Monday, April 20, 2009

Infiltrating the Hipster Regime: A Guide

“Hipster: One who possesses tastes, social attitudes, and opinions deemed cool by the cool. (Note: it is no longer recommended that one use the term "cool"; a Hipster would instead say "deck.") The Hipster walks among the masses in daily life but is not a part of them and shuns or reduces to kitsch anything held dear by the mainstream. A Hipster ideally possesses no more than 2% body fat.” - The Hipster Handbook.

The preceding excerpt paints a comical portrait of your everyday hipster. They generally range from age seventeen to twenty-five, and are a difficult wall-of-a-subculture to permeate. This guide will show you, in just a few steps, how to successfully join the ranks of the growing populace of hipsters.

Fashion is key when trying to attract the attention of a hipster. You must pay close attention to detail because every article of clothing you wear will be severely scrutinized. Always sport a decorative scarf when possible; function is of little importance. It should be noted that the uglier, and older, it is, the more recognition you will receive for said garment.
Knit hats, flats, and attempting to pass off a pair of tights as pants (see: American Apparel) is acceptable for females; males generally don a pair of thick, black, frames and a striped sweater. Carry a side satchel. Facial scruff is a bonus, and hideous piercings/obnoxious tattoos are mandatory for both sexes; however, practicing good hygiene is of nominal importance.

Educate yourself on the literary works of “The Chucks” (Palahniuk and Klosterman). These overrated, self-important, authors attract young hipsters like flies to honey, and it will come up at some point in casual conversation. When discussing Palahniuk, do not allude to anything from Fight Club; it would be considered far too mainstream. Stick with “Choke”.

If you don’t smoke, start. Choose a low-quality, over priced, brand such as Camels. Turkish Golds are a particular favorite, and have pack at the ready when milling about hipster-populate areas; there is always a possibility that one of them may “bum” off of you, giving you a chance to open conversation.

As I mentioned earlier, piercings are a very important part of the transformation. They must be visible, and unflattering. A septum (looks somewhat like a bull ring) or surface piercing (generally a stud lodged in the top few layers of skin on the cheekbones, arms, wrists, etc) is your best bet. Tattoos should also be visible, and you should take careful consideration when choosing a design. Stick with some version of koi fish, or swallows. You may alter them slightly, but be ready with an elaborate, sentimental story about said tattoo if inquired about by a hipster.

“Lurk” around local, independent, coffee houses. These are prime spots for “casual” run-ins with hipsters, as hoards of them flock to these havens in the evening to discuss philosophy, or peruse the internet on their macbooks. When you approach a hipster, be sure to have an excuse at the ready; the most efficient would be “do you have matches or a lighter?”, but use caution when approaching two or more female hipsters together, as they are less likely to welcome an intrusion.

Go Veg. “Going veg” is a popular term among hipsters that refers to the phenomenon of transitioning into vegan/vegetarianism. The majority of hipsters turn their noses up at the sight of anything that is either deep-fried, or once had a mother. McDonalds is off limits, as well as any other popular fast food chain deemed acceptable by “normals” (i.e. mainstream consumers). Do not allow yourself to be seen in public with a hamburger or nuggets in hand, and if your income allows, try to do the majority of your shopping at a nearby co-op/natural foods store.

Bicycle everywhere. If you own a car, do not admit to it. If your destination is over fifteen miles, take some form of public transportation under the pretense that you are attempting to reduce the amount of pollution and emission. Showing that one is seen being environmentally friendly in public is a large part of the hipster mantra (which is arguably somewhat of a hypocrisy, seeing as they are often spotted with cigarette in hand).

If you follow these few simple steps, you will be well on your way to becoming a bona fide hipster. Like all things we must overcome, this will take time and practice, but in time, your hard work and dedication will eventually yield favorable results; however, your quality of life and any taste in art/music/literature will dramatically decline. Happy Hunting!

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