"An actual hipster is about as real as a unicorn."

Why hipsters all look the same


Thu, Nov 6th, 2014 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

You may have noticed that hipsters, who scorn labels and "forgo the conventional," all look the same. Jonathan Touboul, a mathematical neuroscientist at the Collège de France in Paris, explains this paradox in his paper, “The Hipster Effect: When Anticonformists All Look the Same,” noting that in order for a hipster to remain avant-garde, their identities must be "in constant flux" — which is pretty much impossible.

In other words, hipsters eventually conform in their nonconformity because it’s virtually impossible to keep up with the trends. A true hipster—an identity predicated on the notion of being an inventor or early adopter of a particular fad—would have to be in constant flux to maintain his or her authenticity. So at least in theory, an actual hipster is about as real as a unicorn.

This could explain why the term “hipster” has become a put-down among hipsters themselves. The present movement, characterized by skinny jeans, flannel shirts, fixie bikes and beards, has become so mainstream that calling people a hipster is just another way of calling them conformist.



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