Vintage Confessions: The Not So Cheap Presentation of Self

Greetings Internet,

(That was painfully formal).

Today I’m sharing another Vintage Confession. I thought this particular post was fitting as my class on the online presentation of self is now coming to a close. I learned a lot and I’m really glad that I took the class as I now feel more prepared to grapple with the issues of dealing with the online world. I wrote this Vintage Confession just a couple of years ago and I felt it would fit right in over here in this newer space. This post would later inspire me to do more research and work on subcultures becoming mainstream leading to posts like Grunge Money. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it!

I’ve been drinking out of a mason jar lately. Not necessarily cause it’s trendy but because my Starbucks cold cup broke and I don’t wanna spend $20 on a new one when there is a perfectly fine free drinking vessel with a lid available for me to take my morning smoothies on the road.

Yet what’s so interesting is that quite a few people have made fun of me or teased me about being a hipster simply cause I use the jar. I always say it’s not because I’m a hipster but because I’m cheap and they often chuckle and shrug it off. Now I will admit that I got the idea off of Pinterest and thought it was cute then I realized that the mason jar is the drinking vessel of choice for the hipster subculture but I wasn’t focused on the image but on the whole practicality of the situation.

Admittedly, I’m quite fascinated by the hipster subculture. For one, it’s no longer a true subculture but it’s now apart of the oh so dreaded mainstream. One of the biggest tenants, if you will, of hipster subculture is the idea of not being mass produced and going against the grain. The idea is to present yourself in a counter culture way that reinforces and cements one’s individuality. But when Forever 21 starts mass producing cut up, oddly patterned clothing, it’s pretty clear that it’s mainstream.

Then there’s the music. The true hipster listens to weird, progressive music from artists that live eccentric lifestyles AND that no one’s ever heard of. God forbid they gain an even larger more public platform cause once that happens they are no longer cool. This is an area in which I’m very familiar as often times I enjoy listening to music from smaller artists or lesser known artists. But if an artist I enjoy and have invested in is able to gain a larger platform, I don’t mourn the loss but instead I celebrate when the art is given a bigger platform from which to share and impact the lives of others. And yes I do enjoy vinyl but that’s because I enjoy the overall sound of the music and the different nuances you can hear in said music. Digital compression takes some of that away and as a writer and musician, I feel it’s important to hear all aspects of the music.

I digress. But what gets me is that embodying the hipster lifestyle and look comes with a hefty price tag. Eating organic isn’t cheap and neither is drinking fair trade coffee while rocking the latest Urban Outfitters fashions. The pride comes from looking like you just rolled out of a thrift store but the constructed look is actually not as inexpensive as presented. What is meant to look unplanned and unique is actually constructed and designed to be that way.

In a culture that is image obsessed, this presentation of the self is allegedly critical to the determination of social standing. If you have crazy colored hair and wear leather and black, you’re probably some kind of rocker and the specifics can then confine you to an even more specific subculture. If you listening to predominately hip hop music, often you are categorized as a thug or wanna be gangster. The projection of stereotypes are cast on to the individual based upon preferences and outward presentation.

But forget presentation. Forget the type of music you prefer or the way you like to dress. What’s so much more important is the parts that people don’t see. What are the thoughts that you meditate on? What state is your heart in? You could be perfectly put together on the outside and yet completely broken and destroyed on the inside. It’s great to present the best aspects of one’s self but let the internal parts be what ultimately defines you. Once you allow what’s on the inside to take center stage, it opens the door for the TRUE best presentation of the self.

That’s All For Now. 

Peace & Harmonies

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