Earlier today, Nicole forwarded me a hilarious/sad Craigslist ad from a “Failed Hipster” who was selling his $1600 fixed gear bike. To quote the ad:
“I tried so hard. I dated a girl from Portland. I criticized cheese. I applied the term artisanal to every inanimate object that went in or on my body. I burned and singed my forearms just to make it look like I was going to culinary school. I grew Carol Brady hair. I got itchy from the finest flannel and I cut off circulation from the waist down with jeans that made my ass look like an elevator button. . . .And I rode a fixie.”
First of all, I don’t trust anyone that self-identifies as a “hipster.” I don’t trust anyone who uses the term serious context, either. The only thing “hipster” describes is a broad style of dress adopted globally by 1/3 of young people. It’s not a philosophical lifestyle or a global movement of the people. It’s just a bland style. I’m not going to waste any time more time dissecting it, but you should know that I find it too nonspecific to treat seriously. The fact that this guy first remade his life to fit this supposed “hipster” ideal shows that he’s either super young or a little daft.
You know who tries to dress their way to a new identity? Teenagers. It doesn’t work for adults, and that’s why it didn’t work for our friend selling the bike. You should dress yourself in a way that you think makes you look good and in control of your life, but you shouldn’t expect it to do anything more than help you meet girls. Sure, fashion is a statement. But it’s ultimately a quiet and frivolous one. I’m just saying.
Our CL friend could totally have been tongue-in-cheek with the post, or could have been just writing it for the viral fun of it (people do that). But if he wasn’t, I hope he gets a good return on his bike. And I hope once he does, he doesn’t remake himself with a new identity, be it a Marina bro or rock-climbing outdoorsman or a year-round burner or just a plain old ‘80s throwback yuppie, because that won’t last either. No harm in trying new hobbies or seeking new groups to be down with. But new self-identifications are for kids.
Henry Goldman is the founder of yr an adult and apologizes for the 7 times he’s used the word “hipster” on this blog.