Hipsters: how to define?

15 Oct

Today I came across the title on the Guardian website, ‘why do people hate hipsters? and began to read fervently, hoping for an answer or at least a confirmation of my own thoughts.

A few weeks ago, a friend showed me the ‘being a dickhead’s cool‘ youtube phenomenom, and since then I have contributed to its 3,309,328 views at least six times. What can I say? I can’t get the song out of my head, and I like to feel a part of this new movement against dickheads which summarises rather aptly, all the reasons for my aversion to fashion glasses, loafers, low-cut v-necks on men (eurghh) and jumpsuits.

In the Guardian article, Alex Rayner begins with a snap from Hackney Hipster hate, a blog which chronicles the day to day catwalk of life for many an under-cut, skinny jean-atired hipster in East Landan. His blogs are subject to a healthy level of debate – about 60% find it hilarious, whilst the rest are vitriolic about the blogger’s ‘sad’ life. Maybe they’re upset because they haven’t yet been featured. Who knows?

As for the term hipster, I’m not so sure. Apart from meaning flares in the ’70s, I’ve always associated hipster with a more hippy style, and feel that dickhead is a rather more appropriate, catch-all term to use.

I also find hipster rather limiting. Take for instance, the case of rahs (more appropriate for a Bristol blog): another annoyingly smug group, instantly recognisable by their diction and apparel choices. It certainly wouldn’t be right to call rahs hipsters, but dickheads correlates perfectly. Putting aside the superficial differences between hipsters and rahs (Jack Wills versus vintage, Cath Kidston versus granny’s bone china, Ray Bans versus Chanel and so on) these apparently disparate groups, when further investigated actually share many of the same exasperating attributes..

  1. Innapropriate dress: check (flip-flops in winter for Mr Double-Barrel, Wayfarers in a dark club, in December,  for Mr Hipster)
  2. Desperate to deny middle-class/privileged upbringing whilst being unwilling to give up trappings of said life: check
  3. Smugness: check
  4. Cliquishness: check
  5. Loudly open to disadvantaged and minority groups but in possession of no more than a handful of (mostly token) friends from said groups: check
  6. Hours spent on achieving a ‘just got out of bed‘ look: check










I want  more thoughts on this. Whilst I see and appreciate the arguments against cataloguing people into groups, I personally find the occasional light-hearted stereotype quite helpful, and would like to know how others might refer to the dickheads referred to in this post.

Comments below please.



3 Responses to “Hipsters: how to define?”

  1. jules October 15, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    the man on the right with the red and white shirt is definitely not a hipster

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