Published on February 25th, 2014 | by Kelsey Beier1
Are you a hipster? How do you know?
Tonight, my 32-year-old husband and I went out for dinner. At one point in our conversation, I asked him, “Do you think other people think you’re a hipster?” To this question he replied with a blatant, “No way.”
This started me thinking about the definition of a “hipster.” I questioned whether so-called “hipsters” know that they are in fact seen by the general public as hipsters or if they have already self-defined themselves as such. Do these hipsters even want to be seen as hipsters? I am almost positive there are some people who would like to be seen as hipsters but, due to their conscious effort to try to be hip, this behavior cancels out any potential hipness.
There are also probably some people, such as my husband, who may sometimes get grouped into the hipster category unknowingly, when really they could care less about how they are perceived by others. The difference is that actual hipsters care about what other people think of them and how they are perceived.
According to my husband, people with legitimate experience in the music scene, alternative punk scene, or food scene are not classified as hipsters because their hobbies or talents just so happen to be activities that are interesting, artistic, and cool, without any conscious effort. Contrarily, people who are solely into their trendy appearance or ultra original and indie façade would be classified as hipsters.
The tricky part about this however, is that a hipster would never admit to being a hipster. That would be way too un-hip. So how do we know who the real hipsters are? For example, the joke has been made that the line between a hipster and a destitute person can become a little blurry at times. I mean, if you think about it, the idea of being a plaid-laden penniless vagabond busker sounds pretty hip, doesn’t it?
The reason I asked my husband whether he thought other people thought he was a hipster is because, quite simply, he is a plaid-wearing, music-loving vegan. He has many other great qualities too, but the ones I listed here seem to be common amongst other hipster-like people. For example, before we started dating, I thought he was out of my league, as he was a few years older than me and somehow seemed too cool to be with an average north-side Edmontonian like myself. I just couldn’t put my finger on the nature of this cool factor he possessed. Maybe he’s just too hip, I thought.
So, I know what all of you readers are thinking. “Wait a minute. If your husband is potentially cool enough to be misinterpreted for a hipster at times, how did he end up with a non-vegan mediocre catch like yourself?” Well, to answer this question, as we started hanging out with each other more and more, we started to get to know each other for our true un-cool selves and his layers of hipness started to peel away as I saw him for the amazingly average but great guy that he is.
I guess we will never know the answer to the question of hipster identity, but I will take comfort in knowing that neither my partner nor I are hipsters, and we are happy with that realization. In a few years, when we have cute babies and dress them in little plaid shirts and baby slip-ons when we go to the Farmer’s Market to get our weekly organic vegetables, who knows? We could become that hipster family that everyone wants to be. But we would never admit it.
Photo Credit: Kelsey Beier