When I first got my paws on So You Think You’re A Hipster? by Kara Simsek, I’ll admit that I was dubious. I imagined it might be one of those books that claims to make fun of a particular social group while at the same time embracing and admiring its qualities in a reverent manner. I’m happy to say there was almost no reverence to be found.
Which isn’t to say this is nothing more than cruel book that simply picks apart and makes fun of the hipsters of the world. It’s not just a mean girl ripping on a bunch of people who are unlike herself. It’s more like a super hip mean girl who can make fun of herself and her friends as though she were an outsider. But also she’s funny, so you’ll allow the occasional malicious remark to just slide on by. In fact, I’d venture to guess that author Kara Simsek would fall happily under one of her own hipster categories of which she makes so much fun.
The observations contained in the book are hilarious and entertaining and suprisingly accurate. It’s almost as if Kara plopped herself down in the urban wilds of New York, San Francisco, LA and London and studied the various species of hipsters in a Jane Goodall kind of way.
She takes you on a case-by-case journey of 50 types of hipsters, complete with illustrations (excellently executed by Paul Parker) of each different type of hipster, including: Trust Fund Artist, Fashionista, Film Maker, Vegan, Aspiring Novelist, Cupcake Baker, and more – like my personal favorite, Headdress Idiot.
As a former dweller of New York and a current dweller of Los Angeles, I can attest to the accuracy of the portraits painted, both verbally and illustratively. Obviously the book includes a lot of sweeping generalizations, but I was thoroughly impressed with how each type of hipster had at least one or two notes that I would be able to go, “Yep! Accurate!” And then raise a finger in a superior feeling of victory over how my dumb personal idiosyncrasies are slightly different than those of a hipster. Not tons. But enough to feel superior. Whoops. Is that hipstery of me?
The book also has sections dedicated to style, going over the various types of moustaches, hair cuts and tattoos one might find on a hipster.
If you wanted to nitpick, one might argue that the book covers hipsters not represented in their truest form, but the sort of hipsters that would shop at Urban Outfitters and buy a book about hipsters. But I think Kara manages to get those pseudo-hipsters in the end, quite literally. The final hipster case study is about the “Wannabe Hipster” and essentially takes to task these lazy pretentious pretenders.
This makes a great gift for yourself or the hipster in your life. Or the hipster-hater. Probably hipster-hater. Or also if you like cute dogs. Get this if you like cute dogs in fashion scarves.
So You Think You’re a Hipster by Kara Simsek is published by Dog ‘n’ Bone at £9.99/$14.95 and is available from www.cicobooks.com