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Hipster: What does it mean?

Elizabeth Foulston

Elizabeth Foulston

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From Greasers to Hippies to the Generation X-ers, nearly every generation has had its share of stereotypes, and ours is now “the Hipster.” Despite popular opinion, we believe that the word “Hipster” isn’t as much of a demographic, as it is an insult.

The stereotypical Hipster looks like this: dirty uncombed hair, plaid shirt, ripped skinny jeans, Bob Dylan inspired black rimmed glasses, a mind full of pretentiousness, and an iPod full of “bands you’ve probably never heard of.” Hipsters are also supposed to be those who only like things that are “underground” and not considered mainstream, and the reasoning for this is not because they enjoy it, but for the elitism of listening to something that no one else does.

While there may seem to be a few people who fit the demographic, many people end up being called a Hipster even if they don’t completely embody the stereotype. “I have been called a Hipster before and it kind of took me by surprise. I don’t think I dress like the stereotypical Hipster at all,” said Katie Cushing, junior. “I just pick my music based on what I like and not out of rebellion to what everyone else listens to like the hipster stereotype does.”

The reason why this can happen is because the majority of the Hipster stereotype is completely relative. For example, a band like Arcade Fire to some may seem like a non-mainstream band because they don’t produce any radio hits; however, that same band may be perfectly well known to others because of the amount of Grammys they have won.

And everyone has something that can fall into the stereotype. Whether it’s the flannel shirt they wear once a month or the Modest Mouse album they bought a year ago, the stereotype for being a Hipster is so broad and so relative nearly anyone can fit in it.

When someone calls someone a Hipster, it’s ironic because the word “Hipster” is supposed to be a demographic that one fits into, not a label that others call people. And this label is by no means a compliment; calling another person a Hipster is the same as saying that they are pretentious, that what they like is irrelevant.

So before you call someone a Hipster, just remember someone could easily label you as one too.

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Hipster: What does it mean?