Barbosa: Hipsters are a myth
- Oct. 2, 2012
- 11 Comments
Everyone and their grandmother hates hipsters. Hipsters even hate hipsters, which is pretty ironic because “being a hipster” means you don’t do anything that anyone else does. You hate hipsters, too; you’re not a hipster, either. No real, self-respecting hipster would read the campus newspaper (we’re the mainstream media, dude), not to mention a column written by a guy in a bow tie.
There’s even a popular Tumblr called “Look At This Fucking Hipster.” It’s like “People of Wal-Mart,” if only Wal-Mart sold vegan shoes and Bright Eyes records.
But here’s a mind-boggler for you: you hate something that doesn’t even really exist. Although you may think they do, real hipsters don’t exist.
The very ethos of the hipster community is a paradox. The overarching goal of hipster style, dress and attitude is to thumb its pierced nose at the rest of society. At some point, someone thought it would be a good idea to gauge Oreo-sized cavities in their earlobes because it looked edgy and probably pissed off daddy, who was left to endlessly defend his son’s sketchy jewelry choices as “just a phase” to rest of the board of directors. Then, that one-time hipster visionary’s friends started to do the same, and soon enough, everyone had the capability to hang a coat through their ears.
At some point, a hipster discovered Instagram, too. They were in awe at the fact that their mundane, candid pictures from poetry readings could be dramatically enhanced with sepia coloring. Then Facebook purchased Instagram and Instagram was made available to Android users. The hipsters were livid. Allowing the hordes of bourgeois, suburban smart-phone users to share in the artsy-picture phenomenon was nothing short of treason. Only a select group of “socially-conscious” people using iPhones (that were manufacture in poor working conditions) should be able to use Instagram; and the hipsters believed it was them.
The right to share faux-artistic photography wasn’t the only notable source of widespread hipster rage – they were up in flannel-covered arms when Kanye West sampled Bon Iver tracks and they collectively threw their oversized beanies down in anger when Arcade Fire won the 2011 Grammy for Album of the Year. Any time something that was once cool and underground became appreciated by the masses, hipsters were there to gripe about it.
But it just doesn’t make sense; if the hipster mantra of “death to the mainstream” was really achievable, how would we even know what a hipster is? If my grandmother can point out a hipster, doesn’t that defeat the entire purpose of their supposed existence? If hipsters are recognizable enough to be identified by a woman in her 70s, aren’t they doing it all wrong?
The simple answer is yes. If someone claims to be a hipster, they’re not a hipster. If someone tries to be a hipster, they’re not a hipster. If someone really wanted to be a true hipster, they’d give up paying taxes, they’d sell all their material possessions, they’d stop listening to any music distributed through a record label and they’d stop using electronics. Almost every person in society pays taxes, buys things, listens to popular music and has a cell phone. That’s just not the hipster way. No matter how many Newport cigarettes you smoke and no matter how much Pabst Blue Ribbon you drink, you’re not a hipster.
Even my grandmother knows that.
Barbosa is a junior majoring in journalism from Leawood. For more hilarity, follow him on Twitter @AJBARBROSA.
AJ Barbosa is a journalism major from Leawood. Read more from AJ Barbosa.