Why It’s Okay To Be A Hipster

If there’s anything a hipster hates more (besides not finding a leak for the new obscure album), it’s being identified as an actual hipster. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had someone who was wearing jeans cut off at the knee and riding a fixed gear bike tell me, “Dude, I hate hipsters. They need to be wiped out!” Gee, fear and self-loathing in Williamsburg much? I get the resistance though. What once started as an ironic subculture has now morphed into the only culture—forcing people from all walks of life and interests to huddle under the same cultural umbrella. Today you can put two people together with wildly different styles and interests and still label them both a hipster. There’s nothing special about the title anymore. In fact, not being a hipster is now the most sub-culture-y thing to do.

I guess that’s why I don’t mind being called a hipster though. To me, being a hipster means being a twentysomething who wears cute clothing and likes sort of alternative music. The definition has become so watered-down throughout the years that it holds no real meaning. It’s just a giant blanket term for young people in our generation. I feel like very few people my age are exempt from the label. Actually, let’s try to figure that out. Who isn’t a hipster? Let’s  make a list!

  1. Bros. I mean, they really aren’t hipster. They’re very normal, very watching King Of Queens and listening to someone who isn’t Feist. I think they’re confused by us.
  2. Sorority girls. You might have the one chick who’s into Florence + The Machine and shops at American Apparel but in general, these girls are listening to The Fray and putting inspirational quotes on their Facebook. They think hipsters (girls in particular) dress weird and are stupid. “They don’t dress sexy enough for boys!”
  3. Your older brother. He thinks you look stupid and your friends are emo. He does NOT get it.
  4. Anyone who’s religious. If you’re a hipster, the only thing you need to worship is yourself. There are, however, exceptions. Hipster Christians are out there and they’re very scary. They buy things off Etsy, ride bikes, go hiking. All of the cutesy aspects of hipsterdom are adopted while the more sinful elements are ignored.
  5. I got nothing,

See what I’m talking about? Practically everyone falls under the category of hipster so please stop fighting it! It just makes you look more like a hipster when you do that. There are worse things you could be called. “Oh no, someone thinks I’m young, hip and attractive! Please stop with the name calling!”

Accept that this is your generation’s inheritance. I know it’s not exactly what we had in mind. We wanted to care about things and make a real difference just like the hippies did. Alas, that was not to be. We were destined to only care about ourselves, our technological gadgets, and occasionally each other. Deal with it. TC mark

image – David Shankbone

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


More From Thought Catalog

  • http://www.oneyearintexas.com Perfect Circles

    And let’s remember, this is the last year of using the term “hipster.”  Starting in 2012 we will begin “alternative” or some other term to be discovered.

    • hey

      my mum says “alternative.” she also doesn’t know how to use a computer.

  • Michael

    the inevitable hipster article.

    also. i am in love with you.

  • dengd00

    If you think being a hipster is the norm then you live in a tiny bubble.

  • http://www.facebook.com/krazykenzieXD Mackenzie Rose Walsh


    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EUL6B7WZUNAHGMO5KRCKZTGP54 Damen Handle

      ewww gross

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=612928768 Samie Rose

    This was pretty weak. Then again, with the title, anything short of a pure masterpiece would have felt weak to me.

  • LowerHaighter

    How can you be a hipster when you don’t have any hips?


    I think you’ll find once you leave your cushy, privileged bubble of middle to upper middle class America, (or Williamsberg/your local hipster slum, which is mostly actually just full of middle to upper middle class American transplants) you will find lot of people who aren’t hipsters.

    also, there are plenty of legitimate nerds who are not hipsters (the ones who spend less time talking about how nerdy they are and more time playing D and D/doing science/coding.)

    this article would have been less annoying if it had been funny.

  • Seikel

    So.Many.Goddamned. CHRISTIANHIPSTERS!!! AHHH!!! 

  • jack

    i appreciate this. i’ve had too many people try to have this conversation with me where they say well i’m not, but you are, but thats okay i don’t follow trends, its cool if you do.
    saying you are timelessly cool and saying you are above it all is obnoxious

  • http://brianmcelmurry.blogspot.com/ Brian McElmurry

    Hipster was a term used in the 50’s also. I think bohemian may fit better.

  • EP

    Beb, remember that there are exceptions to each of those rules/exceptions of people. I was in a sorority while simultaneously hunting down leaks to obscure albums/whining about how much better vinyl is than cd/mp3. It can be achieved, even if it’s close to impossible.

  • Lia

    ok well, i personally believe that the problem with the word “hipster” is that the people who are using the word “hipster” are simply not responsible enough to be using the word “hipster”. this is why you feel flattered when someone calls you “hipster.” these people don’t really understand what it’s like to care deeply about new music or books or film or poetry or veganism or WHATEVER. the person calling you a “hipster” is complimenting you on your UO etc. ensemble. and i guess it’s okay that this makes you feel good, but in all honesty, you should be careful because in a couple of weeks that person who complimented you on being hipster who you gave a positive response to will start feel like he/she is a hipster expert and will start cracking hipster jokes and making stupid memes featuring the Little Mermaid in Buddy Holly glasses. AND THIS SUCKS. because wtf is “finding a leak for the new obscure album” ??? errrr, sorry, but that’s weak. it’s 2k11, people. everyone knows how to use the internet. you can’t call anything that’s been reviewed on Pitchfork “obscure.” people don’t listen to music because it’s exclusive. unless they’re trying to be hipsters…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000642567777 Walter Price

    “I wouldn’t want to be called a hipster, but there’s nothing really wrong with it. To me, it can be just about exploring, or an openness to finding the best things.” – Stephen Malkmus

    • Guest

      “The best” 

    • spinflux

      Well they’re doing it wrong in the music area, and the attractiveness area. 

  • http://twitter.com/galette_rois Julian Galette

    I can’t be a hipster because I have rap on my iPod that’s still played on the radio. 

    • Anonz

      You’re just doing it to be ~ironic~

      • http://twitter.com/galette_rois Julian Galette


      • Anonz

        I’ll tell you a secret. I’m on your team.

  • http://somuchtocome.blogspot.com Aja

    I tell this to my friends all the time “Sorry guys, we’re hipsters.  Suck it up and deal.”  There’s a lot of denial there. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000642567777 Walter Price


  • Anonymous

    i see no problem with being a hipster or whatever anyone thinks that means, as long as you realize that you can’t really judge other people for their taste in music, fashion etc. that kind of makes you a shitty person no one wants to be around

    • idoitfortheluz


    • Guest..o

      but you can judge them on their personality, which sometimes dictates music taste and fashion. SOMETIMES

  • idoitfortheluz

    You are putting every 20something year old (minus who you mentioned) under an umbrella because you are lazy and don’t give a shit, which is, ironically (see what I did there?), very hipster of you. The world does not revolve around NYC and Billyburg. I for one would not like to be segregated into that class. If you could please just consider me a unique human, distinct from each other one, then you are will start to realize the full breadth of…fuck it.  TL;DR – I disagree.

    • christine

      “the world does not revolve around NYC and billyburg” um, TC is all about NYC so maybe you should go read something else. 

      • Stefan

        if the world does not revolve around NYC, and yet, the writers at TC have a general tendency to act as if it does – obviously the one who criticizes them for it is the one in the wrong.

        (also, if TC is “all about NYC,” it is less because it deals with subjects that are actually “all about NYC” and more because unimaginative writing leads to only being able to see the world through the myopic lens of “the city.” but then, I don’t buy your premise that this site really is “all about NYC,” so.)

      • http://twitter.com/galette_rois Julian Galette

        I’m not gonna lie, I do sigh a little bit when I open up another article that’s about NYC. It’s such a shame that there are so many varied authors of this site who should be contributing so many unique ideas that all get filtered through the lens of NYC and become murky.  

      • idoitfortheluz

        What Christine said: “TC is all about NYC so maybe you should go read something else.”

        What I equate her comment to: “This fuckin’ ‘Merica, ya for’ner! If you don’t like it, you ken git out!”

  • http://twitter.com/#!/w_i_l_l_a -w-

    Please please pleeeease write an article on some of the scariest humans I have ever encountered, hipster Christians! We were having a chilled (somewhat awwwwkward) conversation and all of a sudden they gasped when I said the f word.

    • Anonymous

      I think it’s important to note that not all Christians gasp when you say, “fuck.”

      • Guest..o

        i think it’s also important to note that not all Christians go to church, believe in God, or read the bible…
        wait, what’s a christian again?!

      • GUESTY

        Christians are gay

  • SippyCup

    Someone needs to come up with an updated version of the word “tool” because that’s really what we mean when we say hipster.

  • xra

    oh come on this is so new york tunnelvision

  • kp

    I’m officially submitting the term “Alt” into the twentysomething vernacular. It’s like ambiguous as hipster, but you can say things like “That is soooo Alt.”

    I’m kidding?

    • aaa


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jerrod-Crummel/1567119714 Jerrod Crummel

    “Oh no, someone thinks I’m young, hip, and attractive!” Yeah only a hipster would think that’s what they mean when they call someone a hipster. I choose to skip the vagueness the word hipster represents and call them, wannabe trying-too-hard to “seem” unique hippie tree hugging fags. But if I’m close enough, I save my breathe and strike them with a blunt object. There’s more than enough douche-bag in this world to go around. Knocking out 3 or 4 of them whenever I visit friends in a college town isn’t going to leave a noticeable gap.

    • anon

      you sound like a delightful person!


    While I agree for the most part with what you’ve said about people in our generation, I do think you’re leaving out a very critical aspect of hipster-ness. “Hipsters” in my mind are people who do things–listen to alternative music, shop at American Apparel, ride bikes, etc.–on PURPOSE. It’s about fitting in. You can fit in with the bros and sorority girls, or you can fit in with the hipsters. Anyone who doesn’t care about fitting in will usually fall outside of these categories. 

    And here comes the part where I defend myself from the hipster label (hah): I go to a good school, I read because I like it, I shop almost exclusively at Target and H&M because I’m cheap, I don’t listen to the radio but I ALSO don’t check Pitchfork. My fashion, music, and literature tastes are shaped primarily by my parents, my favorite tv shows, and my friends. 

    My “hipster” friends usually try a bit harder. Not that anyone exists in a vacuum–culture absolutely informs character–but there’s a definite EFFORT to meet the expectations when it comes to hipsters. “Check out my post-modern yet easy-to-manage hair style!” would be a good example. 

    Can’t we just like things because we like them? Am I sounding like a broken record?

    • dan

      sounds like something a hipster would say.

      • Huh

        right down to the “not that anyone exists in a vacuum”

    • Sunny15

      you shop at target and h&m because theyre cheap? Oh dear lord, WHY AM I SO POOR????

  • Chelsea

    i don’t know where you were going with your target audience on this one.

     everyone that reads Thought Catalog is a hipster themselves

    …..you don’t need to explain this to us.

    • Disaffiliate

      Ugh, it’s awkward because I read thoughtcatalog and I’m in a sorority….

      • Anonymous

        It’s okay, I’m in a frat. Fuck, I have an article on here.

        I’m a bro filled with contradictions. 

      • Damenhandle

        Is it a politically correct gay frat? Cause then you’re still probably a hipster.

      • http://twitter.com/galette_rois Julian Galette

        Do those even exist?

        And I guess I am. It’s a local to it’s campus so whenever someone asks what frat I’m in I do have to preface it with “You’ve probably never heard of us.”


    I’m always shocked when I hear a fellow, white, new yorker in their 20s drop the big H as a genuine complaint.
    I’ve never called myself a hipster, but I recognize how I must come off. It’s not when you’re another ex high school nerd who lives in a quickly gentrifying area of Brooklyn

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