A contrived identity constructed out of a pastiche of symbols co-opted from bohemian movements of the past, and then reassembled and repackaged. Yet, unlike bohemian subcultures of earlier periods, the hipster lives by no common creed, ethic, or collection of political beliefs. Nor does the hipster offer a unique form of art, music, or literature as groups such as the Beats, Hippies, Yippies, or Punks once did. Rather, the hipster is driven by an effort to cultivate an identity as an end in itself, a persona that will presumably distinguish the hipster from their despised, and over-generalized concept of “mainstream culture.”
Hipster psychology is born out of experiences of rejection during childhood and adolescence as well as the resultant inability to conform to contemporary social standards. The hipster, as a psychological self defense mechanism, constructs an alternative perspective on culture and identity as a response to their subjective experience of social failure and emotional pain. Rather than accept their own shortcomings at face value, the hipster cultivates a self centered world view whereupon culture, religion, politics, and society as a whole are at fault for all that causes dissatisfaction and frustration. Furthermore, the hipster believes that his or her non-participation in “mainstream” life serves as a form of subversion itself, as well as proof positive of their intellectual enlightenment rather than an obvious demonstration of their failure to adapt. Because arrogance is the shadow of shame, the hipster converts his or her social incompetence into an attitude of superiority, and his or her failure into a disposition of pride.
Consequently, hipster culture presents an “alternative image” that attempts to counter, parody, mock, or even satire their concept of mainstream culture while providing a safe environment that, from afar, collectively gives the appearance of a movement. Thus, hipsters make it their practice to flaunt the photo-negative image of their idea of popular “suburban” culture. For example, if the average person in the suburbs shops in malls, the hipster will buy their clothing in second hand shops. If (over generalized) suburban men drive state of the art sports cars with large engines, the hipster may drive a modest Volkswagen or an old, very undersized subcompact European car such as an early seventies BMW, or better yet, ride a fixed gear bicycle with a sticker exclaiming “One Less Car.”
Because the Hipster loathes above all things to be seen as conventional they, as a rule, don’t work. According to existentialist orthodoxy, “one is what one does.” As a result, the hipster does nothing. The hipster’s lack of participation in any type of career, at least on the surface, functions as an attempt to avoid being characterized as "mainstream." However, upon deeper examination it isn't hard to discover that the hipster lacks the requisite skills to do anything purposeful anyway. Rather, for the hipster, one is as one "seems." And the hipster is very adept at being able to "seem." Seeming requires collecting symbols both material and intellectual and proves much easier on a frail body and psyche than actual work. This is particularly the case when parents help around rent time, if the hipster doesn't already own.
Because the hipster’s life is a lie that they tell to themselves (and don’t believe themselves) they demonstrate a high degree of instability and mental illness which will often be treated by psychoactive medication. Often hipsters will merely self-medicate, particularly if their parents don't pay their COBRA. As a result, hipsters will eventually exhibit behaviors that are truly alternative until they face the fact that their subculture is an elaborate buffer from their fear of non-acceptance and failure.
Dylan: “Man, I’m so sick of my dad’s whole patriarchal disdain for any sense of leisure.”
Josh: "Yeah, man, tell me about it; I hardly ever get back up to Greenwich anymore for that reason.”
Dylan “Hey bartender, we’ll take two Pabst Blue Ribbons please.”
A group of people who try way too hard, this subculture can be identified by males who wear skinny clamdigger jeans, ironic t-shirts, and sneakers that were only made prior to 1976. And females in thick glasses. Hipsters reject everything "mainstream" and conformist even though they are the most judgemental and conformist group in many cities. They fall over each other in attempts to be the nerdiest looking nerd in the group and are willing to deal with extreme pain and discomfort from wearing skinny jeans in order to fit in and conform to the hipster look.
Hipster 1: Look at those conformist losers drinking their Starbucks coffees.
Hipster 2: Yeah, they suck. They probably listen to mainstream music.
Hipster 1: Totally. Hey where did you get your new skinny jeans and ironic Atari T-shirt? I want a pair just like them so I can be just like you and fit in amongst the hipster crowd.
Hipster 2: You can't buy them, as I got them at the thrift store along with my ironic T-shirt and these thick-rimmed glasses.
A Hispter is a grown up scene kid. Too old to be a scenester, yet too young to say no to the common trend. Trendy. Grown up sceneyboppers.
Lindsay: Look at that hipster! OMG.
Ashley: Wait. Isnt't that a scenester?
Lindsay: No. He was most likely scene at a younger age, but now he's older and on to being hip!
Ashley: Oh. Still pretty much looks the same to me.
A subculture of disaffected twenty-somethings that are characterized by their fickle attitudes toward basically everything. Their chronic un- or under-employment gives them plenty of time to listen to music, visit obscure art galleries, drink lots of coffee and alcohol, chain smoke, and read independently-published newspapers and magazines. By the time they figure out what they want, they've already onto something else because what they want might be what someone else wants and they don't want to identify with that person(s). You won't find them at suburban shopping malls. Try looking in the trunk of an AMC Hornet.
"Well, what've we got ourselves here, another hipster, eh?"
Hipsters are akin to posers. The age range generally is between the ages of 17-25. Hipsters tend to listen to random indie bands that no one has ever heard of just to try an act cool amongst their friends even if the music isn't good at all. Hipsters are usually smug and think that they are on a higher plateau than that of their peers. When attending school hipsters usually have the "Pocahontas" backpack just to try and be different. Hipsters also try to rebel by smoking cigarettes in a circle of a large group of people whether or not the people in that circle are smokers, they just think that it gives them that edginess and coolness that they so desperately strive for. In summary Hipsters can be classified as a hybrid of a douchebag and poser who tries to act cooler than everyone around them and will convince themselves that they are the only one that matters.
Casual Wear: Dark thick rimmed glasses, short hair (possibly styled), wears clothing with stripes all the time, they will only wear converses.
Ways to use "Hipster" in a sentence
I'm wearing a polo, I hope I don't get taken for a Hipster.
Look at that group of Hipsters, all of them with the same shirt but just a different color.
An insufferable, pseudo-intellectual twerp who defines his identity mainly through allusions to, and alleged knowledge of, obscure popular culture, often of the ephemeral variety. This urban poser advertises this identity via vintage clothing, thick-rimmed glasses, and ironically or iconically decalled t-shirts, oblivious to the concept that his conformity to a predefined template for appearance undermines and contradicts his attempt to be an independent thinker. He exibits a strong narcissism in the form of his constant hunt for attention and self affirmation via online social networks and communications technologies, through which he believes he is channeling relevant, interesting, and enlightening information, but which he usually employs to boost his hipster cred by making obscure references, parroting Internet memes, and generally proclaiming the superiority of his tastes. In quiet desperation, however, the hipster is racked with anxiety, as he is constantly driven by a desire to be "in on the joke" - the concept that other hipsters may be enjoying something of which he is cluelessly unaware, that he may not understand the disposable 90's movie reference which sent his peers into a titter, is anathema to this self-satisfied but inherently insecure social animal.
Mark cursed softly as the hipster in the aisle paused next to him to stow his Apple-logo messenger bag in the overhead bin. The Banana Splits t-shirt at eye-level and the thick, horn-rimmed glasses looking down at him told him that he was going to be in for a long flight filled with tedious conversations about the power of social media to help the unemployed take the country back from evil corporations.
The current “hipster” probably has nothing to do with the older iteration of “hipster”; it’s just another part of the “retro” trend that they’ve borrowed the old name. Or maybe it was applied to them, by people who remember the negative connotations of the old name; I’m not sure where it came from.
In actuality I think this one is just the revision of the yuppie (young urban professional) of my generation (Gen X), except that a lot of hipsters don’t work in traditional professional jobs because they’re fashionably anti-capitalist. If they work, they’re freelancers. Many are wealthy enough to avoid working anyway — solidly middle/upper-class background with generous parents; a lot of accumulated generational wealth (I knew one who’d had a condo deeded to her as a college graduation gift); a trust fund; whatever, though it’s unfashionable to talk about their wealth so they often plead poverty and move into the poorest neighborhoods to be cool (which usually triggers a wave of gentrification in their wake). Also includes, in New York at least, a lot of trust fund kids from overseas, due to the strength of the Euro, and many of them have been stepping in the deepest piles of racism because they don’t really get the nuances here. (Doesn’t stop them from trying, though.)
But basically, the current hipsters are the liberal twentysomethings of this generation, who are usually ham-handed in their liberalism (they’re anti-capitalist and anti-establishment, yet they don’t unde...
the whole subculture is at best a misguided resignation to irony and at worst a conscious attempt at absurdist elitism.
That hipster over there is laughing for all the wrong reasons at Blazing Saddles.