What is a Hipster?

So, what is a Hipster? I keep hearing this term around me and every single group of people I meet seems to have a different description of what a Hipster is and does. I mean, to just reference the internet, the online reviewer Nostalgia Critic referred to Hipsters in terms of appearance and clothing styles in his review of The Lorax (it was actually in context), whereas cracked.com boiled it down more to a certain attitude and outlook on life in one of their infographics. Moreover, the attitude towards said Hipsters seems to vary intensely too, with some merely using them as a punchline and others using Hipster practically as a derogatory term. So, instead of just shrugging my shoulders and doing something of value, like working, or counting my spare change, I decided to list the most common descriptions of Hispters I have heard. Since the term does seem to be a bit loose, I do welcome comments and corrective criticism and maybe if enough people contradict me I’ll put together a follow-up article in a couple of weeks time. ‘til then, here are the results of my discussions with friends and others. It’s not what you’d call scientific, but, hey, if anyone wants to meet up for a focus group so we can make it scientific, I’ll just go ahead and assume you have more free time than me.


Facial Hair. A Male Hipster is required to have ridiculous facial hair. Image Rights; Christopher Michel

Demographic: my age, I think. (18-24 bracket), I’m not going to bring class into this but if they can all afford the gadgets people associate them with, I’m going to assume they have more disposable income than me, or at least have more ease finding a job. Gender seems to be pretty much 50/50.

Occupations: um, hanging out in coffee shops? Music? Being Quirky? (Yeah, what does “quirky” even mean?)

Clothing: seemingly anything from very expensive clothes to very cheap clothes. The main driving force seems to be the word “alternative”, which I’m guessing implies not fashion. Also, someone mentioned a lot of them wearing glasses when they didn’t need to. Bright colours also seem to be a must, especially bright green and purple.

Music: anything that you, the normal person, have not heard of.

Film: ditto. Also, a love of movies that are “so bad they’re good”. A person also mentioned watching said bad films “ironically”. How does one watch something ironically anyway?

Accessories: apple products, lots of apple products, glasses, hats,

Education: film, music, art, photography,

Likes: stuff you’ve never heard of, instagram & Starbucks,

Dislikes: Mainstream stuff,

Attitude: Smug sense of superiority? Act like they just don’t care?

Common vocabulary: “LOL”, “ironic”, “quirky”, “underground”, “whatever”

Based on this, you could easily label half the people you know as Hispters. It’s kind of like the Salem Witch Hunt, but with more bands I don’t know and less hangings.


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