Hipster Fever: How To Combat the Disease

*WARNING, KEEP DISTANCE AS SCIENCE HAS PROVEN HIPSTERS SPREAD DISEASE THROUGH THEIR SPIT AND BODY ODOR*

Hipsters take on many forms, but sometimes look like this.
Photo Credit: http://cavemancircus.com/2010/02/26/hipster-douchebags/

Recently, there has been a hipster witch hunt in our immediate area where people have pinned down those they believed to be hipsters and burned them at the stake to stop the infection from spreading. Well, not really. Instead, several would-be hipsters were quite offended to be labeled such, because labels are so defining, right? But why? Why is it equal to blasphemy to name someone a hipster?

To be a hipster means to be a pretentious jerk who thinks he or she is better than others simply because he or she likes more unique clothing, bands, or books. Hipster-ism is like identification with the alternative to the extreme because those who do generally identify themselves as hipsters actively seek out new things to “like” so as to upkeep their image. You can see why this is a bad thing: if we all seek out unique identities for the sake of it, we don’t really become “US” but rather something that is different than others. Identity is tricky like that. Of course you don’t want to be boring, but hey, if you’re a boring person, embrace that. Don’t succumb to the disease.

The last thing you would want is anyone calling you “a hipster.”

Here are some surefire ways to make sure you escape the plague:

1.) Listen only the the Top 40 Charts

Hipsters are notorious for their obscure taste in music, like new-age banjo. They generally attend concerts no one else goes to, ensuring their uniqueness. Combat this by listening to the most popular songs of the moments.

2.) Make sure you’re wearing the same clothing as someone else each day.

Call up a friend. Red Blouse? Check. Blue skirt? Check. Remember, the worst thing you could POSSIBLY be is unique and pretentious because GASP!, that would be terrible.

3.) Punch Vegans in the face.

Hipsters like to take up vegan diets, so renounce hipsterdom by attacking any vegan or person who suspect to be a vegan. This will win you non-hipster points.

4.) Do Everything Literally

“Oh, so you’re voting for Mitt Romney… ironically?”

“No, I’m actually voting for Mitt Romney because I want him to become President. If you don’t want him to become President, why would you vote for him? Even ironically, your vote counts.”

“Right… are you being ironic?”

Nope, everything you say or do must be literal. You could eat a horse? Then…. eat a horse.

***

The worst possible thing you could do is give in and begin living a unique lifestyle just like everybody else. Break the mold and conform!

Wait, what? Derek, you make absolutely no sense. How can I conform to something and show my unique identity at the same time? Well, you can’t. Sorry to break that to you. No matter how you choose to live your life, you will be pigeon-holed into a stereotype. Remember back in middle school when everyone who wore polos were preps and every who wore black goth demon-worshipers?

Well, we never really grow out of that phase in our lives. The human mind is meant to categorize. So, if we see a single group of people intending to not be categorized, the need to do so is overwhelming. There is no such thing as living outside of these socially-imposed groups: accept it. Even if you wear feathers in your pink hair, wear platform shoes and a leather vest, we have found a way to bestow upon you a stereotype. Whether hipster or hippie or flower child is appropriate, it doesn’t matter. There’s no real escape from someone else identifying you one way or another.

So, what are you supposed to do with this shocking information? How will you survive? How will you express yourself?

Be yourself. Cliche, I know, but true every time any old person, young person, middle-aged teacher says it: be yourself. And maybe deep down, you really want to wear feathers in your hair. It doesn’t bother me, so knock yourself out. Deep down, you care about animals and want a vegan diet? Doesn’t bother me. Go do it!

But don’t do anything for the sole sake of appearing cool or special. Why is it such a bad thing to share some traits with others? If you spend your life shouting “Nobody understands me,” no one will even try to; we need human connection, and therefore, we need to find other people like ourselves. But if we put loads of effort into breaking those connections and socially isolating ourselves, we miss an essential part of life. Human contact is not just nice, it’s psychologically necessary.

If you’re a born fisherman, fish. If you feel compelled to be a hipster, go do hipster things. Isn’t it time we stopped caring so much about what bands we listened to or what clothes we wear? Can we not as a society rise above the need to categorize people? The answer is no, but maybe that’s a good thing. Else, we’d spend our entire lives trying to live as we’re not, trying to become something different for the sake of doing so. Settle down. Look around. Enjoy life. Stop decrying every band that’s played on the radio. Whatever you choose to do, do so because you enjoy it.

Instead, do you. Then, stop caring about what other people label you. In the end, it’s not death they’re giving you, only a way they can relate you within their world schema. So, if someone wants to reduce your explosive personality into a single word, who cares?

A girl who nicely gave me a ride home the other day after my car broke down told me this: “I don’t think I care if people call me a hipster. That’s just their perception of me, and that doesn’t really matter.”

So, if someone has squeezed you into a word, don’t take it upon yourself to “prove them wrong.” They’re just missing out on getting to know people for more than a label.

Thank you.

About derekberry

Derek Berry is a novelist, poet, and student located in Charleston, SC.

Posted on April 18, 2012, in Blogging, Controversy, Humor, Internet, Manifesto, Rant, writer, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. These days I’m thinking it is more of an age thing. There are a few things I won’t wear or do because I don’t want an association with something, but for the most part, I don’t care. I think with age you care less for what people think of you, because really, what’s the point? More important things in life.

    That said I grew up in the UK which doesn’t seem to have as strict groupings for different types of people in school, so maybe theres a cultural thing I’m slightly missing.

    • I would not say that forming cliques in school is a strictly American thing, but the need to do so feels stronger in America than it does in both English or German schools (I’ve been to both for long enough to know).

  2. Ha! Hipsters. Gotta love ’em. They clear out all the Goodwill stores. Leave some for the disenfranchised why don’t ya! That’s what they’re there for. Geeze. Just b/c you buy your clothes at the salvation army doesn’t mean it’s not a uniform. Oh well, like Elliot said above, they’ll eventually grow out of it. The older you get, the less time you have to worry about what other people think. When I was in school, the “rebellious” thing to do was pop up your collar and tuck in your shirt, but only in the front. I went to a really preppy snob-hole.

    Anyway, thanks for stopping by my new blog, portraits of addiction. I’m glad something on there caught your eye. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

    -Andrew
    aaseaward@gmail.com
    http://portraitsofaddiction.com

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