A hipster history: towards a post-critical aesthetic

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Hill, W 2015, 'A hipster history: towards a post-critical aesthetic', Critical Studies in Fashion & Beauty, vol. 6, no. 1.

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The pejorative term ‘hipster’ has been prominent in popular culture since the early 2000s, typically used in reference to connoisseurs, elites, poseurs, or anyone who is unaware of their own pretentiousness. As cultural stereotypes, hipsters have been allied with a striking diversity of aesthetic forms over the last twenty years, so much so that the trope has less to do with a specific aesthetic style and more to do with the attempt to foster a counter-mainstream sensibility. In this article, I provide an historical backdrop to the rise of the postpostmodern hipster, locating its emergence in the global spread of culture in the 1990s. I argue that the current pervasiveness of so-called ‘hipster hate’ – visible on the Internet and on social media platforms such as Twitter – is exemplary of a post-critical perspective, where the hipster stereotype serves as a point of distinction that reinforces the ideologies of cultural pluralism.

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