Article | Bryan J Mangam & Michael Deabold
Wait are we really about to do this?
Admitting you’re a hipster is like revealing to the world you have cancer. But it’s something we have to do.
We’ve been fighting this for a while now, but finally realized it’s inescapable. We’ve become something resembling hipsters: It’s not that we condone this way of life; we’re just victims of public perception.
I mean, think about it, we rebel against everything; mock everyone; and complain when music we listen to gets heard on the radio; Not to mention our endless use of slang terms ironically. In fact, almost everything we do is sarcastic (you can check our twitter feeds if you really need proof).
By simply being creative individuals, the public automatically has thrown us into this group. It’s merely a constructed category, created by society. The post-millennial-hipster is actually a subculture of American life. It’s an image that been simplified to least-common-denominator proportions and sold to seventeen year olds around the country through alternative record labels and pseudo-indie retail stores (Read: Urban Outfitters).
When we hear popular music on the radio, we don’t mean to be pretentious, but it’s easy to spot the lack of creativity, personality, and individuality in many of these artists, and the fans that so religiously idolize them. By following this mainstream culture, they are not-so-subtlety expressing their utter desire for acceptance. This is fine; we all have times where we’d like to be accepted, but the underlying premise is that these individuals are destined for being average: At best, it only allows them to fit in with the rest and achieve a gray sense of security.
Now that’s not to say running the opposite direction from anything that’s popular is the right idea either. This is where the contemporary idea of a hipster evolved from. They’ve all tried to rebel but ended up in an identical direction. The worst part is they don’t even know why they are doing it. You already probably have an image in your head, but if you don’t, Tumblr provides numerous examples.
This is why we feel that as of 2014, the hipster is a fully absorbed facet of mainstream pop culture. There is really no differentiation between the two. The only real different ones cannot effectively be labeled: They don’t live in gentrified neighborhoods, wear trendy clothes, or listen to indie bands (because after all, doesn’t being trendy defeat the purpose of being a hipster?). They live ordinary quiet lives, not following these trends, but instead, leading their own lives how they ultimately conceive them to be.
We happen to be big fans of irony, appreciate art and have independent thoughts. But that doesn’t automatically make us Hipsters. We’ll admit we are [something resembling hipsters], but believe people should not be labeled this way. We’ve been labeled this way by many. The way we simplistically classified society (two paragraphs above) is wrong; but it is a way that we’re taught from a very young age. It is something we’re compelled to do and hard to break away from.
The key to avoiding all of this is to be somewhere in the middle; not merely being a sheep; but also not rebelling for its own sake. Corniness aside, the best option lies in following your own minds, aspiring without external input, and rejecting these labels that otherwise dominate our lives.
We just hope we still have (at least a few) friends after making this revelation.