Simultaneously hipster and not hipster

Down, down the dark spiral of "identity."


What do I tell people who call me a hipster, especially when they mean it as an insult?

— Beth

We understand hipsterism as a label that people (let’s call them “haters”) apply to people and things with which they do not agree or, more often, don’t understand. In a sense, hipsters can only be identified by non-hipsters, so if someone calls you a hipster, that automatically makes you a hipster.

Now, everybody knows that hipsters deny their hipster-ness, so any attempt to rebuff assertions of hipster status only confirms said assertions. However, since all hipsters deny their status as such, denying hipsterism is too mainstream. Hipsters, as you now, refuse mainstream activities, so hipsters can’t safely deny being hipsters. Therefore, if you say, “No, I am not a hipster, good sir!” you are being too mainstream and therefore are not a hipster. You could run counter to the prevailing culture and embrace the accusation, “You hipster, you!” — why should it be an insult, after all? — but since no hipster would ever self-identify as a hipster, if you agree with the person calling you a hipster, you are not a hipster.

By that logic, if someone calls you a hipster and you respond to that accusation, you are no longer a hipster. Remaining silent makes you into Schrödinger’s Hipster, simultaneously hipster and not hipster, but that’s no way to live.

Share / Tools

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • AddThis
  • Email

More from SDReader


Log in to comment

Skip Ad

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader