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Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20s and 30s living in urban areas. They are
typically described as affluent or middle-class young Bohemians who, with a varied non-mainstream fashion
sensibility, value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and alternative
music, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter. The term in its current usage first appeared in the 1990s and became
worldwide popular in the 2010s.
Hipsters tend to be well educated and often have liberal arts degrees, or degrees in mathematics and sciences,
which also require certain creative and analytical thinking abilities. Consequently, many hipsters tend to have jobs
in the music, art, and fashion industries. Hipsters are also very racially open-minded, and the greatest number of
inter-racial couples in any urban environment are typically found within the hipster subculture.
Although "hipsterism" is really a state of mind, it is also often intertwined with distinct fashion sensibilities.
Hipsters reject the culturally-ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers. In comparison to the much larger
mainstream mass, they are pioneers and leaders of the latest cultural trends and ideals. For example, the surge of
jeans made to look old and worn, that have become prevalent at stores such as The Gap, American Eagle,
Abercrombie and Fitch, and Hollister, were originally paraded by hipsters who shopped in thrift stores years before
such clothing items were mass produced and sold to the mainstream consumers.
The true irony here is that many people who look down upon hipster culture are in fact unknowingly following
a path that hipsters have carved out years before them. This phenomenon applies to music as well, as many bands
have become successful and known to mainstream audiences only because hipsters first found and listened to them
as early-adopters of new culture. Once certain concepts of fashion and music have reached mainstream audiences,
hipsters just move on to something new and improved.
Nowadays, the word "hipster" is used in a mixed sense—both positive and negative. In a less positive way, it is
often used to describe someone who is pretentious, overly trendy, or overrefined. Interestingly, members of the subculture
typically do not self-identify as hipsters in either sense. Some analysts contend that the notion of the contemporary hipster
is actually a myth created by marketing to serve various kinds of commercially-related purposes.