From Our Readers

Why I Can’t Be a Hipster

I will never be a hipster. Lord knows, I would love to be the adorable hipster girl constantly surrounded by a cornucopia of old (sorry, vintage) knickity knacks of equal parts irony and instagramability.

I used to exist under the disillusion that I had untapped hipster potential, but I’ve accepted that I don’t. There’s a fairy that glides over South Williamsburg tucking all the hipsters into bed and bestowing magical ideas upon them. That fairy is unfamiliar with the Central Jersey area. I write this for the purpose of telling all those who are like me, that’s it is okay. You do you, YOLO, be your own person. Hopefully the Hipster Illuminati will not off me for authoring this article of insurgence.

What follows is an enumerated recounting of my failed experiences desperately trying to join the church of hipsterism.

1.) Urban Outfitters
I go to Urban Outfitters, the natural habitat of the hipster. I can’t say I SHOP at Urban Outfitters, but I go. I only understand approximately 50-53% of their merchandise… Why overall shorts? Furthermore, why overall shorts for $98? Why am I to pay such a premium for clothing I was once mocked mercilessly for wearing as a young homeschooled child?

2.) Living in a State of Ironicism (Combination of cynicism and irony)
Anything I like, I like unironically. I watch the Golden Girls, because the Golden Girls are amazing and they inspire me to someday kill off my three best friend’s husbands so we can all live together and share clothes. I do not mockingly scoff at Justin Bieber for sport, I don’t care about Justin Bieber, so I don’t bring up Justin Bieber.

3.) Keeping up with “Indie” Music
It’s exhausting to not only know all the music, but to know it before all the other people. The second I’m patting myself on the back for getting on board with Bon Iver, it’s all like “Bon Iver? Nah, we are going to the Disco Biscuits”, and I gotta be like “Ohh yeah the Disco Biscuits… I’m so totally already over them that I don’t even want you to ask me to name one of their songs.” Then I resume listening to Coldplay, because Strawberry Swing is my jam and ain’t nobody got time for all this.

4.) Going Vegan
Is butter a carb?

5.) Being a Foodie
None of my foods are worth instagramming, not that that has ever stopped me. I really enjoy string cheese and Campbell’s classic chicken noodle soup.

6.) Giving off the “I don’t care” Vibe
I care. There is little to nothing that I’m indifferent about, I can rant on any given topic for 15-24 minutes. This can be exhausting. My ulcers are not hipster.

7.) Consignment Shopping
I could get on board with this if thrift shops emailed me weekly 15 “must haves” that I could just clickity click into an online shopping bag and have delivered to my doorstep, preferably with free shipping. I’m not a shopper by nature, I have a hunt and gather mentality… I need a sweater, so I buy a sweater. I have no urge to spend my weekends getting all hot and bothered over telephones that look like telephones.

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  • Alice Brooker

    Is Jessica Beckett a reader that submitted it or an editor? Curious to know if the readers have their names featured in the articles they wrote that are chosen?

    • Jess Beckett

      I submitted as a reader. It gives my name and links to my blog at the end. Thanks for reading!

  • Marina Press

    Everyone feels comfortable somewhere – and you feel comfortable in Central Jersey. Good for you. What’s really “ironic” here is that you are totally hip, reading and writing for HelloGiggles.. Your inclination towards liking SoulCycle is up there with organic produce on the hipster-meter. Your blog, the Penny Ledger, not only has an ironic title but also has a taxidermy deer’s head for a logo. As far as I’m concerned taxidermy deer’s heads are the pinacle of hipsterdom. As a matter of fact, your blog’s content is a cornucopia for all things quirky, ironic, and “obscure”. There’s nothing wrong with that, but, there’s also nothing wrong with being a “hipster”….just like there’s nothing wrong with being a “crust punk”, “metal head”, “goth”, etc. I think you’ve just grown up in a homogenous community and are too biased to be open minded…. but, I can be wrong.

    • Cristiane Rodrigues

      I don´t understand at all Urbam Outfitters clothes, so many shorts, so many flourescent colors, all they look like cheap clothes but are expansive.
      I am glad to know that I am not alone. But I do love cats!
      And just a note: Good news: you are a hipster. Or you would not write this article 😉

    • Jess Beckett

      I’m glad you read The Penny Ledger, I hope that you enjoyed it despite of/because of it’s hipster leanings.

      • Marina Press

        Oh Ms. Beckett! You seem to have completely missed the point of my post. I don’t give a unicorn’s horn whether or not something is hipster; unlike yourself who appears to be biased, and unjustly so – Christine here is right – you are a “hipster” because you wrote this article.

  • Patricia Williams

    To the back-sassing commenter:
    I assure you, Jessica may write like a hipster but she is nothing of the sort. Even when we try to push her in the direction of hip-Dom. I’m sorry for any confusion her writing style caused. And thank you for reading The Penny Ledger. 😉

  • Britt Bulens

    This is awesome! I agree with everything you said. I wish I could pull off hipster ;O)

  • Jessica de Ryk

    This article is great!!! Hipsters are a not-so rare breed these days because of places like Urban Outfitters… although I think they’ve always existed in the shadows.. it’s just that 5 years ago people didn’t know what to call them. “Hippies” or “Scenesters”. Post-punkers, perhaps. Those who listened to Interpol and Iron and Wine. It seems like the current “hipsters” are constantly evolving..lately going for some kind of goth/70’s infusion which is cool. Whatever. Do your thang. I just hate how they all act like they don’t care yet every hipster I’ve ever known in fact cares too much. Like over the top on the care scale. Just admit order to keep up with this ever-changing trendiness you NEED to give a sh*t. With that said, many of my good friends fall into this category. And it is as if they were born with some special “skill” that allows them to look cute in anything high-waisted, one-pieced, loafed, or cropped. I myself can 100% relate to you. As much as I would love to care to not care to care and be in the know with all of the latest uknown..that’s far too much to ask of me. I would rather spend my time playing Plants vs. Zombie’s and watching The Walking Dead in black and white than scavenging for vinyl. I do enjoy the occasional thrift-hunt but usually for kitchen-ware. If I find some knit ear-warmers that’s a bonus.

  • Menaka Shanmuganantha

    This is hilariously written!! My only quarrel, is that hipsters don’t shop at Urban Outfitters anymore.. it’s owned by a large corporation which has managed to elicit mass appeal.

  • Andrew Futral

    South Williamsburg is where the hassidic Jews live in brooklyn. East Williamsburg is where the hipsters live. Also Hipsters wouldn’t be caught dead in an Urban Outfitters. If something is massively popular like Urban Outfitters (a billion dollar company) or Instagram (another billion Dollar company) then chances are it’s not something hipsters aprove of or at the very least appropriate as part of their identity. Bands you haven’t yet heard about that only sell music on casette taps and play in illegal venues, stores with completely insane unsustainable business models and cocaine are the things you should be attributing to hipsters. They should be made fun of but it should be done correctly.

    • Frances Locke

      This so hard. These things hardly seem hipsterish to me, your list is way better dude.

  • Sarah Keeley

    Jessica Beckett is the funniest and coolest person ever and I bet she can still rock the overall shorts.

    • Jess Beckett

      I don’t have the BMI for overall shorts. But thank you

  • Elizabeth Ann Young

    I love this oh so much. Long live the penny ledger

    • Jess Beckett

      Here here! :)

  • Ashley Murray

    Being a vegan shouldn’t really be part of this. It’s a very ethical and compassionate life decision that is made. Mostly because the horrors of factory farming are stumbled upon.

    • Jordan Weaver

      Not at all what this article was about.

  • Julia Valdez

    Is anyone else tired of this subject? I’m really sick of listening to conversations and reading about what is and isn’t hipster. Jesus, it’s just the cool style of the moment, in a few years, there will be another style and another label to make fun of. You listen to The Racontuers, wear vintage frames, have tattoos and work as a barista/bartender/bookstore clerk/retail cashier at Buffalo Exhange? That’s cool as long as you’re a genuine person and not full of yourself. There are plenty of much worse things to complain about. Like Betty Francis.

  • Cassie Hildebrand

    I dont care what all these over-analyzing goofs say, you hit the nail RIGHT on the head! Very accurate. Although I have to admitt most of the things you mentioned Im totally into, Id like to think of myself as someone paving thier own path, just being me. Though, I secretly AM jealous of those seemingly effortlessly cool hipsters! And I like their music…. how do they always find that awesome music….

  • Katelyn Meowchan

    Where in central jersey are you from?! I’m in Hunterdon County and the hipster fairy seems to really like it here. (no it’s just because all the rich kids have their parents buy them urban outfitters stuff) haha

    • Jess Beckett

      I’m from Central Jersey, by the Shore :)

      • Talia Stillman

        Central Jersey Shore represent! Or… not.. Anyways, I’m of the opinion that people always like trying to blend in with the latest trends, fashions, social styles. It’s human nature. What make the hipster regime so appealing is that it’s all, “be yourself, screw society, I’m indifferent” when in actuality, you’re still trying to conform to a mindset. Fail.

  • Nicole Wilwerding

    Hipsters–people who like thrift shopping, complain about billion dollar corporations, and yet always have the latest iPhone.

    And the music, man. I’m always three years behind everybody on the music.

    My fashion sense takes me into hipsterville occasionally, but I buy everything from Kohls or JCP on the cheap. I once made my fiance buy me a notebook from Urban Outfitters, and that’s about it.

    Meanwhile, my sister wears these gray flannel shirts from GoodWill for a couple days before she returns them and goes around barefoot, which is just not safe to do. She will cut her foot on glass one day, and it will get infected, and I will be like, This is why we wear shoes.

    • Jess Beckett

      Nicole, the comment about your sister made me lol. I do believe in the safety of the shoe.

  • Jessica Rohner

    Hipster is a trend just like all the trends we’ve had over the decades. People who have liked a type of music and style for a long time are now being called hipsters. It’s all about marketing and what’s in. In reality most of the hipster population is made up of the people jumping on the band wagon who don’t like drinking tea or thrift store or antiques. Soon the hipster phase will pass and all that will be left are people who have been a “hipster” their whole lives. I like this article because it’s true most people can’t be a hipster and should learn to be themselves.

  • Beckie Wilson

    well I suppose being from England that makes me almost hipster anyway; seen as my pores are made of 80% tea. But if you think about it, all of these things can be everyday norms to people and its annoying that just because it seems they are done in a certain order or in a certain way that they are suddenly part of a niche. I bet nearly every ‘hipster’ actually doesn’t do all of these things but is desperate to be branded so. In England we call people who listen to unknown music ‘indie’ ( I’m not sure about in U.SA) and so hipsters aren’t really original over hear. Your right about being yourself; its too much effort to try not to.

  • Ingrid Werner

    Honestly, you only have yourself – so who else and what else can you be? When you start to notice and celebrate what makes you you, that’s when things get fun because you know what? – you are unique and only you can be you.

    And if we all want to be hipsters – what’s really the counterculture in our society? If you wanna be unique, be you! Be proud of who you are, and take comfort and relax with knowing you’re enough!

  • Asha Galindo

    Did one of the comments say writing for hellogiggles is somehow hipstery? That just doesn’t make sense. The article is pointing out the ridiculousness of this “too cool for everything” culture, weather you call that being a hipster or what characterizations you have of what being a hipster is. Hello Giggles’ whole plan is to embrace all the different facets of being a girl, from serious to not serious and fostering a positive place for discussion and learning about different kinds of people. If that is what you think of when you think of hipsters then, fine, Hello Giggles is for hipsters even if we don’t all appreciate cats.

  • Jonathan Nathan

    I have never seen a more ringing endorsement of hipsters than this listicle. “Here’s why I can’t be a hipster: I’m completely afraid of everything even a little bit outside my comfort zone, I place basically zero value on the arts, I’m extremely lazy, and I don’t eat well.”

    Okay then. I’m off to buy some Chucks and a fixie, because I certainly don’t want to be whatever sort of person this is.

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