‘I’ve never fit into a ‘group’.
‘Emo’ was quite fashionable during my teen years (which, incidentally seem only almost out of reach while simultaneously feeling like ages ago), but I didn’t want to die my hair black and I was neither angsty enough or thin enough to wear such tight jeans. I didn’t like rock music so I couldn’t wear wide leg jeans and I also wimped out of getting my tongue pierced (my Dad would’ve gone apeshit).
I think there was probably two categories I might have fit. Chavs; I owned a Parker-style gilet and hoop earrings (I still think that I look pretty cool on a snap wearing both these things, with an orange hoodie bought when Primark was new to Leeds and with my hair scrunched with mousse while wet), but I had a curfew and wasn’t allowed to just hang out on the street with mates so I fell at the last hurdle. Also, I didn’t own many pairs of trainers and the K-Swiss that I did have gave me blisters. I preferred the suede boots with faux-fur up the legs but even then I wasn’t a fully fledged chav because, although I wasn’t posh, I was a bit of a goodie-goodie. I didn’t smoke and I didn’t spit and I wasn’t really a chav at all.
I suppose the other adjective that might be used is ‘geek’. I liked school and I did my homework on time. Aged 14, I knew I wanted to study law. I didn’t get detentions and I did what I was told. But Geek isn’t really a subculture, is it? I mean, now I embrace my geeky side, but as a teenager it’s just plain uncool.
I thought it’d all stop as an adult. But I was wrong.
Something I’ve heard banded around recently is the word “hipster”. Now, I wasn’t entirely sure if it was good or bad. I considered it was the kind of way that you’d describe someone, but not to their face, without meaning anything particularly hurtful by it. The kind of thing that people would joke about being, but usually only when there is some truth in it.
So, tonight I was in a bar. In a part of town that my girlfriend had recently joked I hadn’t frequented because I wasn’t ‘hipster’ enough, which was a kind of playful insult. So now being a Hipster was a good thing?!
Urban Dictionart says a Hipster is “Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.”
I’ve made some of my own observations about what a Hipster is.
They hang around in bars that sell coffee as well as alcohol but if you order a tea or a latte then you are disqualified as a Hipster. It’s just important that the option is there.
They have their hair in styles that look like they took a minute but most likely that “I woke up like this” wave took the girl hours to perfect. I’m still unsure if this is because the hipster population is largely middle class or because it’s a “thing”. My hairs always neat,anyway, apart from when I wake up and then it’s messy, but not in the way that you could leave the house without first styling it (unless I want strangers to query which institution I’m from). Other hipster hairstyles are those short fringes some girls have. I tried that once. It looked ace for a day and shit for four months while I grew it out, strongly resembling a me year old who’s had twenty minutes alone with a pair of scissors. Also, I like a fringe that covers my face- I’m really not pretty enough to have more than necessary on show.
They wear cool, un-matchy clothes that clash but look amazing. Now, I wore a stripy skirt and a polka dot jumper recently, but I’m talking real Alt clothes. Like girls wearing loose, casual tee shirts with a leather skirt on a night out.
Girls wear either teetering heels with an otherwise casual outfit or flats with their best dress.
The men mostly have beards. Not measly goatees, like proper ivebeeninthewildernesswithoutanycontactwithhumans / Castaway beards.
Are posh but think they’re edgy I spoke to someone who tried to describe himself as a social misfit and his friend as a “complete douchebag” tonight. But pronounced all his T’s.
Hang out in places where people are on MacBooks/Skype/IPads I still think that the real cool kids are the ones plugged in, making a soda and lime last 2 hours for the free power and wifi. But as I’m basically describing myself I would, wouldn’t i?
Read in public usually something they think will make them seem dead clever.
Wear the skinniest skinny jeans. The kind that make you wonder how they got into- or, indeed, are going to get out of- them. (Why do the cool crew in any part of life always have to look good in skinny jeans- does this mean that I’m basically never going to be cool thanks to the stumps at the top of my ankles/bottom of my bum cheeks?!)
Enjoy going to exhibitions/openings/conventions but not because they’re interested in it, rather so that they can say they went.
Attend unsigned bands’ gigs it doesn’t matter that they can’t sing along because that’s not the point.
Shall I go on?
At this point, I realise that I’m never going to be “Cool”. But there are upsides. I really don’t give a shit if I’m cool. I like to write, I like museums, I like to wear lipstick, I like to wear prints that make me stand out. If I could find my old hoops I’d wear them in a heartbeat. But I’m not doing any of it for approval. Which means I’m not a Hipster, but actually, I might be cool even if I’m not Cool