On Shy Hipster Girls and Their Shy Hipster Opinions

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. TC mark


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  • Dee

    bitter and judgmental.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=300901223 Nicolette Beach

      What is your face to bang ratio?

      • Juliejc5

        Same rules apply to hipster guys. THE SAME RULES APPLY TO HIPSTER GUYS.

  • http://twitter.com/srslydrew Andrew Farr


  • http://twitter.com/srslydrew Andrew Farr

    like I get it, but it's like “duh.” I dunno. Ignore me.

  • Gucci Mane

    very good

  • JJ

    I hate hipster girls.

  • http://twitter.com/Erikhaspresence Erik Stinson

    do u have curly hair

  • whatevs

    i'll bang your face

  • saritapatrice

    My bangs and sweaters have no affect on my ability to converse or socialize at all…

  • reader

    I know the hipster type you speak of, and I share your annoyance. What I'm not sure about are the terms of your critique. The arts of suggestion and concealment are as old as femininity, and you're criticizing them here as if they're new phenomena. Women have always covered up — deployed modesty not just to create empty intrigue, but to signify that they had something worth uncovering. This, in itself, is attractive, because it shows a measure of self-confidence.

    Taking this into consideration, what's different about this new breed of girl? I'm as curious as you are, but I don't think you've given us a satisfactory answer.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Khaligula Khalil Pineda

      You make a good point with concealment being a part of femininity. However, to pretend that it hints at (or presupposes or is motivated by) self confidence is a little far fetched. Muslim women wear the veil and the message that it sends is that they'd make a good wife because they'd not tempt any other men but their husbands. Men are attracted to insecure, dependable, prudent women because they lack self confidence, because they won't be noticed, because they will be theirs. There's a difference between prudent shyness, the kind we speak of here and is often faked when girls do things like “play coy”, and the veiled shyness of hipster girls, which is what the author was on about. What makes them different is that they consciously want to exploit mystery, they want to send mixed signals. Wear baggy clothes in hopes of seeming sexy, bangs in hopes of seeming cute, it's concealment as disguise not as prudence and it's something that once the clothes and the canned thoughts come off will ultimately lead to bitter disappointment. Women do this all the time, make up, push up bras, they disguise things they feel self conscious about with things that might send a different message but the deal with hipster girls is that they make up their entire personas and not a few blemishes.


      • reader

        If I'm reading you correctly, your point is that modesty is one thing when it conceals something worthy, and another thing when it's deployed as a kind of malicious false advertising, on par with push-up bras and mascara. As you point out, not all feminine modesty indicates self-confidence, but consider that all modesty is a withholding — the nature of modesty is to withhold what's behind it. So it's tough to say whether a woman is being modest out of self-confidence, religious oppression, shyness, or to create an aura of mystery. In this vacuum, I think our interpretation of modesty says less about the girl beneath it and more about what we project onto it.

        Also, what's the difference between “seeming” cute and “being” cute? Isn't cuteness all in the seeming?

      • http://www.facebook.com/Khaligula Khalil Pineda

        The point is that the girl that feigns modesty is more or less aware of the interpretation that people within her social circle give modesty (either a religious community or a hipster lounge). Since we associate some paper dress with liberal art student down for kinky sex as opposed to fear of God, a girl that feels conscious of her body will wear such garment to send a different image of herself. A lot of the things we do are based on what others associate them with, people often want to exploit these associations, and they end up being something entirely different. It's how high end fashion brands get “tacky” when new money starts wearing them. Hipster fashion is just an immensely attractive concealment spot for shy girls due to the preexisting associations we have with it.

        Cuteness is all in the seeming but there are some things we might find unattractive that are easily concealed, but also easily discovered. Some lego bangs might be 'cute', but finding out that her forehead is full of pimples underneath those bangs would make us quickly retract that statement.

      • Scared

        my forehead us full of pimples

  • http://wayindie.blogspot.com kelly huckaby

    anyone have a link to this girls okcupid profile? she sounds hot/mysterious/complicated.

  • http://twitter.com/envelopecruz E. Cruz

    Well written, Alexandra. Reminds me of this this other great analysis of hipsters at http://www.ichwerdeeinberliner.com

  • http://vickyalways.blogspot.com vicky

    i would be satisfied if a girl like that can at least hold a solid gchat with me during the day. i'm not a total fan of evaluating social ability on face-to-face interactions alone, i don't think.

  • colonelweenerface


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1415031788 Sharif Youssef

    Your friend needs better game. Leonard Cohen? Jeez.

  • Lafleur_royale

    Is that Zooey Deschanel in the picture? She's like the least shy person ever. And why are you confusing shy with bad personality? This isn't a warning, its a flag of your own ignorance. As penance I sentence you to six months of bands and baggy sweaters.


    Just one more reason I don't like bangs.

  • EmiliaBedelia

    While this could have turned into a really empowering article about women making themselves visible among a sea of bangs and baggy sweaters, it became almost offensive. There are other reasons why these women might be shy: it is not always about building mystique. I know many amazing women with bangs, who have amazing ideas, regardless of their being impressed by some dude showing them Youtube videos of Leonard Cohen. I could easily write an article about why hipster dudes are boring (youtube? really?!)

    And yes, my photo is me with bangs. but that picture is nearly two years old, and I have since grown them out. regardless, I was still the same opinionated person then as now.

    • colonelweenerface


    • josh mosh

      you should write that article about why hipster guys are boring tonight.

      • http://twitter.com/coylemily EmiliaBedelia

        Josh, perhaps one day I will. I guess all good satire requires sweeping generalizations.

  • dr. schmocter

    I can see your point. It's pretty easy to style yourself as hip/interesting/creative these days cuz it's basically a packaged look. You just have to buy the right clothes and get the hair and indicate in conversation that you know about the right media. And all of that may not translate into interestingness. Still, with respect to this particuluar girl and your buddy, sounds like she was just not that in to him and therefore phoning it in.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jose.ariel.cuevas José-Ariel Cuevas

    Hipster talk in general is rather banal, shallowness masked as profound.

  • http://twitter.com/Remi_Watts Remi Watts

    This article? Meh… It failed to 'signify' the 'signified', as it were.

  • Guest

    This article is pretty mean….

    How's that for an opinion? Why do some people feel the need to put down other people in order to feel good about themselves?

  • Guest

    I read this post earlier and now I'm back because it's still bothering me. I don't get what urgent message the author has to share— so, it's ok for guys to be shy, right? Just not women? And which is better, the “frumpy” girls you went to school with or the “hipsters” you're making fun of? Are none of them just allowed to be themselves? I'm sick and tired of this over-criticism. It's not accomplishing anything.

    You asked for opinions….

    • Roger

      could it be that you, yourself are a fumpy-dumpy huffadumpalump?

  • http://www.facebook.com/Khaligula Khalil Pineda

    This had the potential to be good. The author was definitely on to something with the shy hipster girl, but her insistence on talking about her friend and relationships with shy hipster girls made it both sound too personal and off the only interesting insight in the whole article- hipsterdom as compensation or pretense.

  • Angela

    I think the author wants to remind everyone that is important to be free to be you and me, so to speak. If your date is showing you boring Leonard Cohen videos, either a) leave the date! or b) try to engage him by talking about something more interesting to you. Do not c) sit on the sofa and acquiesce.

    Everyone has the right to his or her own way of dressing/speaking/mumbling/whatever. However, by concealing total absence of personality via purported mystery, you aren't doing yourself any favors, mmm?

    • Rayanne Graff

      That's right! I utilize my freedom by employing a hairstyle involving lots of tiny braids with beads on the ends, ideally accompanied by multi-colored earrings.

      • Angela

        That's right. And Cynthia Hargrove has a nose stud!

  • anregalia

    “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.”

    Thanks for the advice…but what's so awful about shyness? And what's so awful about bangs, if they're an “opinion”? Is this “shy hipster girl” not expressing an opinion via her habitus? “They” might be irritating to you, as someone who has seemingly worthy opinions to express…but one who values loquacity, such as yourself, might accept there are lots of people who irritate us out there, but as a self-righteous and dignified person, just leave 'em alone!?!?

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