This is an excerpt from my (as yet unfinished) guide to hipsters in the wild, title forthcoming.
Although there exist many examples, on the Internet and elsewhere, of the hipster in full bloom, there has not yet been a thorough anthropological study of the social group. Field observation and in vivo testing have, however, yielded a partial picture of the development of the hipster.
The adolescent most likely to present as a hipster in later life is Asian or Caucasian, raised in a middle- to upper-middle-class suburban habitat. Although they may have no particular social or academic difficulties, they are unlikely to excel at anything in particular. The muscles lack tonus, and cardiovascular endurance is all but absent. One might advance the hypothesis that hipsterism does not occur in the lower animals because young exhibiting these characteristics are often eaten shortly after birth.
What triggers hipsterism?
There appears to be a strong causative relationship between frustrated expression of the aesthetic libido and precipitation of hipsterism. Currently, the theory is that the aesthetic censor (aspect of the psyche that prevents one from making bad fashion and taste choices) and the aesthetic libido (aspect of the psyche that seeks expression and creativity through these things), coming into conflict, break down and an avalanche effect occurs.
The adolescent, not particularly gifted in any creative medium, seeks to express themselves by proxy; that is, by the clothing they wear or the music they listen to. While searching for a suitable outfit at Old Navy, for example, the adolescent suddenly realizes that a) all the clothing available is bad and b) there has been no effort on the part of the store to establish style or colour scheme, therefore monstrosities such as flip-flops in every conceivable colour are available. Confronted by the endless possibilities of expression which are equally repugnant, the resistance to making bad aesthetic choices breaks down under the intense desire to make any aesthetic choice. The end result is a 110-pound seventeen-year-old with unwashed hair, John Deere trucker hat, Jack Daniels windbreaker, Ed Broadbent campaign t-shirt, tight tribal-print women’s jeans, ox-blood combat boots, a chrome scooter and mirrored aviator sunglasses, listening to Girl Talk on a pair of coconut headphones.
The remaining sections of The Life Cycle of the Hipster, including The Proto-Hipster, The Hipster Débutante, The Hipster Proper, Flashing Crystal, and The Aging Hipster will be available as part of the completed guide.