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.