Campus News

Hipsters on campus

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Not too long ago I was watching a men's Bethel basketball game with a friend and my friend’s friend. My friend’s friend, let's call her Debra, was dressed in an interesting knit shawl and was wearing classy thick-rimmed Ray Ban-esque glasses. She was trendy or at least different. At one point during our conversation, Debra mentioned “hipsters.” I tried to play it cool and act like I was familiar with what a hipster was, but really I didn’t have a clue. Debra talked about hipster culture and what being a hipster is all about. After doing a little research at and interviewing those who fit the stereotypical “hipster” mold, I have a better understand of what being a hipster is all about. This is what I learned. Hipsters are an emerging young crowd who fall somewhere in the 20 - 30 range. Often hipsters can be found in large metropolitan areas like New York, Chicago, Williamsburg and San Francisco. Apparently, being a hipster is a state of mind supplemented by a unique fashion sense. Some hipsters shop at resale stores to help define their vintage look with authentic used clothing. In addition, hipsters often enjoy obscure indie-style music -- nothing on the billboard 100 because that's what normal people listen to. Hipsters also usually strut the latest unpopular clothing styles and are constantly trying to be different by doing the next big thing before it’s the popular thing to do. Junior Landon Oyer believes being hipster is all about being different. “To me a hipster is someone who is constantly trying to set themselves apart from the norm,” said Oyer. “For example a guy who dresses trendy, tries to listen to the most obscure music created and pretend he likes it, and deviates from the normal path.” When asked if he considered himself a hipster Oyer had this to say: “It depends on whose definition,” answered Oyer. “I try to dress with my own trendy style, and if that's what being a hipster is than yeah, I am.” This is what some other students who fit the hipster profile had to say. Freshman Bess Lyons said she considers a hipster to be someone who listens to indie music and dresses in the same style as their favorite band member. Lyons also noted hipsters usually buy their clothes from resale shops and the style often has a vintage look. “I wouldn’t consider myself a full-on hipster but I would say that I have some hipster like qualities about myself, such as the way I dress sometimes and the music I listen to,” said Lyons. “I would definitely say I dress like a hipster and do share some of the same ideals of a hipster but would not completely consider myself a hipster,” said freshman Brandon Ellsworth. Ellsworth even has a pair of “hipster glasses.” He loves to shop at Urban Outfitters, a popular and swanky shopping destination for hipsters who are buying new clothes. On a musical level, Ellsworth said he likes to find the newest music that no one has ever heard of, not the stereotypical stuff you will find on the pop charts. As far as being labeled a hipster, Ellsworth said he prefers not to be labeled anything. “I am who I am,” said Ellsworth. Spoken like a true hipster if you ask me. Freshman Seth Shively said being hipster means a lot more to some people than it does to others. In addition, Shively believes people should not carelessly throw around the hipster label. “You must really get to know a person before you could ever get to the point where you might be able to apply it correctly, but at that point why would you ever need a label for them?” said Shively. I agree with Shively. The whole idea of labeling a group of people based on their clothing, state of mind and their ability to be different is a bit amusing. How can you be a hipster, which essentially is all about being trendy and unique when you are just like all the other hipsters? But what do I know? I only know I’m not a hipster. My musical taste includes Coldplay and Wiz Khalifa. For those of you who don’t know, those aren’t unpopular indie acts. I wear flip-flops with socks and last time I checked, that never been cool or trendy. Also I don't shop at resale stores to be vintage or unique. I shop there because I'm broke. So if you see someone trendy rocking threads from Goodwill or Urban Outfitters and listening to an unknown band, it’s probably not me, but it might be a hipster.
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