Friday, 24 October 2014

What Does the Term ‘Hipster’ Mean to You?

I wasn’t 100% sure if I would be able to articulate my words in a constructive way so that it would make sense to anyone which is why I’ve been putting this post off for quite some time but I decided to do it anyway because it’s something that has really got me thinking.

Hipster:  Someone who is very influenced by the most recent ideas and fashions.

This definition was found in the trustworthy Cambridge dictionary and I don’t disagree with it whatsoever however I strongly believe that there is more to it. When you hear the word ‘hipster’ a certain image pops into your head.

Perhaps something like this:

Source: here

Or maybe this:

Source: here

Ever since the term ‘hipster’ surfaced the internet and became a legitimate label in society I’ve never really been able to fully fathom exactly what it is. What is it exactly about someone that makes them a hipster? Okay so here’s some food for thought that may confuse you but please bear with me.

When this idea of a hipster first came to my attention I had originally thought that it simply meant someone who goes against the norm and dominant ideology and is different. But apparently it now means someone who is mainstream and follows everyone else around them. Perhaps I was wrong about it meaning you’re a bit of a black sheep however how did being a hipster – and supposedly original – become mainstream because everyone is now trying too hard to be different? I apologise if that didn’t make any sense but it kind of does to me… I emphasise the ‘kind of’.

My concept in life has always been that if I like something I like it. I’ve never thought about what other people may potentially label me as if I listen to a certain genre of music or buy a specific brand of clothing. Yes it’s great to be unique and set your own trends, be a leader not a follower, but what if you genuinely like the latest fashion trend? Are you going to restrain yourself from buying a snapback or an Arctic Monkeys t-shirt because you don’t want to be seen as ‘that type of person’? One of my many annoyances is when I see people scared to buy something or even like something  in case they’re labelled for it and to me that’s plain wrong. You like whatever you want to like, its part of who you are and can’t be changed.

Now time to discuss the influences, the triggers that have caused this futile problem in the first place. We know that TV, the internet and other people all have a role in this but I’m going to just talk about one specific influence: Tumblr.

There’s no denying it, Tumblr is a wonderful site. A great platform that can inspire and help you connect to like-minded people. We are all aware of the ‘hipster blogs’ and the typical photos you will find there. And it can honestly get really frustrating when you constantly see the same photos down your dashboard. But the point I’m trying to make is: what is so wrong with that? Maybe they actually like those photos and are expressing their personality through them? Then again they could also be reblogging those specific photos because they’re a guaranteed success aka they know for a fact that people will approve because it’s what the majority of blogs consist of.

Why is being a hipster a bad thing?

Is it just a stereotype or just a phase that will soon blow over?

If I like the Arctic Monkeys or vintage clothing does that make me a hipster?

For example, the well-known book and now film by John Green The Fault in our Stars is now considered hipster. Why? It wasn’t when it first got published so just because it is now so talked about people are avoiding it only to not be considered a hipster. Which is pretty sad for people who read the book when it first came out and genuinely connected with the story and thoroughly enjoyed it. But then again now that so many people are talking about it the book is being spread worldwide and inspiring thousands of people; isn’t that a good thing?

Personally I love indie music and vintage clothing however I also adore various other trends. Unfortunately society will always have its fixations and its influences on clothing, music etc. It will always try and tell you what’s right and wrong, what’s considered acceptable but that doesn’t mean you have to obey the rules.

It’s crazy how times have changed. Just thinking about what the latest trend will be in ten years’ time blows my mind. People didn’t worry about any of this before so what is making us worry now? Be whoever you want to be. Don’t live in fear of being put under an umbrella that will define you. I can guarantee that these stereotypes and labels won’t matter in the long run.

“I don't fit into any stereotypes. And I like myself that way.” ― C. JoyBell C.

Source: here

Once again I apologise for this ramble and unorganised stream of thoughts but it really is something to think about especially as it’s so relevant to teenagers and society. As you can probably tell I don’t really have a specific opinion on the topic and I’ve left it up in the air for discussion as I’m still not quite sure what to make of it myself. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic so please comment or even tweet me.

How would you describe a hipster? What does it mean to you?


  1. I also thought that a hipster was someone who went against the norm and is different so I'm a surprised with the dictionary definition. I think people put too many labels on everything and everyone nowadays, we should just wear the things we want to wear and do things we want to do xx

    1. Yes ikr! Completely agree, people seem to worry way too much when these things don't really matter, we should be focusing on improving society rather than tearing down other people for what they like or don't like xx

  2. I didn't think that was the definition, but I do kind of understand it. I'm not really interested in labels, we should be able to do and like what we want without being stereotyped etc.
    Bethan Likes

    1. I didn't either until I did some research into it and yes exactly! Thanks for the comment lovely!! x

  3. Really interesting and well put across post, I loved it! Once again I'm surprised by those definitions but the ideas put forward are intriguing. I almost feel like hipster itself has become an unfashionable trend - although those already viewed as 'hipster' are exceptions. Apologies if this makes no sense! Lauryn x

    1. Thank you so so much! Yeah I completely understand what you're saying, the definition and literal meaning are so confusing but it's mad how every little thing is picked up on nowadays and turned into a stereotype. Thanks so much for the comment Lauryn, I find you and your blog really inspiring :) x