End The Elitism: Why Hipsters Are The Biggest Conformists Of All

by Sarah Kate Larsen

Hipsters, embrace your stones; don't throw them.

The general public consensus does not find the terms “annoying” and “hipster” to be mutually exclusive. Hipsters are annoying and annoying people are hipsters. But another popular generalization says that people who make fun of these “conforming youngsters” are also lame. How ironic, right?

As I scroll through my newsfeed, I often see articles about hipsters being clueless about the bands and the authors they glorify. Yet, when I’ve checked out the people posting the anti-hipster propaganda, often they seem to be hipsters themselves.

If you follow trends just to keep up for the sake of not being lame, how is it not in itself an act of conformation? If all you’re doing is criticizing the means by which other people digest popular culture and incorporate it in their lives (like herded sheep), you're being a hypocrite.

Stop the self-mockery. Own and embrace who you are, despite what you may endure from others. It's better than running from some silly title based on the fear of appearing uncool.

As Shakespeare eloquently put it, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." So, what's in a hipster? Flannel shirts? Thick-rimmed glasses? Knowledge of obscure bands and flaunting of ironic mustaches?

New York Magazine published "the Hipster represents not hostility to authority (as among punks or hippies), but a superior community of status where the game of knowing-in-advance can be played with maximum refinement."

Hipsters are hated for their ironic conformity to the desire of being non-conformists. Conformity of nonconformity… Have we inceptioned ourselves into a “cool” oblivion?

But many don’t even realize the origin of the word “hipster.” It was coined during the 1940's Jazz Age when the word, "hip" described the growing underground music scene. This counterculture of people doing what they enjoy begat the hipster.

Perhaps our generation should embrace the idea that a little bit of conformity can be a good thing. Enjoying yourself with like-minded people is what propagates culture. It's why we enjoy music festivals, conventions and art galleries. It's why I allow myself to revel in the label of a hipster — I happen to actually love most things associated with the stereotype.

Perhaps instead of mocking hipsters (or any other generational subculture), maybe we should assign a stronger focus to doing what we want. To embracing ourselves with pride, whoever we actually are.

Photo credit: We Heart It