Peter York’s Hipster Handbook – A comment on modern masculinity

Written by on November 17th, 2016


At RDSi, we’ve been keeping a keen eye on trends in masculinity for some time.  Peter York’s look at Hipsters on BBC TV, first shown on 3rd November, had a strong slant in this direction.

According to York, hipster beards, lumberjack shirts and tattoos are an attempt to fill the ‘masculinity gap’ in a world where many urban-dwelling men work in front of a computer screen.  He portrays male hipsters as a reaction against the latter-day metrosexual’s ‘sharp’ looks.  But a glimpse inside a Shoreditch barber’s shows us just how ‘cultivated’ the hipster look really is, with a multitude of expensive grooming products used to create the latest beard shapes.

Along with beards and tatts, seems to come an entrepreneurial spirit.  Post-recession, young men are less likely to land the corporate jobs of previous generations.  So they are creating different careers that get them closer to production and community – local and global.  Hipster-central Shoreditch is home to micro-brewers, the famous Cereal Killers Café and £12 cups of coffee!  Super premium pricing is supported by a ‘backstory’ taking craft and authenticity to an almost cult-like level.

York and his expert talking heads, including Sir John Hegarty, comment on how it is authenticity that’s being adopted by big business.  The exposed brick-work walls of Pret A Manger being a case in point.  Like the Sloane Rangers York so vividly portrayed in the past, it is clear that hipster values are now well and truly integrated into the mass market.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b081v950/peter-yorks-hipster-handbook