Sunday Special, An Oldie But a Goodie: How to (Not) Be a Hipster

Since I was so behind on posts this week (there will be two of each of the ones I missed this coming week. Or at least the normal amount. I don’t want to get ahead of myself), I thought I’d share this. I wrote it two and a half years ago, and with constantly evolving updates, it remains one of my favorite pieces. Written in the style of Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl.”


The most important thing you will ever learn about being a hipster is to never, ever, not if your life depended on it, say you are a hipster: saying you are a hipster negates whatever factor of hipster-ness you may have achieved and denotes you as a poseur, which is not something to be admired or worshiped or even acknowledged; you must scour vintage stores for hideous grandmother boots that you will convince all of your friends are beautiful and sleek and earth-friendly because they have now been recycled, and you are a recycler even though you buy plastic water bottles and sometimes throw them away when you feel lazy because you don’t really care about the planet at all but really you care about whether or not people think you care about the planet so you also carry around a reusable tote bag for groceries even though you buy more than one bag of groceries and you end up stockpiling the plastic ones but never using them; you also shop from stores like American Apparel and Urban Outfitters because they are vintage chic and give the appearance of caring about recycling; you must be a vegetarian and proselytize to everyone you know, but you also smoke cigarettes like a chimney and you stomp them out on the ground like everyone else, because, again, you only pretend to care about the planet; you must— at all times– no matter the weather or the occasion, be wearing a scarf, preferably of checkered pattern and black and white of color, but sometimes the color can vary, what really matters is that you are wearing a scarf; you should be wearing some wayfarer sunglasses by Ray-Bans but pretend that they aren’t Ray-Bans because you are not a consumer but really, Ray-Bans are the shit and you want everyone to know that you, too, are the shit; you don’t read the FML website because it is passe, you don’t really read Texts From Last Night either, you post and reblog everything you find amusing on Tumblr and always say you are FOREVER ALONE even though you’ve been in a committed relationship for two years; you have to listen to the most obscure indie music you can find that no one else has ever heard of and you must have the vinyl and not listen to it on a CD or, even worse, your computer, but your iPod is okay as long as you are wearing your checkered scarf and sunglasses with it, but really you should only be using the record player because vintage things are to-die-for and you recycle; you cannot care about what your hair looks like but it should be curly and some-what tousled in the I-just-had-sex-and-it-was-really-just-sort-of-okay way and it should be at least one day dirty so it’s oily but in a shiny pretty way and not in a disgusting sort of way and it should also be some shade of brown; you like the Twilight books and enjoy them and the movies ironically-in fact, you enjoy many things for their irony and think that “pointlessness” is exceptionally witty; if you do not have tattoos you must get them and they must not be of a Koi fish but instead a favorite character from a childhood book, most noticeably Where the Wild Things Are, or a line of text or simply one word on your wrist or forearm, something like “love” or “hope” because you hope and love and do other things of equal importance that you want everyone to know about for the rest of your life or until you can afford laser treatments; you don’t drink Starbucks but you are a voracious coffee drinker and only drink at tiny, privately owned stores that have mismatched furniture and old books and scraped wooden floors; you voted for Obama because you like Hope and you like Change but you don’t really give a shit about politics you just think Obama’s a cool guy; you went to Occupy protests but you didn’t let your peers know that your Mercedes was parked out back, you must have a guitar and you must play it averagely and sing in a monotone lullaby; you must also have a typewriter because you are a serious writer and serious writers don’t use computers or notebooks but prefer the model that Hemingway used; and, most importantly, more important than anything else you will ever do, you must never, ever, say you are a hipster. Because then you aren’t.



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