be is not a popular opinion, nor is stepping away from the hipster game because it’s destructive to one’s character. So maybe this is the most hipster thing that any hipster can do: put an end to this lifestyle.

Sam Rios can be reached at [email protected] or @theeemessiahon Twitter.