Hipsters: They’re Not That Bad

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College is all about labels – fratboys, nerds, lax bros, sorority girls and of course, hipsters.

But really, what does the term hipster insinuate? We all know what it is but the term has been used so much that the definition has gotten very broad. For instance, some would refer to a guy wearing skinny jeans and a floppy hat to be a hipster without really looking into his interests. In other cases, fans of anything but mainstream radio music would be labeled as hipsters. 

Hey, it’s also pretty common for people to refer certain fashion and pop culture material to be a very hipster thing because it seems to be "obscure" regardless of how widespread it actually is. Really though, hipster simply refers to people being hip.

By that definition, the term "hipster" would mean a person that shows such characteristics – if you think of it that way, the word doesn't sound too bad, does it?

Then why is it so problematic? One reason is that people use the term in a derogatory sense to describe others that enjoy different or seemingly stranger things. 

"It's to delegitimize the set hipsters’s preferences in clothing, music, or lifestyle," says Anthony Fantano, an acclaimed blogger who runs a music blog "The Needle Drop.” 

Do "hipsters" enjoy certain things because they contrive their own taste to soak themselves into something they seem to like? 

"When you do some light research, it's very easy to find information showing that someone's preference in music has so much to do with their race, age, where they come from, gender, (and) their genetic makeup," says Fantano, refuting the notion.  

It is also important to note that, because everyone is all relatively different from each other in tastes, people are basically all "hipsters" to each other – it is a term that makes more sense being used in relative sense to individuals rather than grouping a giant group of people with various tastes in one. What does that come down to? Basically, everyone is everyone else's "hipster."

Bottom line: people enjoy different things. There is no reason to stereotype certain mass of people in a group and call them names. You have made this mistake before and (admittedly) so have I. 

And why not expand your pop culture horizons and look into something else than what you already enjoy? If you are an avid mainstream music or film fan, try looking into a little more underground materials – if you are more of an "indie" fan, try looking into something more popular! Unleash your inner hipster guys, and embrace his hipster ways.

Junior > Journalism > University of Maryland

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