Definition Essay: The Hipster Culture

Each generation can be characterized by unique fads and movements among the youth. Ever since women gained the right to vote, all kinds of freedoms and movements started rising worldwide. The end of World War II led toward civil rights movements and movements for the liberation of women. Views became radical and hairs started growing. Back in the 1970s, the activists of such movement were called ‘hippies’. [1]

Twenty years later, the style was emphasized and much more present. But, the hipster culture reached its peak in the 2010, with the hipsters creating an entire sub-culture in the years that follow. Starting with indie music junkies to thrift-store shoppers, hipsters seem to be very present in the world of millennials. This makes many wonder – why did the hipster culture became so popular in such a short timeframe?

There are many definitions about hipsters, but none is a definite one. If you ask people to define this term, some will say that a hipster is a person who follows the trends of today. Another person will give hipsters a common characteristic of someone with a unique style. Basically, the term defines many people and many characteristic, and it is quite ambiguous even today.

Does a hipster invent trends of follow the popular ones? Is a hipster one that blindly succumbs to what others do, or is he a person who tries out unconventional behaviors and fashion? Since hipsters are known for their highly fashionable style, especially younger people, you can definitely say that a hipster fits both these definitions. A hipster can follow the latest trends and still be unique in style and appearance, as well as lifestyle in general.

Everyone can agree that the definition is broad, and it only gets broader. You could say that a person who looks and behaves in a way that would be considered trendy at the moment is a hipster, but a person who still follows the grunge style of the nineties is a hipster, too. With such an unclear definition, the hipster community is no longer a single group of same-minded people. You could say that there are different types or subcultures of hipsters. [2]

Music has played an enormous part in creating the hipster lifestyle. A stereotypical hipster isn’t involved in the mainstream culture and would probably find this offensive or ironic, but music is definitely the grandest factor toward the hipster society creation. For example, bands like The Lumineers and Mumford & Sons became highly popular in the early 2010s. Because of it, The Civil Wars decide to release their singles as chart-topping and parts of platinum albums. Furthermore, Indie rock bands entered the mainstream culture at a very rapid pace, creating a huge shift when compared to what music was popular just years before that. The hardest part is to determine whether hipsters inspired this music or vice versa. Since the movement came so rapidly and very suddenly, no one can ascertain which brought which. The mentality of hipsters is highly inventive and independent and very different from the thought patterns we know existed before it aroused. Instead of doing what society expects of them, a hipster will test new ways to do it. The DIY or do-it-yourself mentality is created by exactly such behavior and is common among hipsters.

Hipsters are innovative and highly passionate. They will pursue their passions without fear that they will fail. This makes them the leaders of tomorrow and the most promising inventors for the future because they test things no one else will have the courage to test.  Millennials are rapidly moving towards this society and almost every one of them is partially implementing their beliefs and behaviors. They are becoming much more individualistic and independent, making them an important or at least imminent part of the hipster culture. Even if they aren’t aware of this, most millennials have already accepted the hipster culture by risking to achieve their goals and striving to make something different.

If the hipsters’ behavior was seen as deviating from society’s norms, it won’t be for much longer. With more and more people joining this movement and sharing their understandings of the world, we can say that the hipster culture is deeply rooted in today’s society. If hipsters continue to inspire a new way of thinking, this might as well turn into the main force of tomorrow.

The hipster culture is extremely popular nowadays, partly because it is not very clearly defined, partly because it stresses the importance of individualism. Even though modern hipsters are relatively new to the world, most of them are rapidly emerging as modern world’s activists and leaders. This particular culture encourages creativity and courage and is much welcomed by millennials who stray away from the traditional understandings. In my opinion, the hipster culture is not going to leave us any time soon. It is definitely here to stay.




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