It seems like everyone these days is subscribing to some brand of hipsterism and to be honest they look pretty happy happy about it too. So, asks staunch hipster avoider Urmee Khan, would my life be better if I joined in?
I once asked a super fashionable New Yorker if she liked being a hipster. This model-cum-photographer-cum-blogger looked horrified and said: "Don't call me a 'hipster' - it is SUCH a derogotary term and implies conformity and a pre-packaged look."
I nodded like I understood. But I didn't really. So I weighed up the pros and cons of hipsterdom and here's what I found.
CON: It's a pre-packaged look - you can get the entire hipster kit in Urban Outfitters. Complete with t-shirts emblazoned with phrases like "Build A Bridge And Get Over It" or "Some People Are So Poor, All They Have Is Money".
PRO: Vintage fashion, plaid shirts, plimsolls, jaunty hats, black-rimmed glasses for those with perfect eyesight - it's not all bad. Plus, it would be easy to get dressed in the morning in the standard kit.
CON: Skinny jeans, difficult to pull off without a skeleton bodytype.
Here's the problem with hipsterism: we have reached a point where it demands a slavish conformity that doesn't so much as undermine it as threaten to suck it downwards with such force as to make it collapse in on itself like a black hole.
Being a hipster is now no more than a tickbox exercise. One that rather than improving my life would reduce it to one restricted by the mindnumbing rigidity.
Compulsory tight skinny jeans in a range of colours? Tick. Regular Vice reader? Tick. Career-threatening tattoos? Tick. Support from bank of Mum & Dad? Tick. Work as a DJ/model/blogger/jewellery maker/musician/artist? Tick.
The London hipster scene is still predominately found smoking outside various fake speak-easys/Proud Gallery/Boxfresh pop up shops/Shoreditch.
But current hipsterdom can be encapsulated by the likes of Cara Delevingne and her dead-behind-the-eyes glare and her standard hipster wardrobe. Not to mention the moronic acolytes you'd know the name of if you were an actual hipster.
And you what really gets to me? Despite pretending to be poor, they all have the latest gadgets and time to create Tumblr accounts on French bulldogs that look like Ryan Gosling. They live in dingy flats in trendy places like Old Street (yes still!) 'Stokey' , near 'Vicky' park or Camberwell, while being heavily subsidised by the parental unit.
The depressing thing is that given how long ago Nathan Barley was – it was broadcast in 2005! - you'd think they would have hit upon something better, cooler, fresher. Mormonism? Environmentalism? Naturism? No, and despite being an identikit army wearing the same frayed headbands and denim cut-off shorts, they remain impossibly smug.
CON: Even if I was to get on this bandwagon, I might not get that sweet hipster high - the smugness can perhaps only truly be experienced if you a have a trust fund and a Dalston hovel above a kebab shop.
PRO: You get sit on the pavement in your onesie and take pictures on the sepia setting on your instagram of the kebabs on the paper plate.
So, in response to the question would my life improve if I was a hipster? Do you really need to ask?
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