Surely you are familiar with the type: they are the physical embodiment of boring. Using their limp shy bangs to conceal their blank shy faces, shy hipster girls create the short-lived illusion of depth and mystery. Any attempt to converse is futile–their responses are canned, perfunctory, and about as effective at generating conversation as references to Hitler. These girls are like conversation succubi.
I was blissfully unaware of these specimens before I lived in Brooklyn. The university I attended was equipped with a strict “no fun” policy, and any limp bangs one saw were greasy and pushed away from the face to facilitate squinting and stating opinions in a loud fashion. Admittedly, many girls were dumpy and frumpy, awkward and not necessarily original, but rarely were they bereft of a redemptive spark.
Why am I suddenly qualified to write about such women, being myself such a newbie to their kind? Sometimes fresh perspective is required to identify limpets as limpets rather than hip, desirable ship decor. Let me be the ingenue to your naked emperor.
Recently, a friend of mine went on a marathon of an OkCupid date. Several hours into the evening, he called me saying he was really excited about this girl and claimed that she seemed really “hip” and possibly “into him.” Admittedly, this excitement was perhaps warranted, because any date that lasts over four hours and involves a transition from a coffee shop to a residence followed by an impromptu shared meal of toast and scrambled eggs must logically end in sex (see, for example, Bertolucci’s The Dreamers).
When I arrived to meet them at my friend’s request, however, I became almost instantly suspicious. The two soon-to-be lovebirds were sitting at a discrete distance from each other, watching Leonard Cohen videos on youtube. My friend kept exclaiming, “Look, he really doesn’t give a fuck,” or “What a boss!” or something, while the girl sat mutely absorbing his comments, possibly swishing her bangs disaffectedly from time to time. Already I was getting a bad feeling about the situation.
Shy hipster girls are experts at maintaining signifiers of potentially interesting personhood while not actually offering the signified. For example, the girl in question had a shaggy haircut and a baggy sweater. When appropriate videos were invoked on youtube, she provided the appropriate responses. By concealing her face with bangs, by cloaking her figure with drapy knits, by murmuring her script correctly, the shy hipster girl creates the illusion of having face, figure, and opinions worth hiding. She is mistress of the art of suggestion. She is the contemporary straw (wo)man.
Ultimately, this girl turned out to be hollow in many respects. Although she stayed long enough to do some drugs with my friend, the closest he got to getting any of the proverbial any was by “planting one on her” after walking her to the train. Despite their never-ending first date, she never returned his calls in an encouraging way
I’m writing this article not as an “I told you so” to my friend (because that’s not what friends are for), but as a wake-up call, even a call-to-arms. Pictured above is a helpful example of the bangs for which we should be forever on the look-out. Because we’re human beings, dammit! Our lives, conversations, and opinions have value! I may not be mad as hell yet, but I’m certainly not going to take this any more.
To the ladies in this audience, please have opinions. Please wear your hair any way you choose, but don’t try to be uselessly mysterious about it. Laugh, don’t titter. Above all else, don’t be shy! And to the gentlemen, don’t be fooled by the shy hipster girl mystique. Maybe if we ignore them, they’ll go away.