Pittsburgh should embrace new hipster label

Pittsburgh should embrace new hipster label (credit: Samantha Ward/) Pittsburgh should embrace new hipster label (credit: Samantha Ward/)
Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

They’re everywhere nowadays — sitting in coffee shops and riding their fixies around town with their oversized non-prescription glasses, tight jeans, and notable facial hair (although that’s mostly guys).

Hipsters have officially taken over Pittsburgh. At least, The Washington Post thinks they have. The paper’s article provides many reasons why Pittsburgh has surpassed Portland, Oregon as the home to hipsters. With its cheap cost of living, interesting accent, and unique places, Pittsburgh is a hipster’s dream.

But how should Pittsburgh feel to be the new home to hipsters? People have various opinions about hipsters, but there is no prominent reason to dislike or fear hipsters. “Hipsterism” is a new American subculture that has developed like the ones before it. We should embrace it.

At first, it was an easy target for ridicule because of its counterculture lifestyle. Some people thought hipsters were obnoxious because of their seemingly meticulous effort to display a nonchalant persona, so they made fun of them.

Then, the jokes started to die down as more people decided that it was actually cool to be a hipster. Ironically, the subculture that developed to deviate from the mainstream became the mainstream — hence the emergence of Urban Outfitters. Now hipsterism is a hot trend just like grunge, punk, gangsta, and other fads that used to be in style.

Some people have taken “hipsterism” too seriously. Douglas Haddow, a Canadian freelance writer, claims in his essay “Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization” that hipsters mark the decline of civilization. It is highly improbable that a group of young adults who have an unconventional fashion sense and drink cheap beer are going to destroy centuries of societal development.

This is not the first counterculture trend to develop, and it certainly won’t be the last. In addition to the aforementioned subcultures, there were the hippies of the ’60s, the greasers of the ’50s, even the flappers of the ’20s.

These subcultures began with a group of people wishing to create an identity apart from societal conventions and they eventually moved into the mainstream.

In essence, each subculture evolved into a defining aspect of a certain time period. Isn’t this what we are witnessing today with hipsters?

There is a normal cycle where, every few decades, there is a more daring and experimental generation. It is natural human progression. Being a hipster is part of today’s youth just as being hippies represented the American youth of the ’60s. We are the new generation that wants to experiment and to be more self-aware. So get ready, Pittsburgh, and love your hipsters, because no matter how weird they may be to you, the future is in their hands.