A Mock Biologist’s Guide To Hipsters

Flickr / Juanan Ruiz
Flickr / Juanan Ruiz

As someone who has taken more than three biology courses, I consider myself a sort of amateur expert observer, always watchful of developments around me. Today, I write to present my opinion on a subset of the human species that is relatively new—but especially new to me, having returned recently to New York City after four years away at college. I speak of the sudden explosion of a subculture whose members are known as hipsters, or Hipsterius Homo Sapiens in Latin. This group came to my attention soon after arriving home in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, at which point I noticed that a considerable portion of the population was shunning survival of the fittest fundamentals.

At first, I thought the whole hipster thing was a trend, but alas, we are not so lucky. The roots of hipsterism seem to run deeper than that of any fleeting fashion statement. My biggest problem with the rise of the hipster is that it doesn’t make much sense. Flying in the face of classical evolutionary principles, the physically weakest males receive all the attention of their female counterparts, while the physically strongest males are met with indifference, if not outright disapproval. And this is only the beginning of the oddity that is the hipster phenomenon.

Much like the poison dart frog, hipsters can typically be identified by their bright coloring. This makes sense for an animal seeking to ward off seasoned predators by signaling through flashy pigmentation that attacking/eating them would be a terrible idea since they are obviously poisonous. But the neon accents hipsters seem to love do not serve a purpose other than to antagonize their mainstream haters. Why taunt the physically stronger by wearing silly duds?

Hipsters also tend to grow their hair out until it resembles an African Lion’s mane. Though it doesn’t seem right to compare hipsters to strong carnivorous predators since the former are typically of the vegetarian or vegan persuasion, the hair similarity is without question. But while lions brandish their glorious manes to intimidate, hipsters do not urge the competition to scatter; instead, they themselves do the fleeing by means of fixed-gear bicycles.

Another aspect of the hipster culture that dumbfounds me involves mating. It is not the strongest males within the pack who obtain the most desirable females, but the most effeminate. It seems as if the males who are most similar in appearance to the females they target are the most successful. To advertise their physical gangliness, the hipster male wears tight jeans and tight T-shirts.

For the most part, I can accept that I cannot understand hipsters in general. I also have to concede that although their prominence doesn’t seem to conform to the laws of biology, they are indeed a fast expanding segment of the population. So, however counterintuitively they may behave, their survival suggests that perhaps they are the fittest. TC mark

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