Before I even start this article I can already hear the grumbles of disgruntled humans all across the internet. Do not be mistaken, I in no way dislike or condemn the hipster movement, I just have trouble digesting it.

Long before ‘hipster’ was a word added to the millennial vocabulary, people all over the world were swaddling themselves in warm jumpers and reading poetry while nursing a large cup of coffee. The hipsters were the people whose personality just couldn’t be confined inside of them – it ended up leaking out in the form of crazy hair colour and questionable fashion decisions.

While stereotyping is something to be wary of, it’s not a stretch to say that people’s hobbies and passions shape who they are as human beings. Many people who are passionate about sports are generally more likely to wear work-out gear on the daily, or go jogging disgustingly early on a sunday morning when the rest of the word is rightly asleep. Those who love art can be found perusing galleries while wearing clothes that would turn Iris Apfel’s head. It’s no secret that people use their dress sense to show the world who they are and what they want to express. Are they outgoing? Shy and retiring? Or do they like to stand out and be a little weird?

I’ve always loved large jumpers and have been an avid writer since I was a child. However, I always thought this was a little uncool since I never really seemed to fit in. I was never very good at sports and preferred to sit in the back during drama class. I drank tea by the gallon and hardly ever wore makeup, letting my freaky white-blond eyelashes fly.

It wasn’t until my early twenties that I began hearing the word “hipster” being whispered; a breeding ground for mass produced individuality. Suddenly it was cool to be different, to turn your back on the mainstream. However, if you happened to look at all alternative, people snorted at your beanie and notebook as you sat at a cafe. The word “pretentious” dripped off their lips, ready to fall into their freshly brewed coffee.

I felt utterly confused. How could something be cool and uncool at the same time? I grew shy about the things I liked, and became wary of expressing my hobbies. The once peaceful corners of the earth that had long since been left alone were now crowded with people and the heaviness of stereotypes waiting to be cast. I felt a little cheated. I finally had a place where I could feel more myself, more at home, but at the cost of looking like a sham.

No matter where we look we see these societal double edged swords both saving us and snubbing us at the same time. The term ‘basic bitch’ was coined on the back of the success of Starbucks and has become something people are both proud and ashamed to be associated with. While half of Instagram is filled with women proudly sharing pictures of their soy macchiatos, everyone else is either belittling them or purposely not sharing such pictures, scared of being falsely labeled. And let’s not get started on how socially conscious people are unfairly stereotyped – feminism in particular is still often seen as a subsection of grumbling, hairy-legged women as opposed to the strong movement it represents.

Humans, by nature, are pack animals, so it comes as no surprise that we feel more comfortable grouping people together in order to find where we belong. I have to wonder, however, if we would be better off simply allowing people to go about their lives enjoying what they love and expressing themselves without fear of being pigeon-holed, for better or worse.

Even now, in my mid-twenties, I feel wary of expressing myself in case I am stigmatized with the negativities of stereotypes. Many may say, ‘Well, just care less about what others think,’ and to an extent, that’s very true. If I paid less attention to the opinions of others, perhaps I would be much more comfortably me. But really, is wishing for a more accepting world something so wrong to hope for? I don’t think so.

Image credit: Hipster Barbie lives her life authentically one staged photo in front of a plain wall at a time…

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Naomi

Hey, lovelies! I’m Naomi, an aspiring novelist and blogger currently trying to adult in Japan as an English Teacher. Originally from the beautifully rainy country of Wales, where I grew up speaking in Welsh and falling in love with nature, folklore and the art of storytelling. I spend most of my time writing and working on my blog, where I talk about mental health, feminism and lifestyle. An avid tea drinker, I spend a lot of my time hunting for Vegetarian-friendly cafes and good tea; nothing is worse than a disappointing cup of tea. I have been reading Love From Berlin for a long time now, and I am so overwhelmingly honoured to be a part of the wonderful community that Rae has created in this small corner of the internet.

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  • I feel this when I’m taking a picture of my coffee at a coffee shop with my camera; what’s going through my head then is that I don’t want people to think I’m a hipster or a basic bitch… It is a double-edged sword! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    • The struggle is always so real in coffee shops.. I relate. But keep up the good work! | Sophie Colley LFB Social Media Intern

  • Yay! Fuck stereotyping!

    • Fuck yeah! I dig the attitude, keep it up! | Sophie Colley LFB Social Media Intern

  • Love the point about something that initially made you feel like “hey what I like is cool now!” suddenly became “oh it’s cool and also I get criticized for it all in one swift swoop of judgement”.

    I was voted “biggest hipster” as a joke award when I graduated from highschool. Literally everyone in my grade labelled me as hipster. It wasn’t a critique, so I rolled with it and embraced it, but now that I’ve done an undergrad and am doing a Master’s the label feels way less acceptable and I cringe when friends say “oh yeah you’re still such a hipster!”…. nope I am so much more!!

    Thanks for this post!

    • So glad this post resonated with you and glad to hear how you’ve grown over time! Love it! | Sophie Colley LFB Social Media Intern

  • When I was younger I was very much uncool but was allowed to love all the uncool things I was into, then it formed into hipsterness and as a teenager I sneered at people “faking” being uncool and taking up my space. Now I’ve simply stopped giving and shit and have decided to just to whatever makes me happy and try not to worry about how people will view it.
    Everything comes with a stab from a double edged sword now, too into something and childish, not into something enough and a faker. Labels and “hipocracy” make it very easy to judge people. I wish for a more accepting world but the world right now isn’t going to stop me enjoying myself.
    Loved this post :)

    The Quirky Queer

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  • Sophie Lee

    This is so well-written, stereotype sometimes can really be a knife that stab into our soul

    Sophie, All about trendy hats

    • Naomi really hit the nail on the head with this article, glad you related with the content. | Sophie Colley LFB Social Media Intern