Social Question

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

How do you identify a hipster?

Asked by Captain_Fantasy (11447points) April 10th, 2010

What are the qualities that makes define a hipster?
Feel free to generalize.

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19 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Is male, has a Mac and a boyfriend.

absalom's avatar

@ragingloli: laff

It’s a gestalt though, not a categorizable thing. But still, see the following description, from which you may parse and expand your own definition:

“I was walking home the other day and a guy… with a whispier mustache was riding down the street with a big-wheel unicycle wearing a vest and eating a goddamned banana.”

lawlipop's avatar

i think this site has a pretty good description. make sure you click “williamsburg hipster.”

Ivan's avatar

They say stuff like this

ubersiren's avatar

Hair blown to one side and maybe sticking up in the back, skinny jeans with a wallet chain dangling off, possibly a head band of some sort, flannel shirt that’s too small, checkered print shoes, bicycle, guitar, black and white facebook picture, holding some out of place object that makes them unique, dresses accessibly but acts snobby, goes to indie shows, uses headphones the size of dinner plates, shops at thrift stores, purposefully wears stuff that is out of style to seem not to care about fashion when in fact the effort involved makes them care quite a bit.

Silhouette's avatar

Wala the hipster…..

Arp's avatar

@ragingloli I do not own a mac, silly!

ucme's avatar

Where i’m from that’s a tight fitting ladies trouser designed to sit snuggly around the hip.

DominicX's avatar

If a song has been heard by more than 5 people, a hipster won’t listen to it. If more than 10 people know about a band, a hipster will not listen to that band.

Other than that, the male hipsters look like this: and the female ones look like this:

And they say things like “honest to Blog”.

figbash's avatar

The Cobrasnake has made a living documenting hipsters in their natural habitat. A few trips through the individual parties he’s got posted here and you’ll definitely know what to look for.

thriftymaid's avatar

I thought it was a style of panties, jeans, and pants.

PacificToast's avatar

The people that say they don’t care about fashion, but put too much work into their look to look like they don’t care. Same with music. They only listen to bands you had no idea existed.

unique's avatar

i use this site to identify the many flavors of hipster.

ubersiren's avatar

Wait, let me just send you a picture of my douchey brother-in-law…

judyprays's avatar

I think the core value of all hipsters is individuality.

For the duration of this answer, I am defining a “Fake Hipster” as someone who wants to look like a hipster, an “Obnoxious Hipster” as someone who strives to emphasize their individuality and a “True Hipster” as someone who is unafraid of their individuality.

Fake Hipsters
Like most fake things, Fake Hipsters are very easy to spot. While anytime before 2005ish, the styles listed in the above answers could have described a small group of True Hipsters – for some time these represent a basically passe dominant alternative culture trend. Fake Hipsters are more sad than obnoxious because they come from a place of insecurity and desperately want to be seen as cool.

Obnoxious Hipsters
These people prize their individuality and are generally arrogant about exactly how individual they are. The irony of course is that the desire to be unique is not unique – explaining the denial of being labeled as a hipster, god forbid they be put in a group of other people just like them.

This is why they don’t want anyone else to like their bands. This is why they are uninterested in anything popular – unless it so bad that no one hip likes it and they can like it in a unique, ironic way.

One of the fundamental rules of sociologly is that the only thing that can be truly unique is combinations – so a hipster usually tries to establish a breadth of interests that don’t usually reside in one person. This carries over to fashion, too – the idea of unique combinations. It is one thing to wear a sex kitten dress from the ‘90s, but wear it with a beige WASPy Liz Claiborne silk knee length walking jacket and win the sartorial awe of your Obnoxious Hipster colleagues.

Obnoxious Hipsters really want you to know how individual they are – so fashion matters a lot to them. While their sartorial choices can be fresh and exciting, as opposed to the derrivitave Urban Outfitter tastes of the Fake Hipster, they are also generally over the top.

With an open mind and taste, the two virtues of an Obnoxious Hipster, and aversions to the popular and the difficult, the two downfalls of the Obnoxious Hipster, it is easy to develop esoteric interests. Being interested in interesting things makes you interesting – and being interesting takes you very far in a society that is based on and strongly rewards individualism.

True Hipsters
Stylistically it is hard to pinpoint a true hipster. They might still part their hair to the side because they thought it looked awesome, they might not. Generally, they go on with their interests regardless of what people will think of them. They don’t really try to be interesting – they just are interesting. They don’t care if you call them a hipster or if you like Lost, too. They are nice, confident and not easily threatened. Because most modern hipsters are atheists plagued with apathy – they don’t care what you think of them, they don’t really care about much of anything! They don’t think much matters – so they run away from boredom with either hedonism, workaholism or a postmodern assortment of distractions and interests. Some have figured out a way to monetize their interests – either as a tastemaker or bettering one of their esoteric interests.

Or not. A lot of people are sometimes True Hipsters and sometimes Obnoxious Hipsters.

I’m not sure I can fully intellectualize the might of the True Hipster, but I can say they are far and few between and have a bright, big fearlessness that is magnetic.

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