Six Things Hipsters Have Ruined in Britain
The Great British Bake Off is back this week and among a new batch of soggy-bottomed hopefuls is 35-year-old Stu Henshall from Surrey, who’s been dubbed the “most hipster Bake Off contestant ever”. He has tats, wears hats, brews his own beer and is in a dubstep band. Is nowhere safe from the hipster epidemic? Frankly, no. Here’s six more things they’ve infected…
Pret A Manger
The ubiquitous sandwich chain used to have a distinctive look, all faux-industrial riveted zinc and stainless steel - like the Hacienda with ham baguettes instead of spangled ravers. Now Pret looks the same as every artisan gastropub, gourmet coffee shop or live/work/eat/drink “space”: bare bulbs, moody bar lighting levels, exposed brickwork, battered leather and mismatched wooden furniture. The decor’s enough to make you choke on your quinoa rice pot.
Proudly un-PC with his binge boozing, eco-unfriendly cars and raised-eyebrow womanising, old-skool 007 was basically a better-looking Jeremy Clarkson. Yet even ageless super-spies aren’t immune to hipsterfication. Next instalment Spectre sees Bond clad in tailored anoraks, shot through grimy Insta-filters and, rumours say, set to a Radiohead theme tune - while Ben Whishaw’s Q sports thrift store knitwear and geek-chic specs. Shaken, not stirred. And served in a jam jar.
First, hipsters spoiled cycling with their customised fixies and morbid fear of helmet hair. Next they ruined running. It’s not enough to jog around the park nowadays. It’s got to be a Tough Mudder, trail run or ultra-marathon, all tracked on a try-hard app. Jog on.
Facial fur used to be for rugged outdoorsmen, tortured poets and geography teachers. Now they’re for any old mug. They used to be low-maintenance, a lazy alternative to shaving. Now they’re trimmed, primped, waxed and preened like pedigree poodles. Eight out of 10 cool cats prefer whiskers.
They were once about losing one’s inhibitions/clothes/sanity in a field. Now festivals are like a hipster endurance event. You have to camp in an on-trend tent, dress like you’re on stage, dine at the most “authentic” street food stalls, sip the correct craft ale and catch the most wilfully obscure acts - smugly documenting all the above on social media. Hashtag bore-off.
Toast, cereal or something fried - that’s the breakfast that made this nation great. Since hipsters got hold of it, it’s “brunch” and involves bespoke granola, posh porridge, exotic berries, poached eggs and that Instagram favourite: “smashed” avocado on toast. Since when did splatting slimy fruit onto a slice of sourdough count as breakfast? Bring back Weetabix and Sunblest.