Hipster culture a slippery slope to snobbery



The term “hipster” has been evolving and developing categories and subcategories since its jazz origins from the 1940’s and its reinvigoration in the early 2000’s.

Clear or circular wire frames have replaced thick black-framed glasses. Beards still remain in fashion, but straight razor fades are now the trending style.

In certain social contexts, I default as a hipster.

I graduated from art school, I post Instagram photos from ‘invite only’ events, I work at Urban Outfitters and I enjoy the company of like-minded folks in trendy cocktail bars.

Yes, it’s all very pompous sounding and sometimes it is pompous.

But hipsters have either taken the title as a glorious floral adornment, or have rejected it as if it’s taken on a derogatory meaning.

In some cases, it has become another division of class. Only people who can keep their Instagram feed alive with photos of their cappuccinos, regular trips in and out of the city, recent purchase hauls, or festival adventures can maintain this title.

Although a hipster persona is ageless, it’s generally perceived that Millennials make up the described hipster population. They are the baby boomer’s children with their parent’s money to spend.

And under the umbrella hipster term are the elite hipsters. They are the real vegan James Deans and the Courtney Loves of our day. They also happen to be my acquaintances, but even I feel uncool while trying to engage in regular conversations with them.

At their places of work, ordering drinks seems like a hassle since they’re the type of people that would rather spend hours selecting the right Mac DeMarco song on their phone than graciously help a paying customer.

But it’s not all bad. Some local businesses are thriving from a community who want to be part of an ‘it’ crowd.

In the past few years, coffee shops have multiplied, minimal-seat artisanal restaurants have flourished and independent retailers have popped up. They’ve all become a great addition to our city’s development and the revival of dishevelled areas such as West Broadway, which was once titled “Murder’s Half Acre.”

It’s been the Millennials and Generation Z hipsters who, in the past few months, have brought public art to once decaying walls with new waves of political social justice.

Without really knowing what the term means for everyone else, and still being wary of its formal definition – being called a hipster isn’t as terrible if you don’t actually care.