It's an easy mistake to make. There are a lot of people out there that has never actually met a hipster. Sometimes, they've just heard stories. Know that hipsters wear fedoras, or have dissenting opinions. Suddenly, in their eyes, you are a hipster, even though you know you're not. This has been a constant frustration to me, a writer in Los Angeles who likes hats and has a goatee. Well, it's time to take all the things hipsters stole from us back. In order to help you prove you're not one of the dark legion, I've outlined the ten things I do that clearly paint the line between me and hipsterdom.
1) Don't Hide Your Cripplingly Low Self-Esteem With False Confidence
I did a search for Hipster Brag and got Hipster Bag… so I went with it.
Okay, starting with a long title. We can work with that. Because the title is so long, that will just make it easier to explain. It's what the title says. Hipsters have a strain of low self-esteem that is immune to antibiotics. Why do you think they have to attach so intensely to such a stupid subculture? They're afraid no one likes them. Because they don't like themselves. But they never show it.
No, hipsters cover up their self image problems with inane bravado and bogus boasts. These attempts at being the 'big man' are so transparent that birds regularly smack into the hipsters performing them. It's not attractive, it's not interesting, and they're only embarrassing themselves. So how do you avoid making a jackass of yourself? Be self aware. Look at yourself, know the things you are good at, know the things you are bad at, and be confident in that knowledge. Then, when you boast, it's not hollow at all, but luminescent, so birds know to avoid it.
2) Let Your Legs Breathe
Pictured: Nowhere that blood can flow freely.
I know despite it being a hipster thing, skinny jeans are 'in' right now. I don't get it, but I suppose some people hate comfort and love looking terrible. But that's not the problem. The problem is people wear them and then get pissed when they are accused of being a hipster. Why get mad? You brought this on yourself. They make you look like your father was a pair of chopsticks. Take them off and wear some pants that might allow you to have children one day.
Clothes are meant to be a comfortable way to hide your shame. What makes crushing your manhood comfortable? As an aside, I will mention that girls are exempt from this one. Ladies, wear whatever kind of jeans you like. From bell bottoms to skinny jeans, you pull them off. Women and denim are like my own personal 'chocolate and peanut butter'.
3) Be A Good Sport
That's the face hipsters make when they're WINNING.
One of the most defining characteristics of the hipster subculture is that they are all whiny, entitled prats. It is one of the most annoying qualities any person can have. When they don't get what they want, they either literally or metaphorically stomp their feet and cry to the heavens. Why? What possible purpose could it serve? Nobody likes it. It's like watching a two year old that got his toy taken away throw a tantrum. It's just sad.
So, when you don't get your way, accept it. Either find another way to get what you want, or let it go gracefully. Doing a great siren impersonation is wonderful if you're part of Police Academy, but otherwise, it just makes everyone hate you. Show courtesy to those around you, and they will show it back. By not calling you a hipster.
4) Don't Idolize Icons Without Knowing Why
If you didn't know, these two were totally BFFs.
Do you know what I hate? Che Guevarra t-shirts. Not because I hate Che Guevarra. I suppose he did some all right stuff. But the other day I was speaking to someone who was wearing a Che Guevarra shirt, and I decided to test them. I brought up Fidel Castro, just for funsies, and talked about the various horrible things that he's done. The person I was talking to agreed, and we had a very nice conversation about how horrible Castro is, and everyone who helped him get into power was clearly, therefore, a bastard.
Seriously, dude? You agree with me? How uninformed can you possibly be? This is something that plenty of people do, but never with the brazen aloofness of a hipster. How do you not know the history of someone who's face you are wearing? And it's not just Che. Plenty of historical individuals are touted as respectable icons of the hipster faith, without most hipsters knowing anything about them. So know your history, and know what you're latching your wagon to.
5) Don't Try So Hard to Like Music That Nobody Else Does
Definitive proof that not EVERYTHING hipsters like categorically sucks.
I don't know about you, but I've heard a decent chunk of hipster music. I even like Neutral Milk Hotel, but in the hipsteriest comment I will make in this article, I liked them before the hipsters revealed themselves to the world and destroyed a whole bunch of things I like for everyone. But a lot of hipsters don't like them now… because people are aware that hipsters like Neutral Milk Hotel.
Remedy: Enjoy music. Listen to stuff you like, and if someone asks why you like it, explain it to them. My favorite band of all time is Electric Light Orchestra, and I love everything they do without the slightest hint of irony. Cake and Butch Walker are up there too, because I enjoy the music they create. I'm also genuinely happy when other people enjoy the same music I do. Probably because it means we can listen to it together. See how that works? Socialization. I also own a ton of stuff on vinyl. Because I like vinyl. Which is actually a really good point…
6) Like Things, Ever
If you look at this picture and still have any negative feelings at all, you are a hipster.
What is the point of all this hate? Why does being anhedonic make you cool? It's a cliche, but life is for the living. And if you hate everything, you can't live, because you're just miserable all the time. Does this make sense to anyone else? I feel like I'm going crazy here. Enjoying life is a good thing. Right?
Hating things is all well and good. For example, I hate the partisan election system America currently has, and how much havoc it is wreaking upon our fragile national psyche. But I don't use the transitive property to hate Donkeys and Elephants, or even all democrats and republicans. Hate only begets more hate. If you find what you like, and you go out and do it, you are single-handedly making the world a better place to live in. Good for you. Now, all you have to do is…
Have a nice day! If you don't, you are a hipster.
Simple, easy. Hipsters don't smile, unless they are doing it faux-ironically. Or it's an accident. So smile, and everything will be fine. Trust me. Just do it. Right now. I'll wait…
See? How much better do you feel already? Science says that physically smiling, whether or not you want to, will improve your mood. Automatically. So, if you're ever feeling low, or afraid you look like a hipster, scoop out a big helping of those gleaming pearly whites (or dull off-whites, if you're a smoker like me). It'll only help.
8) Have Your Own Opinions
"Hey, guys? Have we ever tried aiming AT the Jedi before?"
We all know the line. We've said it to the punks, the goths, the emos, the skinheads, the moonies, the hippies and more. "If you're so hell bent on being different, why do you dress act and talk like everyone else in your clique?" Because people don't know how to express themselves, and they are so afraid of being pigeonholed by someone else that they do it to themselves. It's like killing yourself before the cops come- you're only making their job easier.
I have a lot of unpopular opinions. If you keep reading my articles, you'll probably hear a few of them. You are allowed to agree, or disagree, or even only partially agree. Then we can talk about it. That's what people do. At least, people you want to have a conversation with. So think about what you believe in, then stick by it and justify your convictions. Don't be afraid that someone will disagree, because we should all have our own opinions. That's a good thing.
9) Don't Try To Be Unique
There is nothing I can say that isn't being said already.
I firmly believe that everyone on the planet is, in fact, a unique snowflake. And, in a moment of true irony, snowflakes are not. However, even if they were, it is mathematically impossible for every snowflake to be interesting. If you are interesting, you know it. You don't need to make outrageous claims or change your appearance to show it.
Trying to be unique is the quickest and easiest way to prove that you aren't. It gets so boring, so quickly. And hipsters do it every day. Watching someone try to be unique is like watching a polar bear try to imitate a duck. You don't know exactly what's going on, but it doesn't make sense and he certainly isn't pulling off whatever it is he's trying to pull off. Which brings us to the final point.
10) Own It
"I may be a bastard, but I'm not a f***ing bastard"
Just own it, baby. Take everything in stride. Show the world you aren't a hipster by doing the one thing hipsters physically can not do- be genuine. We're trying to avoid being likened to a group of prissy, primadonna prats who are afraid of good wholesome honesty. So how do you pull it off? By pulling it off.
And this won't just keep you from being labeled a hipster. It will allow you to get away with pretty much anything this side of the law. Some things on the other side, too, if you're so inclined. Owning it, being genuine, showing basic respect and decency to the people around you. That is how you get respect and decency from the people in this world you want it from. And they won't think you're a hipster. Win-win, anybody?