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Hipster
Hipster

Hipster is a slang term which appeared in the 1940s. In the 1990s and 2000s it was used in various, sometimes contradictory ways, often to describe types of young, recently-settled urban middle class adults and older teenagers with interests in non-mainstream fashion and culture, particularly alternative music, independent rock, independent film, magazines such as Vice, and Clash, and websites like Pitchfork Media. In some contexts, hipsters are also referred to as scenesters. It is difficult to give a precise definition of "hipster culture" because it is a "mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior[s]." One commentator argues that "hipsterism fetishizes the authentic" elements of all of the "fringe movements of the postwar era—Beat, hippie, punk, even grunge," and draws on the "cultural stores of every unmelted ethnicity" and "gay style", and "regurgitates it with a winking inauthenticity" and a sense of irony.

"Hipster" derives from the slang "hip" or "hep," which are derived from the earlier slang "hop" for opium. The first dictionary to list the word is the short glossary "For Characters Who Don't Dig Jive Talk," which was included with Harry Gibson's 1944 album, Boogie Woogie In Blue. The entry for "hipsters" defined it as "characters who like hot jazz." The 1959 book Jazz Scene by Eric Hobsbawm(using the pen name Francis Newton) describes hipsters using their own language, "jive-talk or hipster-talk," he writes "is an argot or cant designed to set the group apart from outsiders."Jack Kerouac in describing his vision of the Beat Generation. Along with Allen Ginsberg, Kerouac described 1940s hipsters "rising and roaming America,... bumming and hitchhiking everywhere... [as] characters of a special spirituality."

In the late 1990s, the term started to be used in new, sometimes mutually exclusive ways. In some circles it became a blanket description for middle class and upper class young people associated with alternative culture, particularly alternative music, independent rock, alternative hip-hop, independent film and a lifestyle revolving around thrift store shopping, eating organic, locally grown, vegetarian, and/or vegan food, drinking local beer (or even brewing their own), listening to public radio, and riding fixed-gear bicycles.

In 2003 Robert Lanham's satirical book The Hipster Handbook described hipsters as young people with "... mop-top haircuts, swinging retro pocketbooks, talking on cell phones, smoking European cigarettes,... strutting in platform shoes with a biography of Che Guevara sticking out of their bags."Hipsters are considered apathetic, pretentious, and self-entitled by other, often marginalized sectors of society they live amongst, including previous generations of bohemian and/or "counter-culture" artists and thinkers as well as poor neighborhoods of color.

In early 2004, Gavin Mueller wrote an article entitled "Hipster or Not?" for Stylus Magazine which reflected on Robert Lanham's definitions of the term in the Hipster Handbook. Mueller argued that the "... hipster lifestyle is reduced to a pose, a pretense" which involves"..."a hipster costume, worn to appear "cool", a liberal arts education, and so on. He claims that the term "'Hipster' is far too vague and broad to have any semblance of essential meaning".

Hipster fashion is mostly DIY and thrift store, and often includes converses, skinny jeans, ironic (of course) tees, tatoos, peircings, and dark glasses. They listen to most indie or alternative music, but the moment they get the slightest bit of mainstream apeal a hipster would be the first one to drop them for 'selling out'.

Info from Wikipedia -except the last paragraph, which is mine-, image from deviantart.

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