I talk to my friend Anna pretty much every day via text. Today she told me she’s breaking up the day by getting out at lunchtime (terrible weather be damned, good for her!) and going to Starbucks. This gave rise to a conversation about whether that made her a hipster.
Here’s the thing I don’t get, and don’t really like, about the hipster phenomenon- it’s the idea of ‘liking things ironically’. I just don’t get it. Do you just not like it? Or do you like it, but are embarrassed to say that you like it?
Neither of these, to me, lead to a healthy outlook or pursuit of happiness.
If you actually don’t like something- don’t like going to that kitschy cafe, don’t like wearing that retro t-shirt, don’t like drinking that drink…then why are you doing it? Why would you choose to do something you don’t enjoy, just because you want to appear ‘ironic’.
And if you DO like it, why should you be afraid of owning that? Maybe you love eating at the kitschy cafe because you actually really enjoy the crazy umbrella drinks. Maybe those milkshakes with a big fluffy pile of whipped cream on top give you a sugary buzz and feel super-indulgent. Maybe you’re wearing your retro t-shirt because you remember that show or band and you loved it and had all their albums or watched every episode religiously when it came on TV. Maybe you love 70s cuisine classics because they’re what you grew up eating at parties, and to you they’re just darn tasty. All of those things are fine- actually, they’re great.
It’s what you love, don’t let others tell you it’s not OK to like it, or that you have to be ‘ironic’ about liking it. If you say you like it ‘ironically’, the message it gives is that it’s not really cool. Well personally I don’t give a monkey’s about cool.
Love what you love, whether it’s My Little Pony, or cheesy fondue…(excuse me, I’ll just go ahead and wipe the drool off the keyboard)… or cheesy country music, or romance novels, whatever it is- if you love it, work it, and don’t be ashamed of it. It’s part of what makes you you, and what makes you happy. Who cares what others think of it? It comes down to not being ashamed of who you are. Being loud and proud about the things you love is part of that. Life’s too short to do things for the sake of irony.
So go on, what things are you unironically smitten with? What things give you a big burst of pleasure? Enquiring minds want to know! (Well, I do, anyway).