A hipster

Above: Alamy stock-photo number F3N8FD, a hipster. Credit: Alamy.


Photos of "the hipster" are one of the most prevalent photo-stereotypes of our times. Hipsters are used to advertise and promote any-and-every product-and-service, from mortgages to coffee, or watches to motor-insurance. The essential requirement for this photo-image is a male sitter, in their early-twenties, with a full beard. The hairstyle should normally be a quiff, or slicked back, and held in place with a Brylcreem-like product. The facial expression should be sincere-and-pleasant, but also somewhat intense, in the direction of spiritual. The idea is that if hipsters use the product then it is a good product because hipsters are rather discerning (generally picky about what products they purchase), cool, and ethical.

There will come a time when the hipster motif will be outdated--just as a picture of a hippy with long hair and beads, is outdated to us now. At some point in the future, a picture of a hipster will be useless as a device by which to sell products.

(17 September 2018)