Tuesday, August 14, 2012

am I a hipster?

Nashville is notorious for its hipsters. You know the type... the very granola-esque meets emo demographic of younger adults who seem to try really hard to appear not to care. When I think of the label, it usually incites telltale images of a particular being, clad in their uniform of v-neck and skinny jeans, facial piercings, dreadlocks and/or facial scruff. But the term covers a lot more ground than I ever cared to ponder before today. 
Being slapped with "hipster" has increasingly grown to be derogatory, although depending on where you look, the definition is pretty ambiguous. (case in point: here, here, here and here.) Oh, and I read this checklist on "How to Be A Modern Hipster" and died laughing after noting that the first two steps are to buy a mac, and then buy a moleskin (guilty, and guilty x15). [cartoon hipster image here.]

The culture here is so unassuming and endearing. I know that plays a part in why I love it so much. But it also makes the city a petri dish for the hipster culture. Think about it: in a place where people seem to be so comfortable and confident, endearing and warm--who wants to be that guy who stands out for any reason at all?

Lucky for me--and I've said it before--this place fits me like a glove. And all of the non-weird parts of being a hipster? Over the past few weeks as I've come to adopt this place as home, I've gauged how natural of a fit I am. Ask anyone--Nashville is a city of transplants. I dare say 95% of the people I've come into contact here--be it new friends, ST's friends, colleagues, or strangers in the grocery store--haven't been here forever. So as I've pondered my placement, I've come to realize just exactly how perfect this place is for me.

As I've fallen into my new routines, I feel myself growing a little more hipster by the day. But I'm adopting a "halfway hipster" status, as there are some identifiers that I can't possibly believe would ever characterize me. For instance, I am swimming in Mac garb. Totally guilty of this. Love my iPhone, spend mindless hours on the iPad, always clacking away on my Macbook. And while I crave my local coffee shops, I don't tie the two together regularly... I dare say you won't ever find me, typing away feverishly, tucked away in a corner of The Well or Fido, oblivious to the world (but props to those who can study/read/veg like this! I can't hack it.)

I'm a creative mind--always, always have been. I knit, paint, sew, write--a little of everything. I own a guitar, but can't play a lick (okay, maybe a few chords ST taught me, but pretty pathetic based on my fledgling roots in MUSIC CITY). Socially aware and politically active. Obviously, I blog. And yes, I do have a tattoo (albeit not visible)--but no facial piercings. You won't find me in an American Apparel, but I flaunt my skinny jeans on the reg. I spend a significant amount of time skipping around those parts of town (East Nashville, 12South, Hillsboro Village), and yet my home is plopped in a family neighborhood in the quintessential suburb. I've never had a PBR. I am dying to get a bike, and yet can never imagine not having a car. I frequent the Whole Foods up the road, but always forget to bring my own bag. I wear those thick black glasses sometimes and just bought my first pair of Toms this year. I happen to bathe regularly--my hair is usually bouncing in big waves that only a Texas girl could know how to create (sorry, it's true)--or some sort of face-framing braid situation. I could never be a vegetarian, and dare say you won't ever find me without paint on my nails, and my face all done. I can't stand the idea of littering, and am a card-carrying member of the Republican party. Indie movies and music are my ultimate weakness--I actually just bought my first vinyl--the Lumineers, no less--but it'll get its first airtime on ST's ridiculously nice turntable. See what I mean? An amalgam, right?

As for the never-gonna-happen's, I wouldn't be caught dead donning an androgynous hair style. And for the love of everything, those quirky little hats hipsters don--um, no. You won't ever see me sporting a beret... ever. I mean, I'm all for individuality--I hardly think (most) hipsters are trying to appear not to care--I really believe in a culture of people who are hard-working (or not), and just full-fledged, devoted to their lives--whatever that may mean, be it their religion, business, charities, something creative--and it'd be ridiculous to characterize the masses based on the wardrobe choice of ironic t-shirts and unfortunate facial hair. I know it runs deeper than that (the true origin of hipster will surprise you), but that's my initial observation of life in Nashville. More updates soon, I promise...

Up next in this impromptu-rant-turned-series, I'll educate you on how to dress like a halfway hipster... because apparently I've mastered that little-known skill.

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