There was a time when oversized glasses made you dorky, shopping at secondhand stores meant you had no taste and listening to anything but Top 40 immediately deemed you 'uncool'. Today, it makes you a hipster -- or rather, just like everyone else.
According to Merriam-Webster, a hipster is defined as a person who is unusually aware of and interested in new and unconventional patterns; this usually involves eccentric taste in music and fashion. However, the notion has become so popular in current culture that hipsters are actually just a walking paradox.
Are you still skeptical? Here are a few signs that hipsters aren't so underground as they think:
1) Mainstream bands sell vinyl -- Record stores might still be hard to come by, but Urban Outfitters now sells an extensive record collection. What more, while sifting through The Black Keys and Lana Del Rey records, don't be surprised if you stumble upon a copy of Justin Timberlake's newest album, The 20/20 Experience. If pop music can be bought on vinyl nowadays, it's hard to argue that you're one of the few people who knows that music sounds better on a record player.
2) Indie bands produce hits -- Some of the biggest songs of the summer were turned out by formerly little-known bands. Perhaps a few years ago Vampire Weekend meant nothing more to most than watching Twilight on a Saturday night. Now, the indie band headlined several summer music festivals. Their song 'Diane Young' was among the most played on the radio. Such supposedly hip bands have been recognized in the industry as well. At the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards this past February, Mumford & Sons' folksy record Babel took home the award for Album of the Year. Indie pop band fun. won both Best New Artist and Song of the Year for their takeoff hit "We Are Young."
3) Thrift shopping is trendy -- We can all thank Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for this one. Ever since the pop duo released their song about popping tags, 'thrifting' has become increasingly popular. The song may have even spurred the growth of chain and designer-only thrift stores like The Buffalo Exchange.
4) It's cool to be 'hip' -- The numbers don't lie: hipsters really are mainstream. Public Policy Polling released a poll in May that showed 50 percent of voters 18-29 identified themselves as hipsters, according to The Washington Post. These polling results indicate the death of hipsters, for two main reasons. For one, hipsters are defined as being in the minority. Additionally, they're defined by their adamant opposition to labels. If half of people are hipsters and are also willing to label themselves as one... well, the truth is they aren't so 'hip' at all.
So what's the overall message here? Stop continually denying you're a hipster when you think you are -- the truth is that you aren't. In fact, nobody is anymore. The more people try to stand out the more they're acting like everyone else.
And while you're at it, stop pretending you don't care: apathy is never cool.
If you do like listening to music on records and shopping at Goodwill, do it for yourself, not for your supposed image.