My friend is writing an essay in which she must define hipster. We spent a while this morning discussing the topic, and i've been spending the last couple hours trying to define a hipster. So I figure I will put my thoughts down in all their chaotic wonder.
By my definition, a hipster is faux coolness, anybody who tries to be cool. Hipsterdom is full of try-hards who simply want to be seen as cool. It all begins when an individual observes a separate individual being cool. This coolness can come from music, movies, literature, fashion, brand names, basically any goddamn thing on earth. The observer sees this cool person and desires to emulate them in order to be cool themselves. It's all about insecurity leading to imitation. Hipsters are not actually cool people; instead, they simply try hard enough to be cool so that other insecure and observant individuals notice them. Thus begins the cycle of the hipster. Hipster has definitely become an overused stereotype of all things hip and cool. There seem to be a million different types of hipsters as well. This is due to the nature of being cool. Cool, or at least what hipsters would define as cool, is entirely subjective. Hipsters will focus on looks and other superficial things, like taste in literature, movies, and music. They think that those things are what make somebody cool. They are entirely wrong.
Being cool is not a superlative that describes a favorable taste in music, or a terrific fashion sense. That is the mistake of the hipster: too much focus on looks as a way to achieve coolness. Instead, being cool is transcending all superlatives. Genuine cool people don’t give a fuck about their level of coolness. Genuine cool people listen to whatever, wear whatever, and read whatever. They are not focused on public perception when doing these things. They recognize the unimportance of focusing on arbitrary tastes, and as such they don’t care about those unimportant things. Cool people will never own up to being cool. That would go against the code of coolness: not caring. Hypothetically, a cool person would listen to Nickelback and not care that anybody thinks they are the worst band ever (I have not yet found any evidence of anybody cool ever liking Nickelback, however). Hipsters only desire to be like cool people, but are never able to channel their inner cool due to their misguided means of achieving coolness. They fail to realize that coolness comes from attitude. Are hipsters like cool people? Sure, a good hipster can act like they don’t care. But if all they want to do is act cool, maybe they should just go to Hollywood.
To try and sum up the definition of hipster in a sentence: Hipsters desire to be cool, but can never be cool because they are too busy focusing on what it means to be cool. It is an easy path to fall into. I have hipster tendencies. Most people have hipster tendencies. People like for other people to think of them as individual, cool, and original. It’s only natural to be a hipster sometimes. But in the end, trying to be cool is a winless battle. It will go and go and go until you stop it. You can't try and be cool. We people just need to realize that most of us just aren’t that cool. As soon as we realize that we aren’t cool, we can stop caring about being cool. Only then will we be cool.