What Is A Hipster
Just what is a hipster has changed significantly in our cultural lingo since the word was first used. A hipster of the 1940's wouldn't compare to a modern-day hipster, nor do any of the other sub-cultures necessarily match up with how they present themselves. It's hard to define just what is a hipster without mentioning all of the various incarnations of "hipster-Dom" we have seen since the word's inception.
Original hipsters came onto the scene in the period of World War II. It should be noted that hipsters existed before the 1940's, this just marks the time when the world became such a mainstream phenomenon. Hipster derives from the words "hip" or "hep", which have always meant cool, relaxed, and in the know. It takes its literary foundation from the Jazz culture of the 40's, with its frequent use of the words "hepcat" and "hip".
A hipster was a person who ascribed to the WWII counter-culture. Overall, what made the hipster so cool was his/her counter-cultural roots. Hipsters frequented black communities, listed to jazz music, and smoked milder narcotics such as cannabis. They were very critical of what they deemed to be "squares".
The hipster popularized the gay community and (to an extent) race relations. The hipster of the 40's United States frequented African American communities, attempting to both mimic their culture and improve what had been horrible relations in the past. The exploratory nature of hipsters also lead to their sexual deviance, which notably attracted many homosexual men, uniting them under one of the first mainstream gay cultures.
So what is a contemporary hipster? The hipster culture received a well-needed revival in the late 1990's, as the term began to be used again to describe upper-middle class people who ascribed to a counter-culture. Eventually, the word morphed into what we know it as nowadays: one who uses cannabis frequently, listens to indie music, watches indie films, wears tight clothes, is metrosexual, and has a reverence for the vintage.
A modern hipster is all about the classics. Hipsters respect vintage t-shirts, music, cultures, and movements to an extreme. Most prefer not to label themselves, albeit this quest to avoid social stereotyping has found their mutual unity among all that is indie and old. In the end, the hipster is highly eclectic in his/her tastes for the arts.