Can Christians be Hipsters?


Hipsters have been the butt of many jokes in the media and through internet memes for quite some time. But who actually is a hipster? Do we have them on Malone’s campus? Is a Christian hipster different?

The hipster is a person who values being an individual. Self-proclaimed hipster, Zeke Miller, poses here in a typical hipster style. (Photo by Kaitie Fox)

The hipster is a person who values being an individual. He or she rejects mainstream culture in favor of a unique perspective on life and appreciates analytical thinking and creativity.

The hipster is very much like the scene kid or emo, said senior computer science major Kyle McClellan.

“They possess a common causation of being dissatisfied with modern culture,” McClellan said.

He said the difference, though, is that for some reason, the hipster has become something of an idol to the very society he or she is trying to dismiss.

This means there are actually two kinds of hipsters.

There is the hipster who longs for individualism and then there is the hipster who longs to shop at Urban Outfitters. The former is the person who has stayed true to hipster doctrine; the latter is the person who envies the uniqueness of the hipster but can find no better expression than imitation, which is exactly what the “true” hipster is trying to avoid.

“The topic of hipster is so taboo,” Emily Mills, senior art major, said.

Emily Mills said that she thinks most people at Malone think that the idea of a hipster is obnoxious.

“At Malone, a hipster is mostly defined by style, which is different than a hipster from a big city. Hipsters seem to think they’re better than other people, but I don’t think Malone hipsters are like that,” Emily Mills said.

Emily Mills added that she thinks people at Malone simply gravitate toward the particular style of hipsters perhaps with simplicity in mind.

“When I visited Walsh’s campus a couple of weeks ago, people were so different than people at Malone. Nobody was dressed like [the] people here,” sophomore early childhood education major Alli Mills said.

Alli Mills said at Walsh, people dressed in more name-brand clothes, such as North Face jackets and Ugg boots.

McClellan said hipsters have a certain way of thinking that makes them different, that it’s not simply an external statement, but an attitude about the world.

He added that the individuality of the hipster is contrary to the Christian need for community.

“There aren’t any hipsters at Malone,” McClellan said. “Christian hipsters are either bad Christians or bad hipsters.”

Brett McCracken, author of Hipster Christianity: When Church and Cool Collide was a guest at a Malone University Worldview Forum in Sept. 2011. McCracken is critical of this subculture called hipster Christianity.

He writes in a blog for CNN that the Christian hipster brings good and bad to the mix and urges people to ask how this subculture is shaping the church.

Questions about living in this world yet living set apart in community are complex. McCracken writes that Christian hipsters are living out this paradox and that others should take note.

Kayla DeVitto is a guest writer for The Aviso AVW.


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3 replies »

  1. Christian hipsters have existed for 120 years. Ask this guy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Søren_Kierkegaard

    > “There aren’t any hipsters at Malone,” McClellan said. “Christian hipsters are either bad Christians or bad hipsters.”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. I approve of Mr. McClellan being the Aviso’s resident consultant on all things, ever.

    To answer that statement, there are a small number of hipsters at Malone. And yes, they’re mostly bad Christians, but isn’t everyone?


  2. Great article, but i think that hipsters can definitely be Christians. I think that hipsters make ideal Christians because of their lack of conformity to culture and their creative thinking. Just because someone dresses or thinks a certain way doesn’t sentence them to being a “bad Christian” Individuality is a good thing.


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