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hipsters are ok after all

Does everyone have things that they do in private that they don’t want anyone else to see? Probably. Carrie Bradshaw eats crackers while reading magazines in her kitchen. I dance awkwardly around my apartment thinking that I look awesome until I look in the mirror. I used to spend ages on making myself look really pretty then take high angle photos of myself before hiding them in obscure places on my computer. I don’t do this anymore, but it appears to have become quite a trend anyway. My younger sister has a photo of herself, on Facebook no less, of her wearing only a t-shirt, underwear and a pout.

In fact, it seems as though many of the things that used to induce defensiveness in the culprits are now being taken on as parts of people’s identity. The most obvious example is the ‘cool not to be cool’ hipster trend.  Suddenly glasses, science, awkwardness and lots of other stuff that was previously dubbed as being embarrassing, is cool. Just like how the emo trend made pain, darkness and wearing black trench coats pretty trendy. Then again, these trends only seem to appeal to some people, probably those who were predisposed to wanting to express themselves in these ways anyway.

It seems like these trends appeal to people below the surface level of fitting in. They allow people to feel more like themselves, and to be accepted at the same time. Even though the word ‘hipster’ may conjure up images of pretentious kids wearing high-waisted pants and with hair that has been carefully sculpted into quiffs, this trend might be a promising sign of what the future will bring. Of course, the trend is derived in part from previous fashions—especially from the 60s, aesthetically— but with the increase in forms of self-expression that we have at our fingertips now, it’s a lot different.

We are creatures who feel the need to be accepted and seeing people over the internet who are wearing, liking or consuming the same things that we do makes us feel that our ways are acceptable. Tumblr is interesting for this reason:  by using it we can create our own network of people whose tastes we like, made up of individuals from all over the world. Even if you live in India and the majority of people you see around you wear saris and plain clothes, you can stay completely in touch with the latest fashions through Tumblr and other blogs. You can also find out about other people’s opinions, books that people are reading and obscure genres of music and anything you like, really. This means that in this day and age we can totally diverge from the path that has been laid out for us. People living in homophobic societies can see that there are many places in the world that have no problems with homosexuality, so they start demanding the same from their societies. Artists can feel like they are supported by a community through their website, gaining a feeling of confidence through feeling accepted.

The hipster trend of welcoming obscurity and unabashed strangeness is just the beginning. If there’s anything weird that you’re into, try typing it into Google— it’s pretty unlikely that you’re alone! Maybe the days of hiding our strange habits are over… Or maybe a new wave of strangeness is just beginning.

By Emma Johnston

(Image credit)

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