Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hipster hate or self-hating hipster?

I was having a conversation with a guy from work last week about how much fun it is to pay out on hipsters. Of course, discussing how you are much, much cooler than the members of an entire sub-culture always makes you feel pretty good about yourself. But when we had to explain to someone else what exactly a hipster was, my friend actually confessed, "You know, as much as I pay out on them, if someone didn't know me, they would probably think I was hipster".

Brave confession.For I, too, have feared for a while now that, not only could I be mistaken for a hipster - but perhaps I am actually a hipster but am totally unaware of it! Like a homophobic high school bully who pounds on effeminate boys because he really wants to, well, pound effeminate boys.

As an article on how to pick up a hipster girl in GQ put it: "How to spot a "Hipster Girl"? Ask her. If she denies it, chances are she is one."

This does not bring me much joy. Particularly given that I have a number of the other markings of the modern Hipster Girl. Check it:

1. Black-rim glasses

I actually bought these before they became uber-trendy with the hipsters (which is probably what any old hipster would tell you). I thought they were like the ones that the guys in Weezer wore or maybe like Dr Who's (David Tennant obvs). They were also the biggest frames I could get lenses for - I am really very, very blind so it is actually better for me to get smaller frames. Which is like being punished for actually needing glasses while all of the other arseholes who have the teeniest of astigmatism - or no prescription at all! - get to wear all of the really cool, massive frames. 

Actually, one thing that makes my glasses a little less hipster is the fact that I do actually need to wear glasses to see whereas hipsters usually don't even have lenses in theirs at all. 

2. Wayfarers

While we are on glasses, I may as well fess up to the fact that I own - and frequently wear - a pair of Rayban Wayfarers. And they are white. 

Once a guy (who I assumed was a hipster based on his stupidly skinny black jeans, ironic tie with t-shirt combination and vans) pointed at me while I was wearing them and said to his (also probably hipster) friend, "Hey that chick has your glasses dude. Except, like, hers are real." Which I think was meant to be an insult. Or something. Anyway, it made me feel like a complete and utter mainstreamer. Which is something that I hate. 

But wait - oh yes! - it is also something that hipsters hate! Much like when I was a goth, it seems that the Hipster is yet another sub-culture that refuses to conform with social norms - by essentially conforming to another set of norms that marks you as a member of that particular sub-culture. God, it is hard to just be, like, just misunderstood or whatever.

3. Living in a gentrified suburb

It isn't quite Williamsburg, but I do live in a converted factory in a suburb that used to be filled with council homes and is now filled with organic coffee bars, antique shops, farmers' markets and has many places to lock up your "fixie" (or bicycle for normal people). 


Occasionally, a drunk old man will expose himself in front of you while you are waiting for the bus but that is what makes it so gritty and real. If you can't handle it, you aren't meant to live here, Princess. 

And pretty soon he won't be able to afford to live around here anyway. 

4. I like awesome music

Actually, this one really miffs me off. Aside from denying that they like anything mainstream and claiming to love bands that are "like, pretty obscure, so you probably haven't head of them - and you probably never will", hipsters also like a lot of bands that I really, really like. I am sure I liked them first but, again, that is so something that a hipster would say. 

The Smiths is one. You are probably thinking, duh, as if you wouldn't like The Smiths. But hipsters really, really like them. I mean, seriously, they pretty stole their entire look from Morrissey. 


Hipsters are also quite fond of The Pixies, The Ramones, Nirvana, Elvis Costello, Sonic Youth or anything else that looks cool on a t-shirt (but if too many people like them then I think they will cease to be cool. Or something). Also they like to like music if they think it is cool in an ironic way - like, say, Justin Timberlake or Kylie. But mostly, hipsters are into music haven't heard of because you are too mainstream. 

And I like all this stuff - but not for the same reasons. I like it because, well, it is fricking awesome. And you can like it too - in fact you totally should!

They also claim to like lots of awesome books that I like too. But I read most of them during my pseudo-intellectual phase so I can't be too judgemental really.

5. Old-school tattoos - especially of swallows

Look, this is permanent so I refuse to question my love for my tattoo just because it may also be a much-loved tat of hipsters. I love it. It means something to me. I hate hipsters.

6. Denying that I am a hipster

Which is, like, such a hipster thing to do. I am my own person. I don't identify with any one sub-culture. I am just, like, different. And misunderstood by the mainstream. And, like, I don't even care what you think anyway.

*Sigh* There are so many other reasons too - I mean, I own two vintage, manual cameras for God's sake! And I do honestly think that film prints are better than digital. I am clearly beyond help.

Actually, the only thing that I think might distinguish me from real hipsters is the fact that I can laugh at the fact that I could actually be a hipster. 

Another entry on defined a hipster as "someone who, if you have the misfortune to talk to, you will realize has the concepts of "wittiness" and "stupidity" confused." 

And I really hope that doesn't apply to me. 

No comments: