Attack Of The Hipsters

Hipsters seem to be taking over the world. References are coming out in popular music.

“It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters.” Taylor Swift in the song 22.

In the NBA.

And especially with church worship leaders.

So what is a hipster? No, it’s NOT what we call an elderly person who has fallen and can’t get up because they’ve broken their hip.

According to Time magazine…

“Hipsters are the friends who sneer when you cop to liking Coldplay. They’re the people who wear t-shirts silk-screened with quotes from movies you’ve never heard of and the only ones in America who still think Pabst Blue Ribbon is a good beer. They sport cowboy hats and berets and think Kanye West stole their sunglasses. Everything about them is exactingly constructed to give off the vibe that they just don’t care.” — Time, July 2009

A common hipster phrase is “I liked _____ before it was cool.”

Now to the non tight colored pant wearing, dark rimmed glasses that don’t help you see and aren’t prescription, crack skinny before it was cool people, hipsters may appear to be weird. Maybe even trying too hard. I mean rocking a scarf in 98 degree weather is very impractical. It’s definitely not cool. Get it? Cause it’s 98 degrees.

Before hipsters there were metrosexuals. Before metrosexuals there was emo. Before emo there was alternative. Before alternative there was grunge. Before grunge there was Boy George. Before Boy George there were hippies. The point is that hipsters are just looking for their place in this world. A place that lots of people are looking for.

I don’t have the guts to be a hipster. I do have a gut so I think that disqualifies me. Fat hipsters are called hippopotamusters. I just made that up. I digress. Anyway…on to the point.

The point is that hipsters are people too. They may try to not look like the crowd but they are  craving the same thing non hipsters are; acceptance, love, purpose, and a place in this world.

Hipsters actually have a lot more in common with Jesus then they might think.

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Jesus

If everyone is doing it then it’s probably not Christian. Jesus’ was a fringe leader that started a movement. He changed the world. His followers are not supposed to be mainstream conformists. They are supposed to stick out like a hipster guy in capris.

If you are a Christian then you might be a little more hipster than you realized.

Do you know any hipsters? Have you ever tried to find acceptance in a fringe group?

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Rob Shepherd

I am the full-time husband of a wonderful woman! I love being married! We are proud parents to twins, Hayden and Reese. In my spare time I am the pastor of Next Level Church. I have a relationship with God and it is an adventure. Oh and I wrote a book. It's called Even If You Were Perfect Someone Would Crucify You.

  • Ye, I know some hipsters. I feel like I’ve always been a “hipster”, I call it “Quirky”. I like to be different. I don’t think I’ve tried to find acceptance in a fringe group. I’ve tried to find acceptance in a “normal” group.

    • Joan, I love your quirkiness. Keep on being you.

  • I drove from the little town I grew up in to Knoxville so that I could be one of the first people to own an REM tape back in the 80’s.

    • Larry, you are so alternative. Now the question is when they became popular did you hate them because you thought they sold out?

  • You are right and could replace the word “hipsters” with any other subgroup and the truth that you speak of is the same. Good stuff.

    • Thanks Daniel! What about scientists? Do they still fit?

      • It’s funny you should bring this up. When I was in graduate school I learned that scientists attract groupies. Now I know you are laughing. I will let you finish. … Feel better? O.K, so as I was saying, scientists attract groupies. I think women are attracted because they like to be around smart guys that have a good earning potential. Oh, and we are definitely a fringe group. Perhaps the fringe-iest of them all. Pretty exclusive membership.

  • Scott H.

    Can I be a hipster if I’m still wearing clothes that I had in high school? None of it happens to be deep V’s or capri’s.

    • Scott, the good thing for you is with a pair of scissors your shirts could be v-necks and your pants could become capris. Instant hipster.

  • This one made me both laugh and think, good job. 🙂 I do know a few hipsters and meet a couple of qualifications myself, but I like too many cool/uncool things to be considered a hipster and I can make skinny jeans unskinny really quickly.

    • Rob

      Phil, SCORE! That’s my goal. Thanks for the comment.

  • Ha, I love this Rob. You had me at, “hipsters are people too.” I own two hipsters, actually I birthed them. I don’t own them at all. But I do pay for them. And…. They live in Nashville, the place of hipsterdom. I find them to be the same as most other people, they even wear stuff I wore in the 70’s. I found a pic of my dad and I when i was about 10. HE was a hipster turns out. Maybe an original. Not a hippie though, a few years before that. He had a red plaid jacket, funny winter wool hat, skinny jeans, wayfarer type sunglasses and his hands were in the air, like he was at a 21 pilots or Matt Wertz concert. Actually we were ice skating… That is kind of hipster I think.

    The hipsters that are related to me seem to struggle with the same stuff as non hipsters. what do I do with my life, should I major in art history or social work? Should I eat at Chipotle or that new soy coffee place today? Should I really get that pure bred puppy or go to the shelter and look for the ugliest critter I can find? I know people will judge me at the dog park if I walk in with a golden or lab. Do I buy those awesome boots that look like I’ve owned them since the turn of the century, but cost $389.06 or wear my converse?
    This fringe group has taken over our world it seems, from Nashville to NY to Wichita. Good thing I love this age group and know that deep down their hearts suffer the same as the nerd decorating his Star Wars tree and trying to decide where to put the jar jar blinks ornament. We are looking for acceptance and the one place we will find it is in the loving arms of that cool, awesome fringe guy, Jesus. Now, that I will raise my arms for.

    • Rob

      Dale, love this! You had me at “nerd decorating his Star Wars tree.”

  • shepherdmim

    Beneath my ultra conservative, traditional exterior lies the attitude of a hipster who is energized by change and enjoys shaking things up a bit. I just prefer a more subtle approach.

    • Rob

      Mim, that is so hipster of you.

  • brhollifield

    I liked your blog before it was cool… ha ha… it has always been cool… I don’t think that I ever really fit into a category, I always just kinda ” was “. I was the guy that got along with the geeks, nerds, jocks, grits, I just kinda’ made it my mission to get along with everyone ( and not get the snot beat outta me )… so by not fitting in with one particular group or subculture, does that make me a hipster? Come on, I SO want an identity !

    • Brian, first off what’s a grit? And second off I’d say yes. Go for it.

      • A “grit” was back in the days of James Dean. The “bad boys” were grits. (not Will Smith & Martin Lawrence) In Grease Knicky was a grit.

  • Faith

    HAHAHAHA. What’s a grit…I haven’t heard that term in a L-O-N-G time. And now that I’m thinking about it, I’m not 100% sure. But my impression, what I remember, is the sort of the uncaring, drug doing, rough sort of person, with an attitude. That term was used more when my older sister was in high school, not so much when I was, so I’m going off of what I recall her labeling someone as a grit.

    Maybe kind of like Judd Nelson’s character in The Breakfast Club? They called him the drug addict, but you probably could have substituted the term “grit”. And the other list of terms brhollifield listed (geek, nerd, jock, grit…) go with that era (and that movie).

    And if you haven’t seen The Breakfast Club (but I’m guessing you probably have), you should, it’s one of those classic 80s movies. That’s one movie that doesn’t have a sequel that I wish did–to find out what happened when they went back to school.

    That’s my recollection of what a grit is.


    • Faith, I have seen the Breakfast Club. It’s a classic.

  • Gayle

    “Fat hipsters are called hippopotamusters.” That made me LOL!!

    Unless you count being a “country girl”, “redneck” or “hillbilly” a fringe group, then I guess I haven’t. I only wear skinny jeans because they tuck into my boots nicely. Maybe I am a “redneck-ster”! ha!!

    • Gayle, well if you wore country clothes to the bronx they might think you were a hipster.

  • There aren’t a lot of hipsters in the Harriman/Roane County area. If there were, we’d run them out. (Just kidding about that last part. Sort of.)

    • Matt, wait a second! So you are telling me that you aren’t the tallest hipster around?

  • One word – GENIUS!

  • Sirvhim

    Good post — ran across this article today and thought I’d share, good analysis of “hipster” and the church.

    • Good read. Thanks for sharing. How do you find all these articles?

  • I always liked them. Before that, it was U2.

  • 1- Unfair. Not all worship leaders are hipsters (just like, 98%).
    2- What about those hi-tops you just got? In my book that makes you a hipster, robshep.

  • seattle seo services

    You are right and could replace the word “hipsters” with any other subgroup and the truth that you speak of is the same. Good stuff.