How to Be a Hipster

How to Be a Hipster

The rise of hipsterism in recent years is one of the more interesting American social phenomenons. The word is not new — a stage performer and musician named Harry Gibson invented the word “hipster” in 1940 as part of his stage name — but we’re dealing with a new breed of hipster today. Unlike the 1960s, when a “hipster” was often a hippie, wearing tie-dyed clothes, peace signs, smoking dope, and not working, the hipsters of today are a more commercial lot. Let’s look at ten easy steps you can take to become a modern hipster.

1. Eat like a hipster

Today’s hipsters tend to fall into one of a few different camps when it comes to food. There’s the anorexic hipster, more concerned with drinking obscure beers and listening to records you’ve never heard of than actually putting nutrition in his body. Then there’s the vegan hipster who will gladly shell out $50 for a three-day supply of seitan but scoffs at the idea of paying 99 cents for a song on iTunes. Finally, you’ve got the ethnic-food hipster, the hipster for whom a hamburger or other traditional American food is like poison.

The best way to eat like a hipster — make up a series of complex dietary restrictions then guilt everyone around you for not following them.

How to Be a Hipster

2. Drink like a hipster

Most hipsters are functional alcoholics. You could put the coolest indie rock band on a stage, the most obscure act anyone’s ever seen, and as long as there’s $2 longnecks at the bar, the floor of the venue will be empty. But you can’t just go drinking any old thing. Hipsters tend to prefer microbrews, obscure European ales, and iconic (and “ironic”) American beers. Of special interest to hipsters is the venerable Pabst Blue Ribbon, or PBR. If you own a bar and you want the place crowded with hipsters, sell PBR by the can and watch the awkward hipsters waddle in by the dozen.

3. Dress like a hipster

The hipster uniform consists of a few basic pieces. First and foremost, you need to find skinny jeans. I’m not talking about jeans that fit you that happen to have skinny legs — we’re talking about your ten year old sister’s jeans that you’ve somehow pulled over your ankles. Top the skinny jeans off with either an ironic T-shirt (“Virginia is for Lovers!”) or your older brother’s old grunge flannel. You’re not quite done.

Go out and buy the most expensive sneakers you can find, the gaudier the better. Let your baby mustache grow in, muss up your hair, put on the ugliest pair of glasses you own, and BAM — you’re a hipster. Remember that 90% of being a hipster today is your look, so don’t hold back when it comes to dressing the part.

4. Talk like a hipster

The hallmarks of hipsterism are irony and sarcasm. The more ironic and sarcastic your humor, the more “indie” you’ll appear. Hipsters are unmoved by anything, even the news that their favorite blogger is eating at the Thai place next door — exciting news should always be met with a slight wave of the hand and a deep, existential sigh. This love for irony and sarcasm poisons everything about the hipster, from their supposed yearning for all things avant-garde to their appreciation of pop culture. Talking like a hipster means assuming you are better, smarter, funnier, and more experienced than anyone around you.

5. Shop like a hipster

There are two schools of thought on how hipsters shop. On the one hand, they seem to gravitate to resale shops, Salvation Army stores, Goodwill, and any place they can buy lots of clothes for very little cash. At the same time, it is common to see hipsters in fancy clothing stores, buying high-end coats, accessories, and especially shoes. There’s something ironic (there’s that word again) about wearing $200 Air Force Ones with your dad’s old lawn-care jeans and a pair of military-issue eyeglasses you won in the LOLcats blog contest.

6. Think like a hipster

This is maybe the most dangerous step of this whole process. Thinking like a hipster will generally make you become a hipster. That’s because hipsterism exists mostly in the mind. To think like a hipster, you should smoke a ton of weed (preferably an organic indica-sativa hybrid with an outrageous name like White Widow or Blue Dream) and then start telling everyone about your feelings. Thinking like a hipster is generally best avoided altogether, even by hipsters.

7. Dance like a hipster

The easiest step of this list — dancing like a hipster essentially means standing alone in the middle of the dance floor and appearing as if you’re not dancing at all. Be disengaged, disinterested, and (above all else) invisible.

8. Work like a hipster

The modern hipster work ethic has little in common with that of the hippies of the 60s. For economic reasons alone, hipsters have to have 9 to 5 jobs. It just isn’t as easy to get by without working today as it was in the 60s. However, there’s some important features of the hipster work ethic that must be outlined. As with all things hip, choosing a job on the basis of its irony is key. If you’re a hipster going to school twice a week to become an anthropologist or whatever, you should find a job that screams irony, like flipping burgers at McDonald’s or working in a daycare facility. It’s just the hipster way.

9. Smell like a hipster

Avoid bathing until absolutely necessary.

10. Pretend you do none of the above

The most important aspect of life as a hipster is denial — deny that you are a hipster, deny that you eat, think, breathe, dance, and talk like a hipster, and reverse the charge against anyone who decides to call you a hipster. The last part of your mission to become a hipster is to learn to deny your hipster lifestyle, to pretend that “everyone lives this way”, and be prepared to defend yourself. Not with your hands, because, you know, that might hurt, but by assaulting the other person’s taste in music.

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