How hip are you?

Kendra H.
Staff Writer

The terms hippie and hipster originated from the 1960’s era, but the 1960’s mainly belonged to the hippies whereas the 1990’s, until the present, shines a spotlight on hipsters. Many people seem to confuse the two as being the same, or they do not believe the differences are noticeable. Hippies and hipsters are both subcultures straying from the norm, but their fashion, culture, and values are interestingly different when scrutinized by curious eyes.
The fashion sense between hippies and hipsters is extremely different in that their styles are almost exact opposites. Hippies tended to wear clothing that was casual, folksy, and loose. Flower headbands, braided hair, bell bottom jeans, and peace-covered clothing were popular identifiers of hippies during their prime time in the 1960’s. Hipsters tend to have more of a vintage style, which can include skinny jeans, flannel shirts, retro sneakers, and sunglasses; hipsters are known to have a grungy, bohemian, nerdy, and cool vibe to their style. Mrs. Louise Graner, English teacher at Woodstock High School, explained that she would have loved to live in the 60’s. She admires the laid-back fashion sense of the hippies, encompassing flowing skirts, peace signs, and braided hair. Nia Cordell, a senior WHS student, explains that she prefers the hipster’s sense of style along with their interesting taste in music. Hippies were known for their love of rock and roll in the 60’s, whereas hipsters are known for enjoying indie rock or music not yet discovered by the majority of people. Some people consider the hipsters’ taste in music unusual, but it seems to be their way of straying from the popular music of the time. Fashion of hippies and hipsters broadcast their appearance, allowing people to understand the differences from the surface of the two. What is even more interesting is discovering differences between hipsters and hippies beneath the surface, such as their values and beliefs as a subculture.
Hippies and hipsters are similar in that they strive to stray from trends, but they are extremely different when it comes to their origination and core values as a subculture. The subculture of hippies developed in the 1960’s mainly due to the Vietnam War. Hippies were protesting the Vietnam War due to the deaths developing from the war, and they frequently chanted, “Make love, not war.” They truly believed peace, love, and happiness were all a person needed in order to lead a successful life, so essentially hippies were formed because a subgroup of people had a cause. This same subgroup of people realized that they loved rock and roll and that they were not interested in conforming to society, so they created a style never seen before. Hippies also tended to hitchhike and roam anywhere and everywhere in order to discover the meaning of life. Hippies wanted the world to lead a peaceful and laidback lifestyle instead of continuing to accept the damage the Vietnam War was creating. Dr. Krista Webb, history teacher, explained that she understood the hippies’ reaction to the Vietnam War because “people have the right to their own opinion.” Dr. Webb also believes that hippies were sometimes acceptable when they were being productive and righteous people rather than eventually mistreating veterans, which Dr. Webb believes was an incorrect tactic taken by the hippies. Mrs. Graner expressed her admiration of the courage of the protesting hippies when she said, “I love the activist side of hippies, and I probably would have been marching along with them in their protest movements.” Either way, hippies were born due to their consensus that the Vietnam War needed to come to an end.hipsterpicKH
Hipsters, on the other hand, do not seem to have a cause yet, and their title seems to revolve around their hip sense of style more than anything else, but hipsters do have values. Hipsters value independent thinking and counter-cultures; they have an appreciation for art and indie rock. Many people believe that hipsters do not care about their appearance because they wear whatever is not “in style.” Alyssa Hall, a senior, explained that hipsters “don’t care about appearances, but they really do.” She believes that those who are identified as hipsters actually care about being considered cool and different in the eyes of others, which takes away their essence of individuality. Mrs. Graner did not quite understand what a hipster was when questioned about them, but her first question was, “Are they interested in promoting any sort of cause? Are they wannabes who feel the need to be different in the eyes of others?” As of now, there is no evident cause that hipsters are promoting, but the term, along with the trend itself, is spreading like wildfire as it is being promoted across social media sites. The term hipster seems to be transforming into a mainstream trend, so doesn’t that make a hipster the opposite of what it was meant to be? Many people also notice that hipsters do not like being identified as hipsters, because again, that would involve classifying them. A quote by Sara Zarr in This is My Audition Monoluge seems to capture the essence of a hipster perfectly: “The funny thing is I thought drama would be a place where not being like others was okay, but it turns out you have to be not like the others in a way that is exactly like the others who are not like the others.” The battle described in this quote describes the battle most hipsters seem to face. It is difficult to tell who is a true hipster, who does not care what other people think, from the pretentious hipsters. Hipsters are known as people who are interested in anything other than the norm, but is their obsession with being different actually drawing attention by those around them? The fact that hipsters do not seem to have an apparent cause yet adds question to their overall image. Many people, Hall included, believe the majority are faking it.
Hippies and hipsters have been around for quite a while. Hippies hit their prime time in the 1960s, whereas hipsters seemed to hit their peak in the 1990’s until present. Hippies stood for peace rather than war, stood up for the environment and took chances in order to be truly happy and unearth the meaning of life. Hippies were relaxed and unusual compared to the majority of society. Hipsters stray from the norm, but they also seem to consist of wannabes. It is difficult to tell who is a true hipster at heart — in other words, someone who values individuality and independent thinking. Hippies and hipsters, while sounding quite similar, encompass entirely different values and objectives, and they have both added to the diverse cultures of
America.

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