Love it or hate it: Hipsters

by Caitlin Cannon

Love it

I recall a time I was living in Brooklyn, riding my vintage Peugeot alongside my skinny-jeaned, bearded, bean-ied boyfriend. We had an uncomfortable encounter with an older bearded man in thick black-rimmed glasses who shouted from his clean silver Prius: “Get out of the road! Ya hipster!”

It felt so discriminatory, that term: Hipster! Like, just because I exhibited an alternative fashion sense, that must mean all my ideas and opinions came from the latest “This American Life” episode? And what made him so different from me anyway? Are we both not a product of our environment and heredity?

It got me thinking, aren’t there varying degrees of hipster? Does anyone who refused to wear flared denim between 2006 and 2010 qualify as a hipster? We are all hipsters, people! Much the way people who had long hair and listened to Bob Dylan in the ’60s would be considered hippies, regardless of whether they were sitting around braless at a peace rally or not.

So why are so many of the relatively affluent, predominantly white people living in gentrified neighborhoods (hello, Durango) across the U.S. always saying how much they hate hipsters? With all the talk of co-opting culture and the outrage that follows, shouldn’t we be celebrating the fact that this particular group of young millennials is finally embracing a culture all its own? I’ll take a pompadour under a fedora over one of those Rasta beanies with the fake dreads popping out any day. And can we find those New Age girls something to wear on their heads that doesn’t have a quail feather on it? Thanks.

— Caitlin Cannon

Hate it

Really, I just feel bad for hipsters. For having to talk as if they’re soooooo bored. For not only believing, but really needing to believe that everything sucks. For having to keep meticulous tabs on what is so over.

I feel bad for hipsters for living in such deep irony that they’ve forgotten how all the irony started, swallowed to the point where they say, “Psshhh, what irony?”

I feel bad for hipsters for having to live under the pressure of needing to hear of everything first, and then having to hear about something else first once too many people hear about any of it. For constantly seeking exclusivity, changing styles or tastes if anything gets a whiff of mainstream. For basing their identities and lifestyles not just on arbitrary hierarchies and stratification, but ones based on, I don’t know, the tightness of jeans.

I feel bad for hipsters having to walk around with that mustache AND manbun.

I feel bad for hipsters for lacking the self-awareness to realize they’re hipsters and for cultivating their I-don’t-care look so preciously that people think they really don’t care and the fact that they actually do care is tragically lost. For taking something uncool and attempting to make it cool, desperately needing it to be considered cool by outsiders (aka: everyone), all while being unable to acknowledge that it might be cool and then, after all that hard work, having to abandon the cool thing once anyone else agrees that is cool.

I feel bad for hipsters for having to put up with the scorn from people like me. Sorry about that, hipsters.

— David Holub

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