samedi 30 avril 2011

How to spot a fake hipster

Chers tous, 

Last week I published a post on this blog (in French) describing my disillusions with "A", a former American classmate of mine that, at first, I thought was different and interesting, but who turned out to be what I’m going to call a “fake hipster”. I met "A" back when I was an exchange student coming from France (obviously!) to the East Coast, and back when I was still fairly easily impressionable… "A" had blond curly hair that would fly in the wind when he was riding his bike on the campus main walk; he wore flannel shirts and vintage Tees, and he constantly carried an Olga camera dangling around his neck. In the world of hipsters, perfect score! But as I got to know "A" better, and with the help of my anthropology-student-best-friend-with-a sharp-eye-for-judging-character, I realized that "A" was a total fake! I have now been living in New York for three years, including in the East Village, a.k.a hipsterville, and I am well-aware that coming up with a decisive definition of the concept of the hipster is almost mission impossible. And too make things even more complicated, there is a very fine line between a hipster and a fake hipster. But let me try to give you a few hints that should help with not being fooled by another "A" coming your way! 

1. The fake hipster lives in Williamsburg… once upon a time the neighborhood of hipsterdom, now a place where apartment buildings look edgy only because an interior decorator made them look that way, and where French tourists go when they want to feel cool.

The hipster lives in a neighborhood that is still gentrification-free and comparable to the Bushwick of 2009, the Williamsburg of 2000, the Bowery of 1993, the Tribeca of 1984, the Soho of 1976, the Greenwich Village of 1952…

2. The fake hipster is pale and thin, he wears ridiculous glasses and a curly mustache… basically he looks like an Urban Outfitters sales person from 2011.

The hipster is pale and thin, he wears ridiculous glasses and a curly mustache… basically he looks like an eccentric clock salesman from the 1911s*.

3. The fake hipster buys polyester clothes for hundreds of dollars in vintage stores thinking it’s a good deal.

The hipster owns a sewing machine and knows how to transform her Midwesterner* aunt’s tablecloths from the 1980s into summer dresses.

4. The fake hipster wears a beard because his girlfriend got him “Dude No. 1 Beard Oil” for Christmas (price tag: 65 dollars for 25 mml)

The hipster wears a beard because he doesn’t need to shave every day.

5. The fake hipster follows a gluten free diet, not because of her allergies, but because it will make her look like an anorexic without actually being one.

The hipster is a vegan because she genuinely cares about cruelty towards animals, and the ban on foie gras is her new crusade.

6. The fake hipster would rather spend a small fortune on an organic fair-trade triple shot soy latte from a fancy coffee place than step foot into a Starbucks café… until he finds himself on a trip abroad realizing that the only place in the whole country where he can get his soy latte is at Starbucks.

The hipster makes coffee at home, and drinks it from a mug his girlfriend made for him in pottery class.

7. The fake hipster spends 300 dollars for a night at the Ace Hotel and feels that he's living like a woodsman.

The hipster spends 300 dollars on camping equipment and supplies for a week and feels that he's living like a woodsman.

8. The fake hipster learned to speak Spanish as a kid with his nanny from Puerto Rico.

The hipster learned to speak Spanish as a college kid back-packing in Latin America with some friends.

9. The fake hipster idolizes Vanessa Paradis because she is a French “bobo” and she is married to Johnny Depp, the multi-billion dollar pirate.

The hipster didn’t know who Vanessa Paradis was until he saw her reenact the finale of Dirty Dancing in The Heartbreaker.

10. The fake hipster knows all about the bands performing at The Coachella Music Festival every year.

The hipster knows all about The Vieilles Charrues Music Festival, and dreams of going every year.

11. The fake hipster doesn’t vote because all politicians are corrupt. He is a fake anarchist and an aspiring socialite.

The hipster votes even though he knows most politicians are corrupt. He is a true activist and an aspiring socialist.

12. The fake hipster buys art.

The hipster makes art.

See the difference?

This list can go on, leave your suggestions in the comments section or on the Marion en V.O Facebook page!

*Copyright: BR
*Copyright: JL

Recommended readings:
Why the Hipster Must Die from Time Out New York
Look at This Fucking Hipster Basher from the author of The Hipster Handbook
What Was the Hipster? from New York Magazine

In French:
Anti-héros : les hipsters sur Tracks de Arte
Rétrospective How to spot a fake hipster?
Easy Rider (Dennis Hopper, 1969)
Reality Bites (Ben Stiller, 1994)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Terry Gilliam, 1998)
The Big Lebowski (Joel and Ethan Coen, 1998)
The Virgin Suicides (Sofia Coppola, 1999)
Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe, 2000)
Memento (Christopher Nolan, 2000)
Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky, 2000)
Bully (Larry Clark, 2001)
Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly, 2001)
The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, 2001)        
Punch-Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002)
Before Sunset (Richard Linklater, 2004)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
Me and You and Everyone We Know (Miranda July, 2005)

11 commentaires:

  1. Item 1 : check. I live in Crown Heights. Maybe I am a little bit of a hipster then ;)

  2. Also, a huge part of determining who's a real or fake hipster is asking where he comes from. What may be a fake hipster in New York City is probably a real hipster in Chapel Hill, NC (where I'm from). The bigger the city, often the more obscure the hipster tries to be.
    Thing is, hipsters, "real" or "fake", are posers to me, because they try so hard to be unique, but resort to same tried and tested ways to fulfill that mission.

  3. Like your post and the way you wrote it! Living in Wburg, I recognized so many details :)

  4. A real hipster would have moved on from doing most of the things the fake hipsters are trying to do now, to maintain their uniqueness from the mainstream...they have probably had to resort to even stranger more obscure pursuits now. Or is it now that hipster is the new mainstream, the old mainstream is the new hipster? A hipster wouldn't be able to tell you though because they deny being one in the first place.

  5. Fake Hipsters listen to certain bands that make bad music to appear "hipster". Such bands might be Radio Head, Sigor Ros, Beirut, Johnny Cash (token country singer), The strokes, lana del ray, etc. Fake hipsters don't create anything artsy, but like to appear artsy. Real Hipsters may even listen to old timey music such as "The Carter Family" or bluegrass. Fake hipsters wouldn't touch Country music with 10 foot pole. Real hipsters can be nice and polite. Fake hipsters are snobby and rude and pretentious. Also the glasses. Fake hipsters still wear the big black glasses. Its not 2003 anymore. But really the hipster movement is over. The real hipsters are just underground artists. Maybe they are liberal(which is their main annoying trait), but they do help promote creativity. But seriously, when The Hipster Handbook came out in 2003, it was over. Done. Now all you have is a copy cat. Real hipsters were Gen Xers and before.

  6. Are his initials AP? I know a fake hipster just like yours and he lives in Brooklyn.

  7. hihi super interessant de voir les hipsters du point de vue d'une française vivant à NY :) !

  8. wrong.

    The real hipster is not a hipster.

  9. this was definitely written by a fake hipster