10 Signs you’re a true Hipster.

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Update: Just when you thought craft beer couldn’t get any more hipster…


(Click above for Hipster Buddhist)

“…the term ‘hipster’ originated in the 1940s, and was used to describe jazz afficionados, characterized by their “dress, slang, use of cannabis and other drugs, relaxed attitude, sarcastic humor, self-imposed poverty and relaxed sexual codes.” (en.wikipedia.org)

In Defense of Hipsterism.

Update: a rebuttal.

Hipsters aren’t all good-looking stylish superior trustafarian talented lazy party-addled self-doubting snobby multi-sexual artistes. Just the ones you read about, and Alex.

The media has a thing out for hipsters. And, frankly, hipsters have been asking for it.

But we got a problem here. We got a problem of definition: everybody who seems like a hipster denies being a hipster, which koan-ally is a sure sign of being a hipster.

I’m not talking about such hipsters. I’m not talking about style. I’m talking about function. I’m not talking about surface. I’m talking about inside, out.

I’m talking about the Original Hipster (what could be more hipster)?

The media doesn’t like Today’s Hipster. Everybody loves to hate today’s hipsters: they’re too-cool-for-school, they’re jerkfaces, they’re memes, they’re insecure wannabe sheeple wearing skinny jeans bought from department stores using mommy’s Amex.

But true hipsters? They’re artists, they’re entrepreneurs. They can’t be classified, goddamnit: they’re oddballs. They care about our environment (thus the old tee shirts and tote bags and buying less and direct-trade coffee, and enjoying it for-here)…which has never been cool, except for 2004-2005. True hipsters care more about quality of life and how they spend their dollars than being rich or getting things or shopping. The whole thing about trustafarianism? It’s so much harder to be truly yourself, weird and beautiful in your own way…so if you’re born in the wilting shadow of Rich and yet manage to be yourself, I applaud your hipsterism.

So remember: the original definition of hipster predates even Jack Kerouac’s angel-headed hipsters of the late ’50s, and goes back to the early days of wild, free, crazy, fully-feeling jazz.

The original hipsters were anything but cool: they were hot, vulnerable, passionate, wild…they went all-in on life…they let it blow (as Kerouac said) all the way.

The original hipsters studied Thoreau and Zen and the Bhagavad Gita and practiced yoga atop a shed atop a mountain atop Big Sur and cried and sang and drank too much and did all manner of things, because it’s impossible to catalog the activities of a group defined only by what it searches for, not what it has found. by its warm individuality, not its cold conformity.

~ @waylonlewis (on Instagram, man)

10 Signs you’re a Hipster. In a Good Way.

1. You prefer to (always) bicycle or walk or bus instead of driving your own 3,000 ton black-blood fueled chariot for your 100 to 200 pound body.

2. You read labels. Your eyes dilate when you see an organic certification, and narrow when you see “all natural!”

3. You don’t count calories. You count how many days a week you work out. And by working out, you mean “climbing” or “yoga” or “mountain biking” or “road biking” or “hiking”* or “kayaking” or “snowshoeing” or “skiing” or “snowboarding” or something human-powered, generally. You don’t like plugging in your bicycle and walking in the same place in sweatified, toxic, un-cocooned air.

4. You like formal, romantic, old school dates…but you arrange them by text. And, just as often, a date goes under the guise of “hanging out” or “doing something” like bowling, music, party (VIP party is a bonus), or the aforementioned *hiking (dogs = bonus points).

5. You drink coffee. You drink more coffee. You drink more coffee. You drink tea. You drink pu-erh. You don’t drink mate anymore. You don’t drink kombucha anymore. You don’t drink bubble tea. You do drink smoothies, and instagram them.

6. You instagram everything, because it’s the quickest way to water your social media streams while preserving your life for your future children while still having a life (because instagram enables you to auto-populate your tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter. You don’t have Pinterest).

7. You wish you could shop at Urban Outfitters but you don’t (everything’s made in China, see #2, and the place is GOP-owned by a Santorum donor)…except for that one time when…you went to walk your dog around the place because they’re dog-friendly and the men/women who work there are hot/style-inspirations and you don’t have an office, you work in a café so hashtag UO is a good place to get warm while you’re on your cracked iPhone and…you found a khaki hat that’s made in the USA. Instead, you shop vintage at Buffalo Exchange, or the true hipster valhallas: thrift shops.

8. You don’t want to get married because you love being single and you’re okay with loneliness but you want to get married when you have children.

9. You rescue dogs and cats and are vegan or vegetarian and you will not buy things you love because they’re not ethically-sourced and you definitely vote and you supported Obama way back in 2006 when no one supported Obama anymore (before he had a great enemy like Mitt and everyone came around) and you consider the farmers’ market with sun and local food and grounded farmers with beautifully worn hands like living mahoghany to be the the best place ever and you live downtown and live on your (mac, duh) laptop because you want to make millions of dollars for good and you have a big moustache or if you’re a girl long-cut straight bangs and put make up on the edges of your eyes like Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra or you wear bright, bright, bright colors or you eschew tattoos ’cause they’re so mainstream now and besides they aren’t vegan or you do other things I can’t think of because I’m not enough of a hipster, though I’m one of few hipster wannabes. Everyone else is too busy denying they’re a hipster.

10. You deny being a hipster.

Your denial of being a true hipster involves saying “even though I…” many times.



Want to be a true, if self-hating hipster? Read this. Know who she she is.

True (original) hipsterism isn’t privileged.

It’s accessible. It’s actually about living life affordably, and prioritizing the fundamental joys of life.

So if you want to find it, don’t go shopping for it. Read Dharma Bums (get it used or at your library) by a creek on a Saturday. Support Unions and the middle class. Volunteer. Work your ass off to build something awesome and useful and eco-responsible—entrepreneurs may be the last great rebels among us. Raise a child to be kind. Bike or walk to work instead of burning oil borne of suffering. Boycott plastic to-go cups. Drink for-here and slow down, and get your money’s worth by really appreciating your coffee. Support mindful, independent companies. Engage in non-aggressive activism and meditate, each morning, to tame your own speedy busy monkey mind. Don’t mistake fashion for integrity. Sound your barbaric yawp. Laugh at yourself. Don’t make perfect the enemy of the good. Communicate openly about difficult things. Take responsibility first. Garden, a little. Support local community, when possible. Xeriscape. Save the cold water you run in your shower, waiting for hot, and water your plants with it. Use less TP. Boycott palm oil, by any name. Go vegan—if only for a meal or two a week.

Look up at the sky, right now, and breathe in and out deeply.

Being alive, or awake, or hip to life—being present—is good stuff. And it can’t be bought, generally. And when it can, it’s conscious consumerism—and it changes our world for the kinder.


Here’s an 11th sign: you’re a member of…

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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.

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anonymous Feb 28, 2016 1:45pm

What goes around comes around…as a person who has done most of the things on this list, albeit thirty years or more ago, I suppose I'm a hipster? lol Just makes me laugh…let me tell you, no one thinks you're cool if you're over fifty and have multiple tattoos, even if they are thirty years old and you got them done before it was cool. No one cares if you've read "On the Road", because we all read it back then and while some of us thought it was amazing, there were those of us, like myself, who while thinking it was amazing also thought…seriously? I'm staying home! I don't dislike the younger generation, I have four grown children and love the crap out of them and think they're the shit, of course. But they will have their own experience, as we have ours, and "On the Road" is a book we can all learn from, no matter when. It's eternal. For goodness sakes. Give those young folks some love. We all need it.

anonymous Dec 31, 2015 9:42pm

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anonymous Dec 10, 2015 6:03pm

Oh no, I better go work on my coolness. I only qualify because of the environmentalist mindset. Otherwise, I failed in this hipster quiz. 🙁

anonymous Dec 10, 2015 2:53pm

“…the term ‘hipster’ originated in the 1940s, and was used to describe jazz afficionados, characterized by their “dress, slang, use of cannabis and other drugs, relaxed attitude, sarcastic humor, self-imposed poverty and relaxed sexual codes.” (en.wikipedia.org)

anonymous Dec 10, 2015 2:42pm

A hipster is a true one,if you even bothered to read “On The Road” or delve into the culture that founded your hipster ways is a hippie they were the hippies of the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s 70’s and then 2000’s we seemed to skip the 80’s as it was more of a money driven decade, thankfully or you brats wouldn’t have trust funds to live on. We the people do not dislike your generation because you’re “hipsters” we dislike the fact, you do not do anything original and in the process put every other generation down, by ironically wearing our clothes from styles we made, to our music which we broke barriers and or built upon while giving the credit where credit is due to our predecessors. We dislike the uppity know it all attitude when most of you haven’t had to go through one hard thing in your life, such as work. The world is more messed up now then when I was younger and yet these same kids who care about this earth and its inhabitants aren’t marching or protesting they’re just sitting back saying how they’d run things but not actually making any change! My generation was the first to grow up with no war, yours was the first grow up with terrorism, and yet as we all know the youth is what exacts change in america the 60’s- 70’s are a great example of this, you have a chance to really make a change and you do not contribute. This is why we dislike hipsters.
You want to be a real hipster instead of just dressing like one with a shitty attitude, then on top of your rescue dogs , btw all my animals have always been rescues form my first malamute at 7 directly form a shelter about to be killed, i didn’t know that until later, so you’re not the first to even do this but that’s fine, please keep it up, so on top of rescuing dogs and cats all your idea i might add a new fad.. smh how about protesting gathering in numbers and telling our country we don’t want GMO’s or Donald Trump or more importantly Drug use , the drug abuse not pot Heroin is killing your generation so fast that this article may become unnecessary. Yet no one from your robotripping, bathsalt smoking generation seems to care. .
So while you drink your coffee and think of a new app to put our children into an even more binary coma, and you update your twitter hashtag & instagram photo of that latte you’re sippin’ maybe you can think a little more outside the box and help our whole world instead of just the tiny part you live in, or less about just you which contrary to belief the word doesn’t revolve around. And DO something!!! anything that is uniquely yours.. or build on and push forward from what we all left waiting for you. Then you can be real hipsters. Some may not understand you or your way of life, but at least your impact would be felt like the real”Hipsters” who came before you. The Make love not war, peace loving but fighting for Hippies..

    anonymous Jan 17, 2016 12:57pm

    I hope you find it refreshing to know that I’m a 20-something that feels the same way; the attitude of the armchair activist bothers me, causing me to leave social circles. But know that there are individuals and groups who fight for change. There are people who see injustice and work to resolve it. Sometimes these people are academics, sometimes they’re blue collar factory workers, sometimes they’re artists and seasonal workers and (dare I say) hipsters. They fight for inclusion, they are mindful of pronouns, they protest pipelines, they practice yoga and loving kindness, they drive a prius. Myself, and my friends, we are all hipsters–we will take the name for we appreciate it’s historical-cultural background of jazz and the beats–but like every other group in the world you ought not a whole group on some, or even the majority. I can say this, sitting behind a screen, acting as that armchair activist, but I would hope we could sit and have a conversation about it if that were possible; unfortunately, life now is too immediate, too fast, and we’re all connected much quicker, and on a much more shallow level. I hope you get to find some of us, the youth who want change, the youth in the spirit–not just the style–of the 60s.

      anonymous Feb 6, 2016 9:49am

      Then you are exactly just as Rox says: one of the people who sit around bemoaning the state of things for the sake of sounding hipsterish yet not actually doing anything about it!. Whats worse, your excuse- that the world moves too quickly these days to bother trying- with your statement: “unfortunately, life now is too immediate, too fast, and we’re all connected much quicker, and on a much more shallow level.” The thing is, this can actually be used to your advantage in advancing a cause and organising real action much more easily and quickly, yet instead you use it as an excuse to not even try and instead, leave it up to ‘the others out there’ such as the academics and blue collar workers you hope are doing it for you….

anonymous Nov 23, 2015 6:49pm

I got 8/10 am I a hipster? I do not think I'm a hipster! but am I in denial?

anonymous Nov 20, 2015 4:52pm

NO HIPPIES NO HIPSTERS NO FUCKING YUPPIES! Being that I am mixed race Native American Ojibway/Anishinaabe, I find privileged white people wearing headdresses extremely offensive! MY CULTURE IS NOT A TREND! The fact that Native American women experience the highest rates of sexual violence out of any group of women and the fact that white people continue to appropriate our culture shows their racism and ignorance. It doesn't honor me and I come from a line of hereditary Chiefs in my lineage. Honor my culture by respecting me, my tribe, family, deep and rich ancestry.

Read the article I linked below.

Go ahead and continue sexualizing American Indian and First Nations Women — http://fucknofetishization.tumblr.com/post/916975

anonymous Oct 19, 2015 11:00pm

I feel like all of these pictures that go with it though are very un-hipster, especially with the EDM culture references like dumb white people who wear native american headresses to festivals. True hipsters don’t advocate cultural appropriation of a persecuted people for their own vapid parties. Also, I’m a hypocrite because I do shop at urban outfitters when I need nicer looking clothes than the ones I find at Goodwill, which is also hypocritical because they are the real corporate since they hide behind an ethical sounding name. Not a hipster though! 😀

anonymous May 29, 2015 11:59am

Great definition lol
Funny and true.

anonymous May 28, 2015 11:19pm

The same thing can be said of the charms that hang on chains, or pendants on necklaces.
One of Geneva Mahon’s interests today is write articles about her experiences in dentistry and the
profession behind it. Luke covers this as well, telling you
exactly how best to set yourself up for success.

anonymous Apr 8, 2015 1:24pm

Basically a hipster is an anti Alpha male jock or corporate type. Anyone that's blue collar, in the military or white collar especially those that work on Wall St is not a hipster. If you're a nerd most llikly you can become a hipster. Though not all nerds are hipsters.

anonymous Jan 2, 2015 2:34pm

But if you love everything in UO because everything is made in China and you own an iPhone wouldn't that be EXTREMELY hypocritical? or should I say "hipstercritical"

anonymous Oct 14, 2014 10:15pm

An interesting aspect of the gameplay is that it utilizes

both third person and overhead views, and you can switch

between them with the scroll wheel on your mouse.

Kathy Bates gives a really well done performance and won both the Academy Award for

Best Actress and a Golden Globe. The data being relayed by the

machine is usually of an important or time sensitive nature which gave it the term “alert.

anonymous Sep 1, 2014 9:38pm

The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a 25 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views.

I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

anonymous Jul 9, 2014 1:45am

You had me all the way until the photos of white girls in native american headdresses. That's just racist, and I don't like that. At all.

anonymous Apr 21, 2014 3:32am

Kerouac's generation was the beat generation. They did not, in any way, resemble hipsters. Sorry, it's true.

anonymous Apr 9, 2014 1:38pm

I’m american indian

anonymous Mar 24, 2014 5:19pm

9/10. Wow. But I’m still not a hipster. Lawl.

anonymous Mar 8, 2014 8:14pm

Yea, but what’s up with the wack head dress pictures? It looks like your appropriating that, when it’s one of the most offensive and uncool trends alive today. Are these pictures satire? Either your blurring the lines or you forgot to make that clear. I like your message but that pic really itches the nervs. Surely in such a critique you could have noted that trend as the most tasteless hipster-wannabe trends that need to die. Or do you actually think it’s cool?

anonymous Jan 31, 2014 4:25am

I was never cool, and I doubt I will ever be. At least this is what I tell my son. Thoughts that ramble through my mind-

*This comment host just erased everything I typed- guess I'm supposed to pare it down.
*I never understood the whole "ironically" thing. Why would you want to live an ironic life?
*I prefer living fully. Still working on it.
*It's hard to tell the difference between your own dreams and the collection of feelings inspired by someone who is truly rocking it at what they are doing. Eventually, if we're lucky, we become our own crucible. I'm definitely still in self-cleaning mode, looking forward to when the door unlocks.
*Would a "true hipster" care about this list? One thought is there had to be enough ego to define a movement and exclude others, the other is that we find it nearly impossible to think without definition. My overuse of analogy is proof.
*The wearing of ceremonial garb- At first I had a WTF moment. First because the ceremonial kit was so cheesy, an obvious grab of spiritual consumerism, second because the gals wearing this stuff just exuded an air of "I have absolutely no connection to this…. FEATHERS!."
*I am not even remotely close to being a hipster. Confused, maybe, but nothing with such clarity as hipsterism. Denying it doesn't make me one either. Life is too short to concentrate on that.
* "What people think of me is none of my business. This is so freeing if you really get it.
* It wasn't horribly clear that these pics were douche hipsters. Though I am sleep addled, I think this might make me a dingbat.

On a side note, thank you for writing something that kept the weight of the world off my mind long enough to get tired and want to sleep. That is a sweet gift I know you didn't know you were giving me when you wrote it 2 years ago.

anonymous Jan 21, 2014 6:56pm

I have a vegan tattoo, so there.

anonymous Jan 21, 2014 1:03pm

Except for coffee. I'm a huge tea fanatic, but I never drink coffee.

anonymous Jan 21, 2014 1:02pm

Every single one applies to me oh my god…

anonymous Nov 13, 2013 4:23pm

Proud moment 🙂 not that I care so much for the hipster label, but usually in the small town where I live I don't match even one item on anyone's list about anything!! – haha So, I have the rescue dog (an extremely cute one that I rescued myself!), I always exchange high calorie food for exercise out with nature (never in an indoor establishment!!), I just love smoothies, cycle wherever I can (even though I get looked at as though there must be something wrong with me or that I just can't afford a car – I care not!) I LOVE everything about Urban Outfitters, if only it wan't Urban Outfitters but a shabby old outbuilding somewhere similar to a place called Snoopers in Brighton in England, where I used to live – Bliss…(hours spent drifting in and out of the awkward isles gazing at each unique and crazy item) I adore old school dates – free dates that don't cost a penny are the best. My iphone has a crack because I refuse to pay again to have the very easily breakable screen repaired – for the hundredth time! And lots and lots more 🙂 Oh yes, never getting married, always staying single- that is until my prince arrives bareback on his white wild horse and then marriage will be the most awesome thing on the planet.. and sorry for the rambling – just the simplest things can bring me the greatest joy 🙂 ! <3

anonymous Oct 20, 2013 7:14am

Why is there no conversation here and so much glorification here of massive cultural appropriation from Native Americans??

    anonymous Jan 25, 2014 7:32pm

    We're reader-created–feel free to submit. http://www.elephantjournal.com/submit and we'll be honored to feature your article. If you'd bothered to search before commenting, however, you'd see I'd written one on the issue years ago.

anonymous Oct 13, 2013 3:09pm

5 out of 10. I don’t drink coffee, married with a kid, drive a hybrid, but don’t shop. Was a vegan / vegetarian. For decades and now eat paleo and feel better even though my yoga teachers would probably disapprove, but eat all organic and grow our own. But really I am too much of a dork to really be a hipster. Plus I am sure I am too old now…

anonymous Sep 22, 2013 9:37pm

This is the most pathetic thing I've ever read. The one "true" sign of a hipster that made me mad the most was the last one; all hipsters want to be recognized that they are a hipster. Most of them sadly go out and buy these Native American hats and take these bizarre photos of cans on the ground and post it on Facebook just so someone could point out how hipster they really are. These people are searching for originality but, ironically fail because they all try to be the same. At my college, I see this first hand. Students walk around with cameras around their neck and don't know the difference between ISO and aperture. I find it sad. If you like riding bikes, riding bikes, and drinking coffee; you're not hipster, you're human! Labels are a waist of time and effort.

    anonymous Jan 25, 2014 7:31pm

    Labels can be important, and you're rude. So, you're a jerk. That's a label that helps us identify something. But, yes, I agree–labels are ultimately silly–you are not a jerk, you're just a jerk to people you don't know on the internet, sometimes. 😉

anonymous Jul 31, 2013 11:09pm

But please…. let's not wear native american headdresses anymore eh? It's really reeeaallly disrespectful and inappropriate and not in line with anything else that one might stand for as a 'hipster' or non-hipster for that matter. Go ahead and leave it at home on your way to the next social gathering. Pretttttty please <3

    anonymous Jan 25, 2014 7:30pm

    Do you find wearing kimonos disrespectful? I agree with you, but it's an interesting question. Are we no longer allowed to wear clothes from any culture but our own?

anonymous Jul 16, 2013 10:35pm

some of this fits me, am i a hipster? i haven't cared in a long time. if you care about attaching labels to yourself or others what sort of path are you on? no judgements here from me. i've just out grown that type of being

anonymous Jun 16, 2013 11:13pm

Social consciousness used to be identified as "hippie" not that long ago, while appropriating a pastiche of cultural identifiers used to be labeled part of the "alternative" lifestyle. Working out and doing yoga was something else… it's interesting how all of it has been subsumed under the "hipster" term and in general we have far fewer categories for everything as our whole culture becomes homogenized and decamped to two extremes – either gun-toting, Nascar-loving conservatives or urban, organic-food eating, vegan liberals. Thankfully, we still have nerds and geeks! I will always be a geek more than a hipster because I enjoy things "effusively" more than I enjoy them "ironically." Which is more in line with yoga, I wonder? But I reserve the right to be whatever I want whenever I want! I love this very wonky video about hipsterism from the PBS Idea Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3xe-Wxio1o

    anonymous Jul 7, 2013 3:07am

    Why put a label on anything?

    Just limits you

    Be good be giving be kind and mindful, but most of all be conscious of every thing you do

    That is Hipster!

anonymous Jun 16, 2013 7:52pm

I hate those people. Sorry.

    anonymous Jan 25, 2014 7:30pm

    Don't be. You're far from alone.

anonymous Jun 16, 2013 6:45pm

hmmm… so I'm not a hipster. Phew. I was beginning to get very worried – but when I saw the single, eschew tattoos (love em, and had a couple for a long, long time), I had to google pu erh! I don't have an i phone (it is NOT going to infect me) I use the phone I have for *gasp talking and texting – no photos and no bloody instagram & hashtags egh! Plus I'm very married -and love it and them and I'm over 40! That rules me out *skip, skip, skip
Mind you I really dislike 'categorizing' people by their lifestyles. (which is the nice word for judging)

anonymous May 2, 2013 8:28pm

[…] […]

anonymous Apr 18, 2013 1:47am

Not sure who did the collage for this article. Guess you assume there are no gay hipsters.

    anonymous Jan 25, 2014 7:29pm

    Some of my best friends are gay hipsters.

anonymous Apr 5, 2013 10:25am

The line "angelheaded hipsters" was written by Ginsberg in his poem "Howl." Not by Kerouac.
Yeah, I'm hipster.

anonymous Mar 27, 2013 6:48pm

[…] 10 Signs you’re a true Hipster. (elephantjournal.com) […]

anonymous Mar 20, 2013 9:46pm

[…] 10 Signs you’re a true Hipster. […]

anonymous Mar 13, 2013 4:07pm

[…] a related note, elephantjournal has a funny, satirical article about how to tell whether you’re a hipster or not. Apparently, denying it is a telltale sign! […]

anonymous Mar 3, 2013 11:52am

[…] Vegan Cash. Get some. […]

anonymous Feb 25, 2013 8:30am

El hipster de monterrey mexico usa playeras del triangulo invertido www(.)invertedtriangl3.com

anonymous Feb 24, 2013 4:10pm

I'm a hipster. I had to admit when I realized I understood all the jokes on Hipster Puppies. Werner Herzog? Check. Animal Collective? Yessiree. I totally judge fixies though. We invented gears for a reason – watch me plow up this hill lamo.

anonymous Feb 22, 2013 10:49am

[…] Waylon Lewis’s short article 10 Signs You’re a True Hipster, he attempts to rehabilitate the term hipster from its popular, negative […]

anonymous Feb 20, 2013 11:39am

I like the article but wanted to bring up the notion of the elitism that comes from even things like "ethically sourcing your purchases" When young people are working in an urban community context such as say, workforce development, youth programming or even art their is a context of cultural sensitivity – or understanding where people are and meeting them there. This is much different than embodying the belief that everything you do is ideal and that anyone who hasnt embraced organic or bicycling , local music scenes or thrift shops is inferior. The battle in my Pittsburgh neighborhood with hipsterism still lives deeply in classism and becomes evident in monetary resource availability amongst hipsters to buy building – that working class blacks and white couldnt buy – and dropping in resources of interest to only them. The gap continues to widen as more elitist-minded young people drive developers to them in order to cater to those hipster needs. Hipsterism is still negative because it represents an attitude of "im too cool to care" and many of us work hard to not be that person.

    anonymous Feb 22, 2013 8:16am

    Great points. I would however say that many of hipsterism's roots lie in lower and middle class values—saving money by buying old tee shirts at thrift, bicycling, buying bulk, and respecting the fair labor of others…nothing's elitist about that. This article was, in a fun way, trying to differentiate between the ridiculous hipsterism that is style-based and that which is ethos-inspired.

    True elitism is "more for less"—consuming the earth's resources without care for how those who made them were treated, or paid. That perpetuates poverty and the rape of our beautiful earth.

anonymous Feb 20, 2013 1:24am

[…] fact that there’s no punchline, no twist, there’s nothing unique or new added to the cliché. Yeah, we’ve got the Ah of recognition, but without the Aha, it just becomes a So […]

anonymous Feb 19, 2013 8:24pm

Not shopping at Urban Outfitters because they sell goods made in China? I'm all for that. But living on your mac? Macs are made in China (duh). Assembled by 14 year old girls who are sometimes chained to workstations and sometimes not but in any case are lucky to make 25 cents an hour. All this while Steve Jobs (when he was alive) and all the other Apple bigwigs were quietly becoming zillionaires. I'm not saying that Apple is the most immoral corporation in history, but it certainly rates. So if using macs and iPhones is hipsterish then I am happy to count myself among the non-hipsters. Bruce

    anonymous Feb 22, 2013 8:18am

    Right–amen. But again "the mindful life" is all about choices. If there's an alternative, choose the best of two. It's not about perfection, which, sadly, doesn't exist. Computers and air travel are far from perfect…but, right now, there aren't great practical alternatives. When given a choice–for-here or a to-go cup, bicycling or walking or bussing versus driving, local farmers' market food or organic bulk versus conventional fast food…then we can make the best choice we're able to enjoy.

anonymous Feb 19, 2013 8:01pm

As a guy who usually has snide, derisive comments to make about hipsters…..cool article.

But, 3000 tons would be be 6,000,000 pounds.

I think he meant to type 3000 lbs not tons.

anonymous Feb 19, 2013 7:17pm

Real hipsters don't give a rat's ass people call them hipsters. They certainly don't agonize over something as preposterous as neo-hispterism versus roots hipsterism. 😉

    anonymous Jan 25, 2014 7:29pm

    I'm with you, friend. I'm not sure I care about who's what, and what's what. But I do care about the roots and think the culture, overall, as I have defined it above, is doing some things worth caring about.

anonymous Feb 19, 2013 6:47pm

good question kmacku! I don't find the article offensive because I even posted that I found it humorous and understood it's purpose. I find the whole idea of taking culturally sacred symbols and using them as an accessory for a lifestyle without any context or honor to its original purpose and people to be offensive. The thorn in my side was saying 10 signs that you're the "good" kind of hipster juxtaposed to these images was confusing. Mostly I was making my own comment on my reaction and feeling towards the images themselves. I understand when writing and maintaining a forum like this, you come across those who wish to attack the author personally, which was not my intention. My other complaint is that I was immediately called out for my "supposed" lack of knowledge and activism on this topic. It seemed like a very personal and unnecessary response. I appreciate you're attempt to reach out and have an open dialogue about this subject and also your willingness to see it from both sides.

anonymous Feb 19, 2013 2:46pm

I think I was one of the “anonymous” accusers referred to in elephantjournal’s reply, so I have several things I would like to point out.

1. I absolutely understand that images themselves are not offensive (I’m actually a photojournalist), but the headline and the ensuing article was advertised as a list of how to know if you are a hipster in a “good” way. The article was clearly satire and well written satire I might add. The issue I take is with the accompanying photos which are clearly a demonstration of the negative aspects of hipster culture.

2. I was under the impression (after reading your article about your website staying away from “candy” or fluff pieces) that it is an open forum to discuss tough topics like this openly and with thoughtful feedback. Imagine my surprise when the author of the article personally called me out because he felt I was “accusing” him of something. I was merely pointing out a subject in the article that was disturbing. Intelligent debate ensued from other commentators but not from the author himself. Asking me if I have personally address these things in my life as he has in his seems very childish and the opposite of open dialogue.

3. Your website allows me to leave a name and an email, I cannot see how I could be less anonymous unless I posted my SS #

4. This subject is important and talking about it intelligently without mud-slinging is what I come to the site to do.

    anonymous Feb 19, 2013 4:57pm

    Hey Ash! Please allow me to ask for clarification: do you find the images themselves offensive, or the fact that they were used in an elephant journal article offensive? I fear Waylon may have read too far into it and assumed you were attacking the use of the images as opposed to the images themselves. I also accept that that *may* have been your beef in the first place too; if that's the case, well, erh…I think there's some things hipsters do that can lend themselves towards being offensive. That's how the pictures of them came about. I'll respectfully disagree in saying they're *not* hipster but are offensive. I find them both representative of some hipsters and offensive.

    I also find some art offensive, but I do not blame the gallery for holding that piece specifically, unless the gallery is fully saturated with art I consider offensive…then I simply don't patronize that gallery, or I try really (really) hard to wrap my head around my feelings towards said art and why I find it so. I'm not saying you have to do that here; this is just a single article, talking about hipsters, some of whom may be offensive, and have had pictures taken of them.

    Waylon is used to coming under attack for some of the things he posts. It's very easy to hear trumpets and prepare like it's an air raid. Hope that helps, and thanks for your comments!

anonymous Feb 19, 2013 12:47pm

Way — I feel like you're seriously skewed towards the hippie hipster in this. Boulder goggles. They happen.

    anonymous Feb 22, 2013 8:20am


    My skew is closer to the Gary Snyder/Jazz/Allen Ginsberg/Kerouac/Hunke roots than the Urban Outfitters Trustafarian wearing-a-knit-hat-in-the-summertime skew. I'm not particularly able to be cool or hip, so all I have left is trying to live a genuine life that's of benefit to others. It's more fun, anyways. 😉

anonymous Feb 19, 2013 11:49am

Fantastically written , well done. It was the most enjoyable ten minutes of my day! Thanks Waylon!

anonymous Feb 19, 2013 11:32am

I liked this article. It's one of those pieces where I find myself in a battleground of my own emotion… loathsome when I am flattered or inflated by something I shouldn't be, smiling in all the wrong places.

Ash has a point about the 'cultural appropriation as fashion' problem. Coral was pointing to it, too.

Myself I just well… am not particularly overjoyed by the idolization of anything. I feel like all of us waxing lyrical on the idea of what 'hipster' is or means or who the heck qualifies is a messy affair. We're just creating an incredible shrinking mould of a social category for the media and big business to target and bolster.

Fine, there's some good things, too. I said I like the article. I'm glad Yoga is a household word now. But there comes a point where you have to admit that it's all too cloudy. We're doing things not because we were initiated or called to them, but because our social milieu told us to.

Grossly over-exaggerated yes, but allegorically this is what I'm getting at:

Here's a magazine photograph of a bikini-clad and slim, physically fit girl in a yoga posture. Let's say Warrior 1.
In her mouth is a slender pipe filled with organic tobacco.
Her right hand holds a glass filled with a beautiful green juice. The other is extended skyward in a gesture of righteous offering.
Ceremonial feathers fan out from the crown of her up-turned head.
There's a bolded caption somewhere that reads, "Respect."

Right? There are a lot of things we could say are positive and largely negative about this for a mainstream publication. It screams: do Yoga! But does it respect Yoga? Not that I can tell. Juicing greens is great for you! But should you be drinking it to look like a model? Reverence through animistic ritual means is a beautiful way to connect with spirit. But is buying a pre-packaged ritual kit from a commercial clothing store really the means to an offering?

In its way I think the article is trying to point out all these things. The writer is trying to tell us what 'hipster' truly was before we started labeling it. For that I can't fault it.

It's the damn word 'hipster'. Let's just stop using it and start stimulating more discussion around where all these new pop culture symbols actually originate. Educate!

anonymous Feb 19, 2013 10:28am

cultural appropriation as fashion is not "hipster" or "edgy", it's sick and degrading. The images used in this article are beyond offensive. If being a hipster in a "good" way entails wearing sacred symbols as accesories while sucking on an American Spirit and talking about how free and sensitive one is, count me out. Just awful.

    anonymous Feb 19, 2013 10:48am

    Well said! That was my first thought too, and you articulated it better than I could have.

    anonymous Feb 19, 2013 11:28am

    Yes! I was shocked to see the images in this article. Not only do they contribute to cultural appropriation by turning cultures into a commodity, the images also perpetuate the over sexualization of American Indian and First Nations women. I agree with Ash, this is beyond offensive. And it's not something I would expect from Elephant Journal.

    anonymous Feb 19, 2013 11:42am

    Images are not offensive. They depict things. Our support of cultural appropriation would be offensive, and we don't support it, why would I? The images were mean to make fun of hipsterism, if anything.

    I've covered this question personally: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2010/08/no-its-coo… …raising awareness. Have you, anonymous accuser?

      anonymous Feb 19, 2013 11:50am

      "no no, it's cool, I was doing it ironically".

      anonymous Feb 19, 2013 4:11pm

      Please see my response a little further down on this thread. The strangest issue with this is the negative connotation you seem (correct me if I am wrong) to be attaching to the anonymous aspect of replying to these articles. I don't know how else to expose my anonymity . I left a name and an email, is there some other identifying characteristic you would like me to leave? I don't have a twitter or wordpress account. I guess you are asking me to sign up on your website, which I greatly enjoy, but I am hesitant for reasons outlined in my reply to your response. I will repost them here:

      I think I was one of the "anonymous" accusers referred to in elephantjournal's reply, so I have several things I would like to point out.

      1. I absolutely understand that images themselves are not offensive (I'm actually a photojournalist), but the headline and the ensuing article was advertised as a list of how to know if you are a hipster in a "good" way. The article was clearly satire and well written satire I might add. The issue I take is with the accompanying photos which are clearly a demonstration of the negative aspects of hipster culture.

      2. I was under the impression (after reading your article about your website staying away from "candy" or fluff pieces) that it is an open forum to discuss tough topics like this openly and with thoughtful feedback. Imagine my surprise when the author of the article personally called me out because he felt I was "accusing" him of something. I was merely pointing out a subject in the article that was disturbing. Intelligent debate ensued from other commentators but not from the author himself. Asking me if I have personally address these things in my life as he has in his seems very childish and the opposite of open dialogue.

      3. Your website allows me to leave a name and an email, I cannot see how I could be less anonymous unless I posted my SS #

      4. This subject is important and talking about it intelligently without mud-slinging is what I come to the site to do.

      This website has a vast wealth of knowledge and opinions about the world in which we live. I under stand that each person comes to this space with their own ideas/prejudices. I just think that maybe discussing the way we feel about these topics instead of comparing who has or has not done more to examine these issues, would be more beneficial to us all.

    anonymous Nov 28, 2013 7:27pm

    calm down

anonymous Feb 19, 2013 7:58am

i don't think a real hipster would wear a head dress. that's offensive.

    anonymous Feb 19, 2013 11:40am

    I've covered that personally, my anonymous friend: raising awareness on your important point. Did you check elephant before judging? No. That's prejudging, or, ironically, prejudice for short. http://www.elephantjournal.com/2010/08/no-its-coo

    The images do not depict "real hipsters." They're images commonly associated with hipsterism, which has many side effects, including cultural appropriation and complaining about First World Problems, and judging too quickly (again, prejudice, for short) via online, anonymous comments.

    anonymous Dec 21, 2014 7:10pm

    Yea I agree -.-
    It bothers me greatly

anonymous Feb 19, 2013 5:52am

wow, I score about 8 out of 10 on that list, so I guess I should just accept it already 🙂

anonymous Feb 18, 2013 11:23pm

S Lei HI-larious!

Ana M 8 out of 10 but no hipster here, ha!

Carolyn A sheez…just adopted a stray kitty too….while drinking a pot of coffee in my urban outfitters….

LB Yep not a hipster lol ;P

Guess I am a true hipster, who knew?!

‎Dario: 10 señales de que si eres Hipster de los 50s (hipsters buenos)

Brooke: This is awesome.

anonymous Feb 18, 2013 10:45pm

Um, Jenny? That isn’t a typo.

anonymous Feb 18, 2013 10:43pm

One example of ya’ll just trying too hard. Sorry, epic fail.

anonymous Feb 18, 2013 10:08pm

Most cars weigh 1 to 1.5 tons, or 3000 lbs. Just a typo, but I can't help it when my inner copyeditor flares up like that.
~ Jenny

anonymous Feb 18, 2013 10:07pm

Gee. I qualify more than I knew. Still plenty to aspire towards. Task 1A = own a bicycle.

anonymous Feb 18, 2013 9:53pm

Don't like soy? Don't think you qualify? You're in.

anonymous Feb 18, 2013 9:47pm

Apparently I don't qualify but I do drink coffee and smoothies. Got married and had 4 cats no kids. I don't instagram, yet. Did the Vegan thing for a few months then Mike was told no soy. I forget the other qualifications…my friends told me I have some strong nerd qualities but I don't own those, not as a nerd anyway.