To my fellow hipsters, Yes, you. You know who you are. We’re reclaiming the word, remember? We’re doing away with the shame that it once carried. Never again should, “I’m not a hipster,” be heard muttered at that art opening, or that mumblecore film screening, or that show that your buddy’s old bandmate is playing at that bar on that street. No, we’re wearing “hipster” proud now. But with this newfound sense of self-identification too comes some very necessary self-awareness. Presently, I wish to discuss one: hipsters and masculinity. I don’t mean to suggest that hipsters need be manly, nor that they should be. Of all people, we should know: we’ve taken that one intro course in women’s studies (and not just to meet hot bitches); Slate puts out the occasional piece on gender in society; and we totally support the lead singer of Against Me’s gender transition. We get it. But nonetheless, there are those who want to be a bit manly, all the while maintaining our crafted hip urban image. First impressions are everything, and it’s no different with alpha-male status. This is especially true of the hipster subculture, which places heavy emphasis on visual aesthetic, fashion and appearance. Here you’ll have to, as hard it may be, take a few cuts in attractiveness.
The Mad Men coif, the skin-tight slacks, the well-buffed leather oxford kicks: they’re hardly the toughest things in the world. And while they may seem to you staples in attracting those you wish to attract, you must remember that you didn’t get into the business of being a hipster in order to maximize your potential for getting laid. If that were your only interest, becoming a guido, a bro, or a homeless crackhead would be a better bet. And so, you’ll have to make some sacrifices, and it’s those little specifics that need to be the first to go. They say God is in the details, and God is definitely a big pussy. Swap the coif for something generic from Top Cuts, the skin-tight slacks for something with a “boot cut” (doesn’t it just sound butch?), and the elf shoes for something with a steel toe for when you drop that milk crate of records on your feet. Just don’t commit to this seemingly hillbilly look too much, or you’ll end up looking like some Fleet Foxes type hipster, which is itself full of problems needing correction. Gait – the way in which you move and carry yourself – has been linked to attractiveness and the distinction of gender. Men who have more “swagger” are more attractive. Of course, “swag” is for thugs. For hipsters, we have “belly.” Unlike the barrel-chested men of yesteryear, for whom puffing out their chests was a sign of masculinity, hipsters need simply walk with their belly in the lead.
Such a gait implies several things: that you drink a lot of beer, that you’re not stick-thin and proud of it, and that you can probably balance dips and drinks on it while watching television, all of which are no doubt hipster-hyper-masculine traits. Studies show that a man with hummus caught in his treasure-trail is considered 65% more masculine than those without. Careers are also telling. Interning at New York Magazine, running the social media for that new internet startup, and serving espresso while you work on your writing are all valid forms of employment for any hipster, but they all scream, “I always wipe till there’s blood.” Real men get shit on their fingers, which is why blue-collar jobs are ideal. However, working as an electrician is hardly hip. Seems a bit of a conundrum. The solution? Artisanal. Making candle-holders out of repurposed metals, raising and slaughtering your own ducks, and baking homemade rye bread in a homemade outdoor wood oven are all great ways to be total tough guys while also maintaining a hip, urban, socially progressive identity. And whatever you do, don’t try and lift heavy stuff, get into fist fights, care for a family, drive a stick-shift, or smoke a whole cigarette in one puff. After all, you’re only faking it, sissy.
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