Throughout the years young people have always been looking for ways to express their cultural background and view of the world and its essence. Sociologically that is usually achieved by forming groups that adopt a certain lifestyle, which usually varies from place to place and era to era.
In the 1960s and until the mid-70s, the world saw the wave of the Hippie culture. Probably the most rapidly spreading youth movement, that started in the United States and gradually took over the world. A youth movement, opposing to the harsh politics and policies of those years, that was trying to spread the message of love and tolerance.
In the late 1990s we witnessed that birth of one more youth movement that was at first named “Bohemian”. It originated in the United States and its name was given to it by the Times. It was the alternative youth, that was reviving and reforming elements of the Hippie movement only with more art and less drug abuse involved.
In 2003, Robert Lanham, published a book called “Hipster Handbook” in which, being a Williamsburg resident himself, he gave the Hipster movement its name and identity. He gave extended descriptions of the looks and even habits of a hipster, using terms as “mop-top haircuts”.
After that, the movement started spreading faster and it grew bigger and more diverse, moving from the States to Europe and even Australia. Countless magazines and papers, such as the Times and Utne Reader, jumped on the bandwagon of the Hipster judgment fad. And for the most part, all judgment was done justifiably.
But is being a Hipster all about pretentious attitudes, grandmother sweaters and hand held sewing machines? To answer that we need to take a look at the reasons of this movements existence and what it really means to be a Hipster.
In a world where for years, the model of a popular young person was the one of unreal beauty standards, with a degree but no intelligence and no passion for anything of real substance some people saw the need for a change. It was the same people that were named Bohemians and later Hipsters.
Being a Hipster is not really about the grandmother sweater but more about being able to wear it if that is what you like, and it is not about the handheld sewing machine but about styling and adjusting things to your own personal taste. Being Hipster means knowing new trends but being able to adjust them to all time classics that you love or even dismiss them completely if they are not a good fit for you.
So you may love it or you may loathe it, but the Hipster movement has been around since 1999 and is still growing and going strong in 2014.
It has been judged and crucified, and like every youth movement is has some people that are only in it for the trend, but it has definitely altered the way young people view all those things they were totally indifferent about in the past.