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What Defines a Hipster

Essential Characteristics and Tips on What Defines a True Hipster

Wondering who hipsters are? Read the following article to find out who they are, what distinguishes them from others, and how to be like them.
OpinionFront Staff
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
If you ever spot a person who travels by bicycle or public transportation, wears vintage clothes, listens to indie rock or underground music, and drinks PBR or any other beer, he or she is probably a hipster. 'Hipster' is quite a confusing term as its meaning and the associated trends have undergone many changes since its inception.

The term 'hipster' originated somewhere around the 1940s and 1950s and was prominently used in jazz circles to describe people who listened to specific styles of jazz music. The word hipster loosely means 'cool'. Some also say that the word was derived from 'hep' or 'hop', which is a slang for opium. But today's hipsters have different characteristics and are not necessarily associated with the 'drug culture'.

Hipster Characteristics

There is no definite answer for 'who is a hipster' as the term is subjective and different hipsters follow different norms. But essentially, hipsters are a group of men and women in their 20s or 30s, who follow a different subculture or counterculture. They believe in independent thinking, progressive politics, and an appreciation for art, indie rock, intelligence, and creativity. Given below are some of the common traits displayed by the hipsters that distinguish them from others.
  • They are kind of rebellious and hence reject the attitude of mainstream society, such as, consumerism.
  • They believe and follow an independent culture and a somewhat bohemian lifestyle.
  • They also have a unique fashion sense. They generally wear vintage or retro fashion clothes.
  • Most of them sport messy hairstyles such as messy shag cuts or asymmetrical bangs, and their hair generally looks messy.
  • They are very keen on contributing to the development of the society and are often associated with various NGOs or volunteer for the same.
  • Most of them live a middle class or upper middle class life and are environment-friendly.
  • Many of them do not use private transport and gadgets such as cell phones and computers.
  • They love beer and coffee and follow vegetarianism.
Many contemporary hipsters are well educated and may have altered their lifestyle as per their preferences.

Tips on How to Become a Hipster
  • You must develop an attitude of a hipster, which is cool and downright carefree.
  • Listen to the right indie underground music that defines hipsters.
  • Awaken the artist in you. Many hipsters are creative and possess artistic skills.
  • Develop a strong sense of irony and sarcastic humor.
  • You also need to find your inspiration to become a hipster, as many hipsters have some idols. Once you find the right inspiration, you may follow their style.
  • To dress like a hipster, buy vintage outfits.
  • Accessorize with bracelets, necklaces, and rings, along with funky shoes such as converses, tom shoes, lace up vans, and heels.
  • Sport long, messy, and asymmetrical hairstyles.
  • Most importantly, never say that you are a hipster as you would look like a poser or a wannabe.
These were a few tips that would help you look like a hipster, but to actually be one, you have to get serious about the lifestyle they follow. You need to believe in their philosophy which is beyond their unique look and appearance.