I have to admit that it wasn’t until about 3 months ago that I embraced something that was really a foreign concept and notion: I’m a hipster. For some reason I thought hipster’s were beatniks (aren’t they??!?!). I was talking to a good friend about how I am anti-mainstream, don’t do anything associated with pop culture (including TV shows that involve teenagers, vampires, rednecks and ducks, etc), prefer things that are organic and not processed, and don’t have a clue who 95% of the individuals on People magazine are. Her response was, “It’s simple DGrant. You’re not weird, you’re a hipster.”
So that’s what that means. But strangely, hipster is becoming a trendy and popular thing all-together. This is weird. I don’t like popular. At the heart of it, if non-popular is what the movement/idea is about, then it is counter-intuitive to become something you’re fighting against isn’t it?
Or is it just the reality that for so long, what and who is popular has always been in the minority of everyone else. Think about it. The popular people in your high school class constituted roughly 10% maximum of your class size. That leaves 90% of the class population that wanted or wished to have the popular power that those individuals had. That means the majority of the people in that class wanted to be like the minority. Individualism be damned, conform to what these elite individuals do/think/say/wear/behave.
So we’ve come full circle, or are approaching turn 3 at least, and the majority has decided that we are cool enough as individuals to not conform to someone else’s idea of cool (which also includes what we like, what we listen to, what we eat, what we watch, what we wear, what we link ourselves to, etc). Hipster should really be a way of accepting your individual creativity and showcasing it and other people’s versus following blindly to what someone else tells you that you have to embrace. When it’s anything other than that isn’t not it’s true self, any anyone attempting to be “hipster” that isn’t embracing other people’s individualism and unique shine is lying to themselves about who they are trying to be.
So I’m an indie hipster, perhaps a little modern beatnik too. Oh well. This discovery came and is accepted not because hipster will propel me and my enterprise (The Appetizer Radio Show) into mass success and fame, but because within this framework of unique individualism, I can showcase others’ amazing creativity and talents and present it to people who might not otherwise discover it. That’s a hipster ideal we can all embrace.
Mind you, this is not a request to embrace all the versions of what is being labeled as hipster out there. Again, this trend of people trying to jump into the bandwagon of the movement is the antithesis of the idea itself. What does someone who goes the indie path look like? They look like themselves. But they also look like pioneers and that is a foreign notion, because those choosing the road less traveled or the road unknown (and unmarked) can be strange looking people to the current culture. Engage in conversation and relationship and embrace the individual. That’s the calling true hipsters are striving for.
(After doing some further investigation on hipsters and pop culture, I came across this great BLOG that helped clarify how some in the hipster movement have contributed to tarnishing the name. Check it out)