My bicycle is fixed-gear. My musical tastes are obscure. My clothes make me seem homeless. I am the North American college hipster, and it’s time that stopped being a bad thing.
Christian Lorentzen has described the hipster culture best as those who “fetishize the authentic.” We like our music to feel warm and scratchy and not be over produced, we buy our clothes at Goodwill or the Salvation Army, and we watch naturalistic films that lack the polish of Hollywood productions. Many mainstream people find this irritating, but this is the cry of those who don’t want to think about what entertainment they consume. I find the unpopular, the overlooked, and the brilliant but flawed, then shine a light on them for others to find. I give you conceptual hip hop mixtapes and bizarre foreign thrillers, and in return only receive your ire.
“Hipster” has become the new “that’s gay.” It’s a catch-all word that can be used to immediately discount anything you personally don’t care for without having to actually think about whatever it is you’re describing. All you have to do is say “That’s so hipster,” and whatever I’ve suggested is instantly dismissed. You don’t care if what I’m suggesting is new and interesting, just that it isn’t mainstream.
All of this disdain for a subculture is, frankly, ridiculous. Hating hipsters, rather ironically, has gone mainstream. Memes like Hipster Ariel and Hipster Cat pervade the internet, and websites like Look At This Fucking Hipster have even gotten book deals. Who cares what I wear? My fashion need not concern you. My skinny jeans look good, scarves are an excellent accessory, and layered clothing is downright comfortable in the winter months (though Texas summers are hellish for me).
Hipster is just the newest target of our nation’s collective scorn. We replaced yuppies, who replaced preppies, who replaced hippies, who replaced beatniks. Certainly we’re an easy target, with our bizarre haircuts, ironic facial hair, and super-tight clothing, but who amongst us is not capable of being mocked? To the geeks, jocks, good-ol’ boys, trust-funders, sorority sisters, metal-heads, and scene kids I proclaim loudly, “Fuck you and the stupid shit you like!” I find your World of Warcraft obsession childish, your weight training tiresome, your drawl cartoonish, your reliance on family money a weakness, your sisterhood obnoxious, your black clothes embarrassing, and your androgyny confusing. We are all culpable for our collective terrible taste. Either you respect my terrible taste or prepare to face my judgement in kind.