Hipsters are not who they used to be

Christopher Lopez

“Hipsters” are a subculture in the U.S. that have been gaining a lot of negative attention in recent years. A lot of the time, they get the bum rap for being pretentious and antisocial due to their alternative beliefs and way of dressing.

Unfortunately, society fails to realize this term has been around for decades, generalizing individuals and deterring any form of originality.

This term has undergone many changes to its meaning.

“It sounds like an outdated term of someone who thinks they’re cool,” said Marissa Murcko, a junior in the journalism program.

The term is definitely outdated, and to many it is far from being referred to as cool.

The original term hipster came about in the 1940s as a replacement for the term “hepcat.” It was used to describe jazz aficionados who listened mainly to bebop.

Those who associated themselves with the term hipster were seen as menaces and unoriginal, only serving as a replacement for the bebop genre.

The term hipsters in the modern sense refer to individuals, who listen to indie music, have a non-mainstream fashion sensibility, frequent thrift stores, have liberal or independent political views and are either atheist or agnostic.

These individuals are also said to avoid corporate establishments, yet frequent stores such as Urban Outfitters, American Apparel and Forever 21 that cater to their fashion sense.

These individuals couldn’t garner any more unwarranted hate if they tried.

“It has such a pretentious sound to it,” said Sean Fujishima, a senior criminal justice major.

According to Fujishima these people try too hard to be cool.

But this constant hipster-bashing that society takes part in does not account for it lumping everyone into the same category.

If a person were to identify with any number of these hipster “guidelines” so to speak, more often than not, they will be tossed into the category of hipster.

One can’t fully understand a person just by preconceived notions alone and not everyone fits neatly into the guidelines of a particular group.

“I’ve been referred to as a hipster whenever I wear my glasses or beanies,” said Jacob Herlein, a junior criminal justice major.

Herlein said he is referred to as a hipster despite not associating himself with that crowd.

Speaking from personal experience, I have been called a hipster on multiple occasions for frequenting small, privately owned cafés, listening to the occasional indie band and shopping at Urban Outfitter for clothing ever so often.

A number of times I’ve heard the term “You’re a f—— pretentious hipster,” used to describe me.

From an analytical standpoint, I don’t identify with any subculture.

I listen to everything from underground hip-hop to bluegrass, attend smaller cafes for a quieter study environment because honestly, Starbucks is just too damn noisy, and pride myself in being a very kind, but otherwise opinionated man.

Our society thrives on originality, so how can we be original if labels are doing nothing more than categorizing us like livestock

For that reason, the term hipster, hell, any label society cooks up needs to be put to a stop.

Until society does, I’ll continue to listen to “Walk the Moon”, sipping on my coffee from my little corner café, wearing my favorite pair of khaki slacks and not caring of what society may think of me.


Chris can be reached at: [email protected]