The Aging Hipster
Some people suggest that age is just a state of mind. At least it can seem so until you try to squeeze into those ridiculously tight jeans you rocked when you were 23. But unfortunately, aging is just as unavoidable for hipsters as it is for everyone else. And the bitter reality suggests that when you reach the age of about 35, it's easy to be regarded as a cultural imbecile. There's no fountain of youth to gulp down. And strategically placing copies of Dazed & Confused and Wire on your coffee table isn't going to erase the signs of the aging from your increasingly wrinkled face. The fact of the matter is that there are limits to how hip you can be when you reach a certain age. Even big names such as Bill Murray and Chloë Sevigny suffer from a dismaying downslide in hipster-ness. There are, of course, tips and tricks to make the transformation more graceful, but the challenges for the aging hipster are many - especially when most aspects of relevant popular culture are primarily aimed at people in their teens and twenties. The stresses of staying up to date with everything can easily become oppressive, and growing frustration can lead even the most dedicated hipster into the dreaded mainstream middle. Where it's more important to put together a nutritious, well balanced dinner than to plan your outfit for tonight. Where taking the
You definitely don’t want to look like a lighthouse designed by Salvador Dali.
plastic off your newly purchased IKEA couch always trumps the feeling of hearing your favorite band's new single for the very first time. Where the challenges of finding plausible hits of ecstasy dampen big-time clubbing and are exchanged for resigned visits to NA and prescription sertraline pills.
An exact timeline for the decline of the hipster is hard to define. Some already start to lose their grip around 25, while others hold themselves in top form long after the 40-year mark. However, here are ten clear indicators that the ball is probably rolling: 1. Your biggest musical influences have all hobbled around on embarrassing reunion tours. 2. You wear long-sleeved shirts to cover your tattoos. 3. You can't relate to any of the characters on HBO's Girls. 4. All your friends are married with kids. You have a great snapback hat collection. 5. You are scared of teenagers and worry about your physical well-being when you're around large groups of them. 6. You have a gym membership and use it
with admirable regularity. 7. You wear ear plugs at concerts, object to the high volume and keep complaining that the main act always goes on so late. 8. You go to bed before midnight at least six nights a week. 9. You turned in your slick Saab 900 and now drive around in a minivan. 10. You use Facebook to keep in touch with your family.
You could view "the aging hipster" as something of a paradox. But that need not be the case. You just have to project your actual age instead of pretending that you're still part of the younger generation. In other words, stop dressing like you're 22 immediately. Be sure to keep yourself in decent shape. Few people manage to look good long-term on a steady diet of bacon and Ben & Jerry's. Aging hipsters should also avoid overly daring and eye-catching outfits. You definitely don’t want to look like a lighthouse designed by Salvador Dali. The line between clairvoyance and bad taste tends to blur the older you get. Muted colors and more tasteful paraphernalia are always a plus. Even your choice of hair style plays a big role. Mohawks, ponytails and the messy layers get the ax. Short and well groomed are key concepts. You don't have a job that pays? Get one immediately. You can't keep living off your parents anymore. But more important is your de facto relationship to popular culture and art. In this respect, never let yourself get lazy. Older hipsters gladly prioritize family and career over scanning for exciting current cultural expressions and phenomena. Instead of making the effort, they satisfy themselves with the lowest common denominator. Don't. Do. It. If you acknowledge what you’re up against, you can be an aging hipster as long as you live and breathe. Encouraging, isn't it?
Words: Andreas Terner
Design: Giuliano Garonzi
Model: Anton Nordlöf