Are Hipsters the New Yuppies?

I was recently listening to the new Slate Cultural Gabfest. One subject they discussed was an apparent backlash in the blogosphere against the great movie Juno. Apparently it focussed on blogger-turned-stripper-turned-screenwriter Diablo Cody (motivated, in part, by jealously) and on a kind of anti-hipsterism. For the uninitiated, check out Wikipedia or this Flickr group. The Wikipedia piece isn’t great (mental note: improve), and thus isn’t easily excerpted, but you’ll get the general idea.

I was thinking about hipsters in the context of yuppies. Both are frequently criticized subcultures. And yet, people still aspire (or at least aspired, in the case of yuppies) to join them. They both seem to be primarily populated by middle-class, college-educated Caucasians.

‘Yuppie’ was a term invented and applied to people who are mostly older than me, and ‘hipster’ is applied to people who are mostly younger than me. Are hipsters this generation’s yuppies?

I don’t mean that they share the same values–just that they might fill a similar role in North American culture.


  1. Are hipsters really age-specific? I think it’s more a mindset more than anything else.

    Example: George Stroumboulopoulos, our “boyfriend”, is a 30-something hipster.

  2. Meegs: Thanks for the link. That comic kicks ass.

    Norlinda: Hmmm…I’m no expert, but I feel like hipster age maps to a bell curve, with the mean age being about 25.

  3. There’s also a lot of brou-haha from groups that are associated with Chinese adoption because of the line where Juno says, “Why don’t you adopt a baby from China? I hear it’s like getting an i-pod.”
    When I read the first line, that’s what I thought you were going to be discussing.

    Northern Alberta is pretty much hipster-free. I don’t think you CAN be a hipster up here.

  4. In re-reading this, I want to argue that there were plenty of young Chinese hipsters in Vancouver.

  5. I disagree that the mean age is 25. Toronto is flooded with hipsters and I think the mean age is a little older than that.

    I had a weird moment at a friend’s party, where I looked at the other girls in attendance and realized how completely and utterly unstylish I was by comparison. But at the same time, they were all wearing things I would never dream of donning. Hipster I am not.

  6. Sarah: ‘Stylish’ is in the eye of the beholder, methinks. You may be able to look at photos of yourself in 15 years and not feel totally embarrassed.

  7. i hated juno not because of any reasons related to ‘hipster backlash’ but because i got the impression from the movie that it was written for an audience of old people who are very distinctly out of touch. i wanted to yell GIRL U SO DIFFERENT at the screen at numerous times, especially whenever the protagonist went on a gilmore girls-esque rant, filled with unnecessary and Profusely Endearing adjectives.

    by out of touch i mean people who refer to george ctv-stroamsgoamsdgiasdazsk as a hipster.

  8. I live in Vancouver’s hipster central, and I confess that I own more than one pair of skinny jeans. However, I refuse to say that I’m a hipster. I’m too vain to be a hipster.

    It’s all tongue in cheek though – friends of mine in the same neighbourhood had a “hipster party” and it was hilarious what people came up with. Except that, had you wandered in off the street, you would have thought it was a plain ol’ South Main party.

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