“What is a hipster?”
Silence. A head tilt. The opening and closing of a hesitant mouth. Confused, foggy eyes. And finally a shrug.
A person who seems approachable but is not. A mainstream group that likes mainstream things but operates under the illusion that they are not mainstream. Someone who does not conform by conforming to non-conformity. The atheists of cliques. These are the answers I have gotten. Yet none satisfy.
Toms, tight pants, abnormally oversized cameras, flannel tee-shirts that look like they just came off the 99 cent rack at Salval, but actually cost you all your baby-sitting money (because occupations are so ‘over it’). But what else is there? Some deeper meaning? Some romanticized, understated, Platonic ideal floating above their unwashed heads?
Ever wonder what happened to those emo kids in your high school? They became hipsters. Where do you think the tight pants came from? The long, unkempt hair? Hack into a hipster’s iTunes and not only will you have to sift through thousands of songs with band names like “Clap Your Hands Say Yeah” and “Japandroids”, you also discover a healthy helping of “And Then You Will Know Us By Our Trail of Dead…” They just cashed in their Team Edward paraphernalia for v-necks that better show off their chest hair.
I tried looking up a definition for hipster on Urban Dictionary, but the six-page description pissed me off. Not only was it obviously pro-hipster written by a faux hipster, but it also defied the first rule of hipster-ism. Which, as everyone knows, is never put effort into anything, not even brushing your teeth. And especially not defining yourself on something so mainstream as Urban Dictionary. If you have to talk about your loss of identity take a picture of yourself with the reflected shadow of a question mark hanging over your outstretched arms in a field of dying daisies. Duh.
I did, however, find something interesting. The average hipster carries only 2% body fat, which leads me to an excellent anti-hipster point I have been dying to make.
Why are they called hipsters? They have no hips. I doubt all that organic and gastronomically ironic food they eat is really all that sustaining. But I would not call myself a foot-ster if all I had was a stub. Oh, excuse me. That is hipsterically incorrect isn’t it? I have defied the second rule of hipster-ism. Never define yourself as anything. Not even male or female. That way you can shop on both sides of American Apparel.
Really and truly, though, I have come to the conclusion that hipsters do not actually exist. Not that the people walking around in Seven Dwarves hats are really over-sized stick bugs in flannel. I think the ability to be a hipster is unattainable. If you define yourself by what you are not for so long, you forget what you are.
Woah, is that a tone of seriousness in my article? How ironic of me.
Samantha Smith is a junior English major from Paducah, Ky. She can be reached at email@example.com.