The Beginner's Guide to Becoming a Hipster

brought back as requested. Meant to be a joke, I wrote this a couple of years ago for a friend.

The Beginner’s Guide to becoming a Scenester

You think becoming a scenester is as easy as buying a pair of skinny jeans and vans slip-ons? You think that all you need is heavy, thick bangs (for girls) or a heavily streaked shag (for boys)? You really think that if you’re listening to the right music, that’s it, you’re there?

Well, assuming you also have an ipod video, you’re almost there. You’re missing a few little tweaks and adjustments, all of which you’ll be glad I’ve pointed out. Once you’ve applied all of my tips to becoming a scenester to your daily regimen of (contrived, conformist) deportment, you will find yourself fulfilled!
That is, if you dream of becoming the next Cory Kennedy. If not, refer to my guide to being “able to handle your scandal” guide (or any other guide I might have available). This is like one of those choose your own adventure books; you can choose whichever persona you’d like.

It is of the utmost importance that you avoid, at all costs, the two following things: being overweight, and working out. The former makes you ineligible for skinny jeans, and if you cannot wear skinny jeans, give up now, you’re just not cut out to be a scenester. I want you so skinny that you’re invisible once you turn sideways. The taller you are, the better. And it is mandatory to avoid the latter, as working out takes effort, and produces sweat. You should not engage in any activity that makes you sweat, unless you are at a nightclub (and even then, it’s precarious to say so, because you definitely don’t want to be that sweaty drunk guy everyone recoils from as if he has SARS).

Result: for most of you who haven’t been blessed with that miraculous gene that allows you to look fabulous no matter what you eat or do, you must follow a very strict diet.
This diet consists of:
-Copious (and I mean copious) amounts of coffee. Black coffee (anything else is for pussies). And you must perpetually have a take-out cup with you filled with this delicious roasted substance.
-Cigarettes. If you don’t have a cancer-stick hanging from your pout, how can anyone expect you to be melancholy? You’re not tormented or confused unless you’re smoking.
-Gin&Tonic. If you must, you may add ice and inhale with a straw.
-Noodlebox, Pellegrino and Heineken are the only other options.
I can’t stress enough how important diet is. If you’re eating healthily, your cheeks won’t be sunken, your gut will hang out, and not to mention, black eyeliner doesn’t look good if your cheeks have any colour to them.

The next most important thing is your haircut.
Girls: you’re no one unless you have bangs.
Guys: put your fucking hood up, what were you thinking! Under that, it had better be mismatched colours and asymmetrical cutting all over the place.

I hope your wardrobe already consists of the following.
-anything Lamé from Americal Apparel.
-a billion pairs of leggings, to be worn as OFTEN as possible without a skirt, shorts or whatever. You want the leggings-as-pants look. Now you see why you need to be as thin as a rail.
-Chucks, some slouchy suede boots, a billion pairs of flats/slip-ons in a rainbow assortment of ridiculous colours (gold, purple, red, polka dotted, whatever), and some sweeeeet really crazily-coloured sneakers. Dunks or something.
- Those skinny jeans had better be Swedish. I’m thinking cheap Monday or Acne... if it isn’t expensive, why bother?
-A billion cardigans.
-Ill address jewellery later, when I tell you about grooming. But on that note, find some silly sunglasses. They don’t necessarily need to be big, but silly.

-you must only wear hoodies. With either a wild pattern like Steve Aoki’s creations, or tight and black.
-You tee shirts should all be very slim fitting but long. They need to cover your ass crack, which will be left hanging by the placement of your jeans.
-Your jeans (see girls section for more info) are going to hang just below your crack. Think Iggy Pop (Mickey Avalon).
-Some weird either braded or colourful headbands (worn hippy-stylez above your hair) are a nice add if you won’t be wearing your hoodie.
-For shoes, refer to girls. I mean it, even about the slouchy boots thing.

-don’t you ever DARE use a backpack. Those things are fucking EVIL. No guy should ever use a bag-ever. Ladies may use bags, but they had better not come from anything even remotely resembling a mall. The more expensive it is, the more coveted the designer of your bag is, the better. I’m thinking the “it” bag of the season. I don’t care if you lose it one night when you’re all fucked up or whatever. Just get a new one and stop whining.
Note: you may borrow each other’s clothes as often as possible. In fact, I encourage intermingling of clothes from both sexes for maximum hipness.

You’d think grooming is the tricky part, but in fact it’s the easiest.
Girls: Pile a whole bunch of gaudy, tacky, loose, heavy, random shit all over your body. Necklaces, bracelets, headbands, earrings, enormous rings all over your fingers, whatever. When you think you have enough of that shit on, add a few more and you might be set to go. Get some wacky nail polish. Wear it until it has completely chipped off, as the in-between stages are the most endearing. Layer black mascara and metallic shit all over. Don’t ever wear shit all over your face, only your eyes and mouth.
Boys: have a single, long necklace around your neck. Grow as much fucking hair all over as possible. Don’t wear any eyeliner or nail polish (you don’t want to turn into a Pete Wentz now, do you?).
Y’all need to get some tattoos, too. If you need help in deciding which design/placement is appropriate, contact me, as it is difficult to generalize.

I know all of you are saying, “what about music! That’s the most important thing! What music will I listen to!” For this, I refer to you to Kevin Ehman, whose column in the Martlet provides you with the details. I’ll simply state that you should be able to quote Pitchfork’s reviews of your favourite albums.

Make sure that you consult facebook and myspace and your favourite blogs more often than your email. You might miss a new song by your favourite new obscure dancey band from Australia. You might miss major news! I mean, you never know when someone’s status has changed from “melancholy” to “amorous”.

That brings me to love. You should be able to fall in love at the drop of a hat. Not that you ever would wear a hat, but you know what I’m sayin. You should have many, many “friends”. You should have a job which pays you very little, but is very rewarding by way of conversation-starter.
Bird “Where do you work again?”
Cat “Oh uh I work at rebel rebel/still life/lucky bar/noodlebox/ditch records/ [insert name of trendy restaurant, store or restaurant here]”
Bird “that’s sexy”
See, it’s practically in the bag after that. Though that is all that it should take to fall in love. Love is fickle by definition. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be devastated when it wears out, but it means that you should be able to jump from one relationship status over facebook to another easily.

You are young, gorgeous and completely in control. I’ve given you the starter’s guide to becoming a scenester, but I can’t do everything for you. Now it’s up to you to get out there. Read graphic novels, watch rare films, travel to the style capitals of the world, make new friends with taste, and BUY A MAC!

Godspeed, young cricket!


Pricacy Policy said...

Well, this was hilarious but also made me sad for myself. It looks like I'll never be the quintessential hipster.

The thing that blows my mind is that you wrote this YEARS ago and all of it is still true. Yikes. Looks like our culture is disappointingly stale.

Any post script changes you would make to your detailed guide?

Also, I tragically fit into the hipster employment category. "I work at Lucky Bar. And the Red Jacket for irony. I was fired from Pic-a-Flic though!"

PS on another note entirely, have you read Candide? In French? I am reading it in English and I am curious if there are stylistic discrepancies...

Veronica said...

Hey babe
I read Candide sooooo long ago, and never in english, so i'd have to go back too far to help you.

There are changes I would make, haha. I think that the whole piles of bracelets and shit deal is over, looks like bangs are over, too. (though some are still jumping on that wagon on the late side...) and I have to admit that I could honestly write a whole article with the same title and im sure it would go a whole other direction.. haha

oh AND pitchfork is dead.

glad you read it...

Veronica said...

oh and i wrote it for my friend clare bout a year and a half ago.