Basics Vs. Hipsters

image - Flickr / erikah
image – Flickr / erikah

Williamsburg, Brooklyn continually cited as the most hipster city in America just got its first Starbucks. Heehee. I have been waiting for this forever. Now people can see how gentrified Brooklyn really is.

But honestly, I think that liking Starbucks is probably really hipster now, because it’s so cool not to like Starbucks. I happen to really like Starbucks, I specifically only like Americanos because I have been drinking them since I was 12 and they have sentimental memories for me. I’m a picky little bitch and I like having my calorie counts listed and I don’t care at all how high maintenance that is.

But hipster-everything at this point is just so contrived and is just an endless cycle of people showing off their supposed superiority. I’ve spent almost three years now at The New School possibly one of the most hipster schools in the city, (NYU you can fight me in the comments). Over the years you realize that everyone who tries to look “edgy” and “different” end up getting the same haircut. I’ve found it to be the most subversive to dress up and wear white or gray to class. I took out my piercings and just wear a pretty dress sometimes. Possibly the most subversive thing one could do at my school is show up to a lecture wearing a pale pink Juicy tracksuit from 2004 or better yet a Purple Grape Velour one a la the Kardashians, pair it with extensions and a purse puppy and claim this look was inspired by Paris Hilton on The Simple Life. Everyone would die. This would be the most refreshing sight for sore eyes. At this point, dealing with “basics” is limited to walking around midtown or seeing groups of summer interns. So I don’t completely hate them yet.

Basics have an almost earnest quality to them, where they have no idea how unoriginal they are being. They truly think that people want to see their inspirational quotes on Instagram written in cool fonts that they don’t know the name of. I imagine that there must be this kind of joy to truly being a basic bitch. The man has not truly gotten you down yet, you were given a dumb senior superlative which you were proud of, and you really identify with Charlotte from Sex and the City. Also the amount of yoga pants which you get to wear sounds really comfortable.

If you’re a hipster you just have to assert superiority over every person you interact with, guy selling cold water from a cart “I Don’t drink Poland Spring. GOD”. Your secret shame is that you like to listen to Top 40 music in the shower. But only the decent stuff, maybe you like to mock Fancy by Iggy Azalea at rooftop parties but secretly jam to it when it comes on in the bodega and you shoot the guy your best don’t tell anyone I was doing this or I will write a shitty review on Yelp look. The new Starbucks on Ainslie Street was a subject of contention at your knitting club. But when you go home to the Mid Atlantic town you’re from you secretly get your fave Chai tea latte with the girls. Just no photographs with the cup.

The problem with both hipsters and basics who would seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum of hipness, is that they’re both kind of the same. There is so much effort into seeming normal, for basics and seeming abnormal for hipsters that they both are contrived. Basics however are less into their image. But then again, they can’t like “weird” things or have sex with “weird” people so they keep that on the downlow.

Hipsters can’t be hooking up with a Hooters waitress and taking them to Applebee’s. But you know maybe that would be so uncool that it would be cool. What’s frustrating about trying to point out a “hipster” is that they really are so easy to pinpoint. They would never admit to being hipsters though. Hipsters and basics have very specific compositions. Basics in Yoga pants/ light wash low rise jean shorts with little tanks and flip flops/ bro attire. Hipsters guys with beards and girls with multicolored hair looking like a mixture of Brooklyn Flea with Nastygal.com but only the weirder bondagey stuff. People aren’t exactly that black and white but as a species we tend to look at people we don’t know and don’t plan on talking to in those exact terms.

So it’s a question of seeing if the Yuppies in Williamsburg will make things basic, or if the hipsters will revolt and boycott Starbucks. Hipsters aren’t a violent people, they will just talk shit about you with their hipster friends. Basics aren’t so much of a threat as an annoyance, and honestly their existence strengthens hipster bonds. But honestly, I think it’s too much effort and plenty of people are too busy with their angry blogs to riot at Starbucks. TC mark

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