How might one compare a San Diego hipster to a European hipster?
As depicted in my new favorite stock photo, “Young Hipster Best Friends Taking a Selfie in Urban City Context — Concept of Friendship and Fun With New Trends and Technology — Urban Alternative Everyday Life in Berlin European Capital,” the European hipster is an odd, hybrid creature. Peering out from behind her thick black plastic glasses, walking the urban streets in designer tennis shoes, the EuroHipster resembles our local hipsters like some king snakes mimic the deadly coral snake. The king snake gains the protection and security that only a paralyzing fear of deadly neurotoxin can provide. The EuroHipster gains what, exactly, by this resemblance? Precious little, indeed. No matter, the Weltanschauung of the EuroHipster sets him a world apart from the more familiar version — he is just so... chill.
Where the local hipster only works those four shifts a week at the local vegan barbecue joint to fund the touring schedule for his math-rock band, the closest the EuroHipster comes to professional musicianship is strumming an out-of-tune guitar for half an hour a month as a prelude to a springtime arts-and-music festival. Where the local hipster is deadly serious, the EuroHipster can’t be bothered. Instead of $9 for a single craft beer that ultimately lets him down, the EuroHipster pays 5€ for a six-pack of lukewarm lager, which he enjoys with unironic simplicity.
If the local hipster is an extremely immature adult, the EuroHipster is a child miraculously living an adult’s life.
Note: this distinction does not apply to English hipsters, who are much like American hipsters but with cheekier accents; and (some) German hipsters, who are somehow more like American hipsters than actual American hipsters.
The image of hipsters is definitely male with its earmarks: beards, flannels, craftsmen. Is it sexist? I’m lacking a complete image on the female side. There are the cute baristas in American apparel, and/or urban flairs of Southwest yoga pants, but there has to be more substance to this. Help me put my finger on it. I think the ideal lady hipster has an emoji tattoo. She has to be great with grammar, and…?
…and she must be the girl of your hipster dreams, and totally out of your league, but not in an intimidating supermodel way, more in a wow-not-only-does-she-have-a-sweet-tattoo-sleeve-but-she-knits-and-brews-her-own-kombucha-and-she-named-both-her-cats-“dog”-for-some-reason-but-you-love-it way, if that makes sense.
You’re right, though. There has to be more substance than that, because the hipster girl is more than just an ideal; she is a reality. Maybe she is less irksome than the stereotypical hipster guy, and therefore meets with less public ire. Perhaps she matured through to adult hipsterhood faster than the average hipster boy.
In the end, the truth is probably more that, much as I like to joke about it, there’s just no reducing people to convenient stereotypes, no matter how much we want to make things that easy. Hipster girls come in too many shapes, sizes, and flannel patterns to capture in a phrase.
For further reading on hipster girls, check out my column about real-world hipster girls versus hipster girls as depicted in popular entertainment.