This is such a gorgeously hipster video, I can’t even believe it. I’m in hypsterics. But let’s take a closer look at what makes this video so distinctly hipster. Observe the bright neon colors under a faded vintage filter. Look at all the retro overtones, including oversized glasses, high-waisted bottoms, a 50’s era automobile, and a polaroid camera.
Hipsters love 20th century media technology. Records, polaroids, VCRs, tapes, film, typewriters, box TV sets, early telephones, anything oversized and inconvenient that will remind them of a time before they were even born. I suppose a hipster’s memory can date back to when they were single-celled organisms, because they seem to feel nostalgia for things not even their parents were alive to remember.
Why do we hipsters do this? Why do the styles of the last three generations have such a powerful appeal to the current hipster era? There could be many reasons. For example, this type of clothing and accessories can easily and cheaply be found at thrift stores. But I think this 1900’s aesthetic goes deeper than a frugal fashion statement. Sam Stilson has observed this tendency in the youth of the 21st century and provided some interesting insight about it in his article.
Sam, describing the style as “ironically safe”, says, “Another major drawing point to recycling old styles is that if you can’t actually pull off the look, you can always rest safely behind an ‘ironically cool’ stance. The passage of time allows everything to be looked at objectively, including fashion. Therefore, if you know you look stupid in a derby hat, but wear it anyway, through irony or perhaps reverse psychology, some people will think you’re cool. Or so we’re led to believe. It’s all pretty ridiculous, but that’s what it has come to in some pockets of modern society. So bringing back ridiculous clothing and grooming styles (think anything from the 80s) is relatively safe if you’re doing it with a subtle wink in your eye and hanging around like-minded, ironically cool people [–also known as hipsters].”
Sam has nailed it. This is the main reason we have embraced this style, and unsurprisingly, it revolves around irony. However, I’ve observed an even deeper, subconcious reason that also shows us an even more powerful, underlying irony that I will explore in my next blog.
Alt-J is probably the perfect hipster band. If you asked any given hipster who Alt-J was, they probably wouldn’t know. They’re pretty underground, y’know. Their music can be described as indie/alternative/art rock. WHOA, did you hear that? I think someone is screaming hipster.
Here’s a picture of the band members:
HOLY MOTHER OF PBR, that’s a whole lotta hipster jammed into one photo. Seriously. Guy on the far left. That’s some sexy thrift store sweater goin’ on there. And would you look at the vintage-ness of those glasses on the third guy. I might just implode.
But it gets better. Let’s take a look at the namesake of the band. The name “Alt-J” was chosen because when you type Alt-J on a Mac*, a small triangle appears like this: ∆
Could you possibly get any more hipster? Probably not. Alt-J is playing in Oakland next month (a common place of congregation for hipsters), so go get some tickets, if only to meet fellow hipsters. I have nothing more to say.
*Macs are the ultimate wonder tools of greatness used by hipsters, especially in conjunction with local coffee shops.
Although being a hipster is the absolute greatest thing you could ever aspire to be, I understand that it isn’t for everyone.
A blasphemously anti-hipster campaign has brought the public’s attention to a new medication called Unpretentiousil. I do not recommend getting a prescription for this unless you are totally and completely confident about abandoning hipsterism, and becoming a blind sheep in the world of the mainstream media.
Nevertheless, watch the video, and ask your (holistic) doctor if Unpretentiousil is right for you.
The fashionably challenged fellow in the photo above is a sad, sad example of what not to do if you want to be a hipster. Everything he is and represents reeks of a midtown frado1 with no culture or style. This is why the woman ignores him, and rightly so. The hipster, on the other hand, has the perfect touch of charisma in his stride, a classic plaid-and-skinny-jeans outfit, and a well-groomed beard. The 40’s chick would defs go for him; his postmodernism is blowing her away. See? She doesn’t even care about her book anymore. It wasn’t very worldly anyway. Now she can take the cigarette he’s offered her (American Spirit of course), and they can have a wonderful chat about the woes of society and NPR’s latest segment on the food industry.
You definitely want to be like this hipster. There are many things to remember if you wanna get all the tassels2, and not be some uncultured square. For one, physique is important. You don’t want to look like that overly-muscular poser who wastes his life at the gym. Better to look like you’re too busy with volunteering for PETA and attending Occupy rallies to work out. Physical modesty is a trait greatly appreciated by hipster babes. If you have naturally toned muscles and can’t do anything about it, be sure to cover them with a shapeless christmas sweater, and save displaying your super yoked bod only for very special occasions.
Another extremely important thing to remember is to retain irony in everything you do. The hipster above is wearing shoes on a sunny day at the beach. Very good, hipster. Props to you.
Holy mother of mustaches look at all these glasses.
Frequently asked questions and quick, witty answers regarding hipsterism.
Where do hipsters live?
Is there an age limit for hipsters?
Nope, as long as you’re able to ride a bicycle.
What sorts of music do hipsters listen to?
I would tell you, but you’ve probably never heard of any of it.
What sorts of movies do hipsters watch?
Indie films made by their friends.
What is a hipster’s favorite color?
Are hipsters generally left wing or right wing?
Don’t trust the mainstream media, maaan. They’re out to get you, maaan.
What is a hipster’s worst fear?
How long have hipsters existed?
As long as PBR has existed.
Do hipsters ever use sarcasm?
Is hipsterism contagious?
Let’s hope so.
How long does it take to become a hipster?
How long does it take you to put on skinny jeans that are two sizes too small?
What does the hipster style look like?
Hipsterism is not a style, it’s a state of mind.
Why do hipsters wear non-prescription eyeglasses?
We wear them ironically.
Are you sure you’re using ‘irony’ correctly?
You’re an idiot.
How many followers does this blog have?
“Efforts [to put] the term “hipster” into a socioeconomic framework rooted in the petty bourgeois tendencies of a youth generation unsure of their future social status. The cultural trend is indicative of a social structure with heightened economic anxiety and lessened class mobility.” –Wikipedia
The quote above is found on the Wikipedia article on hipsters. It is a prime example of the sort of language that you, as a hipster will need to use on a daily basis. Does it actually mean anything? Maybe, maybe not. What’s important is that it makes you sound cultured, intellectual, and worldly. The classic hipster icon that is paired with this type of speech, is of course, wide-framed vintage non-prescription glasses (lenses optional). The combination of the glasses and the obnoxiously large words is enough to make any person of lower intelligence than you practically bow down in awe over your learned vocabulary. When you say things like “I disagree with society’s administrative hierarchy in today’s cultural zeitgeist as a contribution to the inaccurate characterizations of our nation’s rationality and overall tolerance”, you obviously know what you’re talking about. If you are actually trying express your opinion on an intellectual topic and know a lot about it, then still be sure to express it in as pretentious a manner as possible. If someone seems to be out-smarting you on a topic, and using bigger, more obscure words, your end of the conversation may begin to seem hopelessly uncultured. Don’t panic, you have a few options. You can (a) retort mockingly about their pompous and arrogant use of words, (b) call them a hipster and strut away, or (c) you can always just give them a nice long hipster sigh.
It can sometimes be difficult to arrange sentences with big words in such a way that makes you sound like a brilliant philosopher. Here’s a few commonly-used hipster buzzwords and phrases to pepper your sentences with:
As you become more and more immersed in the beautiful and pulchritudinous world of hipsterism, you may find yourself noticing certain recurring patterns or themes within the subculture. They may seem peculiar or insignificant, but some of them are representational of the very core of hipster ideals. Triangles are an often-sighted shape in hipster photos, fashion, and individual expression, that embody the true meaning of being hipster. Let’s explore what this might look like, and I’ll bring up some ideas of why perhaps the triangle has become such an important hipster icon.