Hey there! My name is T.J. Kanaley, and this is Hot Topics. Before we get started, let me clarify that this column is not some reincarnation of the once-popular store. Like Hot Topic, however, I am trying to display the latest trends among young adults, but I will not be doing so in the same way. The purpose of Hot Topics is to deliver fascinating and compelling studies of current pop culture trends. I will write about any and all topics from hipsters to emojis through surveys, online trends, and pictures. Now, I realize that fads come and go, so if you’re reading this in 2015, good for you! Learn about your time! But if you’re reading this in 2062, and all the kids are doing is hanging out on their hoverboards, I hope that you get a good wave of 21st century nostalgia from reading this column. So, please enjoy Hot Topics!
Now, earlier I mentioned hipsters. One of the most interesting things about hipsters is that they tend to defy description and don’t easily fall into categories. Now, if you don’t know what a hipster is, don’t worry! What you essentially need to know is that a hipster is a person who chooses not to follow mainstream trends; they are typically white millennials living in urban areas. Now, of course, that’s just one definition. I conducted a survey among high school students whose ages range from 14-18, and they had some definitions of their own. When asked what they thought a hipster was, they answered:
“An old guy with a beard and a bun”
“Weird 1800s mustache; someone who hates being ‘mainstream’ but at the same time is mainstream”
“A certain type of gentrifying yuppie with interests generally including vintage goods and unpopular music”
and my personal favorite – “A hipster is a person who smokes pot for fun”
Hopefully, these definitions paint a picture in your head of what a hipster embodies. Now, the next questions that I surveyed get a little deeper. I asked: “Do you consider yourself a hipster?” and “On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you like hipsters?”. The results below might surprise you.
So, what do these results tell us? Well, it’s no secret that there is disdain for hipsters. After all, you read the definitions. Looking at the first graph, it is easy to spot a trend; many people are neutral in terms of their opinion towards the ones who drink coffee and go on tumblr, but the second highest statistic shown is for the people that despise them. What does this mean, exactly? Well, The general population overall seems to not care about or not care for hipsters, but that doesn’t mean that this is the final word. Looking at the second graph, you can see that about 9% of the people who took the survey consider themselves hipsters. This trend is growing, and while it is mostly showcased in adults in their 20s-30s, it is seeping through to the young people of today. So, if you fall into the group of people who despise hipsters, rejoice! Right now, you don’t have to worry about them and in fact, you might not even notice them around you. But if you are one of the people who actually enjoys hipsters, remain optimistic. These tumblr-surfing, Urban Outfitters-shopping, city-living people are slowly gaining a larger following, and soon will be able to take the world by storm, one Starbucks at a time.
Words and images by TJ Kanaley