Monday, May 20, 2013

What it means to be a Hippie

What does it mean to be a hippie these days? I get a lot of mixed responses when I tell people that I am a hippie. From "you do drugs?" to "I thought hippies don't wear bras?" and everywhere in between. Even had someone tell me "Christians can't be hippies!"
So, I want to talk about what being a hippie means in 2013. There seems to be a lot of confusion about this, and I want to set the record straight.
Being a hippie does not mean the same thing as it did in 1962. Arguably, a person who does drugs may live a hippie lifestyle, but doing drugs is not one of the qualifications to being a hippie. (I think druggies are called a "stoners" now, or "smack heads" or, as I like to call them "idiots". Note: I don't do drugs, and I never have. Not my thing.)

So what is a hippie? From my perspective, a hippie identifies with three or more categories on the following list:
  • Affinity for dressing in a bohemian manner. Might wear only organic clothes.
  • Choosing to eat a diet of organic foods, or mostly organic. Can be dairy free, gluten free, vegan or vegetarian, or just consume naturally grown food only.
  • Makes tactful decisions about how they use resources. Tries to buy products that can be recycled and make Earth-friendly decisions about their waste.
  • Usually wears organic makeup, free of chemicals, or does not wear makeup at all. Same for hair. Does not use chemical dyes.  
  • Likes to go barefoot.
  • Loves nature. Truly loves nature. Not the I-don't-want-to-get-muddy or dirty or I-only-like-cultivated-nature--but just nature. Respects that nature can be dangerous, but beautiful.  I'm not talking about socialists, I'm talking about a respect for nature that realizes we can't live without it, and understands that its okay cut down trees sometimes, and to plant them in other times. Nature and mans interaction with it is like a seesaw--there is a balance. This can be a hot topic, because everyone has a really strong view on it. Especially hippies. 
  • Love to grow their own food. 
  • Usually listens to bluegrass or folk music.  
  • Accepts others for who they are. Can be friends with people of different ideals, different backgrounds.
  • Usually home schools.
  • Loves to DIY. Makes their own clothes, diapers, toys, carpets...likes to dabble in making anything.  
  • Is very charitable through their lifestyle. Does not see the attainment of possessions as a life goal.
If you only identify with one of the above, you are something different. If you dress only in hippie clothes, you are a bohemian. If you only eat organic food, you are a Foodie. If you always recycle, you are an environmentalist, and so forth.

Last but not least, a hippie is not to be confused with a hipster. A hipster wears skinny jeans, has an iphone, usually is up to date on all the latest technologies (where a hippie likes to "take it back to the source") A hipster usually listens to indie rock, and wears thick glasses. They can be termed an "Urban bohemian" of sorts.

For example, a hipster right now would probably wear geometric earrings, skinny jeans, a hat, sneakers, and a peter pan collared shirt. They would have an iphone with a matching geometric cover and would go to a coffee shop and discuss the meaning of life with friends and strangers while simultaneously updating their facebook status and tagging their location on foursquare.

A hippie on the other hand, would probably wear a flowing skirt with a lace top, have their long hair down their back, and would go to a coffee shop and read a book, knit, and smile across the room at someone. I've found hippies to be less outgoing, more introverted then hipsters. Many are not as prevalent users of facebook and other social media devices. 
Hippies sometimes wear tie dye?
Anyway, the lines can be blurred a little from person to person. These aren't strict guidelines, but more of a loose definition of what is to call yourself a hippie in 2013. Feel free to let me know if I missed anything, or if you have any thoughts on the subject!

A blog I read regularly, ModaMama, also talks about what it means to be a hippie mom here :)
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