Hymnster- A devout Jesus loving Hipster, by our definition.
It all may have started around 2009-2010, when you would see them dressed head to toe in Urban Outfitters (I mean, weren’t we all?), complete with a “Jesus Is My Homeboy” or “Mary Is My Homegirl” t-shirt, peek-a-boo/paneled streaks in girls’ hair, long side swept hair for the boys, playing guitar and looking a-little-too-happy around campus. But, hey, they kind of looked like me, and were sort of into the same music, the main difference being on Sundays, they went to church followed by brunch. I instead nursed my hangover, then dragged myself to #brunch.
Initially, I was too busy to pay attention to this fascinating and growing sub-group, until I moved to San Diego a few years ago. San Diego was becoming increasingly gentrified, and seemingly, so were the people. But in the past year, being Hymnster has become ‘the thing’ here. As I’ve listened in on the conversations and taken true notice of these cool folk hanging around local coffee shops, with bibles in hand, I’ve begun to understand that they have their general, but distinct characteristics:
1. Hair styles
The gals will likely have cool haircuts. Probably bangs, and probably a hint of fantasy color, or even full blown rainbow hues. The Skrillex side-cut is on its way out but you’ll still catch one or two girls rocking it. The boys will most likely have a top bun, or at least have given it a try. Otherwise we are looking at hair that is short on the sides with a cool comb over swoosh. I recently read a tweet that went something like, “watching my bf get his first hipster haircut at Mr. Browns and (heart face emoticon).” I also heard a gal in a coffee shop say, “He has a man bun. But it’s different, you know?” Yes, these are real people. And both are confirmed Hymnsters.
Lots of triangles, arrows, and quotes from the man upstairs. For the tattoo shy, lots of holes in ’em ears, and/or at least one in the snout. But don’t mistake this for being “counter-cultural,” unless you earnestly consider Jesus a counter cultural icon. One could make that argument, but that’s a whole different fish to turn into wine, or whatever.
Trendy AF. They raid that Anthro, J. Crew and Nordstrom Rack sale, and if there is a cute boutique nearby, they will raid that too. Sometimes “vintage,” but not actually vintage. Remember, they err on the side of trendy, not hip. Yes, there is a difference. Speaking of hip, Hymnsters thoroughly embrace being called ‘Hipsters,’ and throw the title around like a hot craft doughnut… Just as they do with ‘adorakable.’ Please stop.
4. Social Media
Bio that reads: Maker, Crafter, DIY, mompreneur, followed by (or follower of – lol) Jesus (or another variation of the name), and/or scripture.
Pictures: Faded and desaturated. Probably includes a lot of food, coffee, plants, beer, church and it’s got to be local. I honestly wish mine looked half as cool.
Twitter: Things, well, can sometimes get dark…
5. Coffee, Craft Beer, and Doughnuts and Crafts
It might just be the San Diego bunch, but the Hymnsters I’ve had the pleasure of trolling LOVE coffee culture, and they love the act of congregating at coffee shops even more. Great place to start an impromptu bible study sesh. Or, maybe just to spread the good word?
Craft beer or bust, except for the gluten intolerant. They have their Wine Wednesday’s, girl.
Craft Doughnuts. Snapchat makes it worth waiting in line for an hour, I guess?
Crafts. DIY. Craft Fairs. Flowers. Flower crowns. Etsy. Pinterest. CRAFT EVERYTHING.
It’s the thing to do. The only the thing to do. No one needs to know you went to Starbucks instead of the local Dark Horse this morning. Or, that you bought that air plant from IKEA, instead of Pigment, or that other trendy plant shop for 10x the price. Shhhh, just post it all on Instagram already!
7. Basic upbringing
In stalking, I mean researching various Hymnster profiles, I’ve noticed that if you look deep enough into their Instagram feeds, you will often and quite reluctantly not find much of ‘Erickson’s Identity vs. Role’ Confusion stage, complete with regrettable haircuts, awful MySpace angles, and quotes that are not not analogous to ‘Eat Pray Love’. You will instead find your square, grade-A classmates, possibly even bros, involved in their church youth group, playing guitar at their church, planning prom or other student body activities, probably reppin’ that pro life, yet spotted at the local Planned Parenthood the weekend prior, faithfully involved in or at least attending school sporting events, counting down the days until they can rush for that Greek Life, and later posing with their Greek brethren in college.
And then they listened to that one Bon Iver song, and just got it… #BlesSD
8. Music/Music Festivals
Music… They listen to good indie music, or at least anything indie that has come out in the last decade, or so. However, unless it’s classic hits, or ironic 90’s R&B, or Ace of Base, I wouldn’t test much else on them. At a recent Andrew Bird show, we had to painfully hear a Hymnster gal ask her husband, “When is his good song going to play?” Wrong. And music festivals… They are Coachella’s free PR crew. Oh, and a good portion especially love EDM festivals? WWJD? Take ecstasy obv. Yeah, I don’t get it either…
9. Let me see you work work work work work
Their success levels run the gamut. Anything from working a minimum wage job, to owning that cute coffee shop or restaurant in town (they have made San Diego way cooler for this… not being even a little sarcastic), to a job that pays more than you could ever dream of. Regardless, they still find the time to run their ETSY shop and volunteer at their cool local church. Don’t be salty.
They’re also all over the place when it comes to politics… Anywhere from #BernieorBust, to… ugh. Some want to be open and accepting, but their interpretation of the scripture, or their takeaway from the last sermon, might make them post a xenophobic tweet about Muslims. Love thy bros, bros. Other times, you’ll be having a decent conversation, when a topic like abortion comes up, and yeah, they’re not into it … Or, that Trump wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen to the nation. It would be. (Editors note: now it really is)
So, next time you’re at the coolest new spot in town and are about to strike up a conversation with that edgy, tattoo-laden boy or girl – at their core, there might just be a walking Bible.