Let’s clean the mess around hipster mania

Lots of confusion exist around the hipster mania, time has come to shed a light on this trendy behavior.

Disclaimer

First of all, I don’t pretend to have all the knowledge about “hipsterism”. Everyone has his/her own vision about fashion and lifestyle.

This article is focused on the current meaning of “hipsterism” or “being hipster”. Its purpose is to highlight the fact that hipster people are more numerous that we think. Some even does not know they behaves this way. This trend involves more domains than just fashion, and you’ll read this later.

The word ‘hipster’ is another label our society uses to designate an usual group of people. Sometimes, it appears positive, sometimes negative (once, someone told me dirty and used the word ‘hipster’…)

Being hipster, it’s not a look to wear, prior it’s a state of mind.

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Photo by Jonathan Zerger on Unsplash

Back to roots

I let you check out the wikipedia page about hipster culture. The main thing to note is its proximity with hippie culture (even between the words). The focus is on the fact we can see life differently as how we have been taught by our elders.

Hipsters need to understand the fundamentals of things ; either to change their behavior and pinpoint the drawbacks of the original one; or ensure the original way is the good one.

What does it mean to be an hipster?

As told before, hipsterism affects a lot of domain: lifestyle, fashion, health, philosophy, … Here are some examples.

General way of thinking

The main practical idea in hispters’ mind is:

If one can do, I can do!

Do It Yourself (DIY) and experimentations take a lot of time in hispters’ life. You can craft stuffs, be your own barber, plant your own vegetables, etc…

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Photo by La Compagnie Robinson on Unsplash

This can help you to discover new hobbies and likes/dislikes. It’s important to understand how things work to fix them yourself or be a knower when speaking with other people. One keyword could be self-sufficient… or at least trying to be.

Look

Yes, hipsters are easy to notice. For men, his pageantry is composed of:

  • a beard which improves their virility, makes them more intimidating and (if well maintained) show their elegancy,
  • glasses, an accessory to show they “divergent” fashion. Can be made of wood for excentricity or light metal for simplicity,
  • clothes demonstrating manual activities (like lumberjack shirts) to remind they are not afraid to have dirty hands. These shirts help showing their muscled arms and hairy torso when opened and are warm too,
  • a mustache can also show their elegancy if it has a specific aspect. Otherwise, it’s another way to show how viril they are,
  • an old school haircut which has demonstrated its success.
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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

For women, it’s all about simplicity and authenticity:

  • simple, effective and fancy clothes. Hippie period fashion like a ‘back to basics’ message,
  • atypical glasses for authenticity,
  • tatoos with spiritual messages or meaning (on men too),
  • effective and easy-to-use handbag (on men too).
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Photo by Kyle Loftus on Unsplash

Of course, there are plenty of other hipster signs.

Craftmanship

It’s always more satisfying when you do it yourself. Why not make your own cloth? Build your furniture?

Yet, it can seem a mountain but as Lao Tseu has written:

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

If you don’t succeed, at least, you’ve tried and learn something!

Gardening

Growing your own vegetables… what a satisfaction! Eating your own tomatoes, potatoes, basil and so on… Especially when you live surrounded by buildings taller than the others.

No need to convince you: you know where they come from, no pesticides…

Nature

Lots of subject but mainly ecology and the impact we have on our planet.

Atypical trends like skogluft or shirin-yoku

Food

Understand aliments and their benefits, colorful and various meals…

I strongly recommend you Jame Wong’s book How To Eat Better to understand how to shop, to store and to cook vegetables and fruits. You’ll learn what makes tomatoes so red and good for heart, why blackberries, redberries and burberries are the best fruits ever for your health.

Flexitarism, vegetarism, veganism, over-consumption are redundant words too. These behaviors have strong arguments but trigger more debates…

Here again, the questions to answer is why and how. Find your own truth based on proven facts ;)

Health

Our body is an amazing engine, with impressive mechanisms. So many practices are not enough known like :

  • homeostasis: help your body to heal itself,
  • polyphasic sleep: improve your sleep and increase your awaken time
  • mindfulness
  • the effects of the soap on our skin (more info here)

Life expectation and lifestyle

Aaah! A crucial subject!

The way we see life has changed from generations to generations. We don’t consider life the way our parents do.

From 2000’s, young people prefer travelling and living experiences instead of settling down (more info here). Carpe diem has never been so meaningful!

Transportation

Prefer physical moves instead of polluting the planet.

Skateboard, rollers, bike, stilts or whatever you want… If it’s physical it’s ideal!

That’s the reason why you see plenty of hipsters biking or skateboarding.

Disruptivity for the win!

All emerging domain is a new food for hipsters. For instance, blockchain and cryptocurrencies are new way to break the current economy in which rich people get richer, inequality is increasing… Uberisation helps people to get closer… So many other subjects to discuss about.

Hipsterize yourself

In fact, it’s so simple to become hipster. Maybe you already are! As I wrote before, the main thing is to be interested in what surrounds us and try to figure out what it is. All our life is just a huge experimentation with successes and failures.

Just start step by step with some above examples.

Conclusion

Yes, our clothes could define who we are. Hipsterism relies on this rule too.

But being hipster is also thinking out of the box and reconsider what have been taught. It’s not easy to break generations of customs. What a good feeling when you understand the root of a practice and grab pieces of information to experiment new thing!

Hipsterism could have advantages and drawbacks (like self-sufficiency). The hipster mania is like fashion…

Fashion is the only thing that goes out of fashion

… but it’s more than just fashion, it’s a set of practices, behaviors. Maybe that’s why it lasts ;)

Web Engineer stacking and sharing his experiences

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