When a new bar opened in Eastenders and Sharon started serving drinks in jam jars, there was a social media frenzy; it marked the beginning of the end for the hipster.
Shoreditch already feels like a brand as manufactured as One Direction or Starbucks with its “dirty burgers”, paint by numbers gritty urban decay and affluent young men and women dressed (ironically) as if they are homeless, who tell you that they work in “affinity marketing”.
The real hipster was pushed out months ago as the bridge and tunnel crowd started to come into Shoreditch at the weekend like tourists eager to wear 7/8 length trousers, shoes with no socks and eat an organic salad grown on the roof garden of the latest hole in the wall eatery.
But I’m not overly concerned for the original hipsters. They are pioneers of the counter culture and can re-brand themselves easily enough. Of course, they will need to shave off the beard, unbutton the top shirt and lose the pale skin but they will not struggle to reinvent themselves. They will re-emerge into a new pocket of London, like Croydon, and restore a burnt out Carpet Right into a bohemian immersive theatre with productions lasting twelve hours while serving local, artisan and in some way pickled, food.
It’s the hipster parents that I feel sorry for. Distracted by their weddings, which took place on East London back streets with a small dog for a bridesmaid, wearing a teeny tiny top hat, with the reception in an authentic east end pub serving ironic jellied eels and beer, they forgot that the whole hipster thing was just a passing fad.
And now that they’re parents they are in too deep. It’s too late to change their children’s names from Otis, Plum or any character from To Kill a Mocking Bird. It’s too late to remove the armful of tattoes (her) or return the collection of flannel shirts (him). And it’s way too late for them to retake all those polaroid pictures and cine films of their children onto something sensible like a digital camera.
But they shouldn’t worry – the whole taking care of someone else had rendered their hipster status null and void for a while anyway and having children is just, like, so mainstream. It must be exhausting for them to promote cool expensive clothes made by their friends, tend to their beards while also looking after a baby. I think it would come as something as a relief to them that we are starting to hear the death rattle for the hipster.
They should feel relieved that they no longer need to frequent artisanal markets and make their kids snack on organic endamame and kale smoothies; they can eat macaroni cheese or sausage and mash. It must be lovely to think that they no longer need to dress their kids like extras from a BBC adaptation of a Dickens novel or creepy miniature versions of the Creative Director of an ad agency. They can just buy them Angry Birds or Hello Kitty character slapped tops from Next and Asda like the rest of us.
Being a parent is complex and busy enough so it will come as a huge relief that there are so many things they can take off their Hipster To Do list; they don’t need to go to all the effort of scouring Salvation Army stores to dress like an eighteenth century farmer from the Russian Revolution anymore, but instead can quickly pull on low quality Zara basic T-shirt (her) and slightly snug All Saints jeans (him) like the rest of the world. They are free from having to keep chickens in their garden, eat foraged food or brew their own beer. They can just have it all delivered from Waitrose. And, sure, that does lack some of the homespun charm that a local market provides but….enough already.
Just think, the hipster parents can eschew all those nights out at a friends supper club evening drinking whiskey cocktails with ironic moustaches over the straws and then having to cycle home. Or weekends having to upcycle all their old crappy furniture. Or long family journeys on a bloody tandem with only a ukulele to keep their children entertained. Instead, they can sit back, stay at home on a Saturday night and get into this year’s Strictly, drink non organic wine before idly drawing up some vague goals like “read more!” and “try out Pilates!” Maybe that’s just me. Anyway, the point is that the opportunities are endless. They no longer need to have an urban address. They can buy a TV. They are liberated.
Perhaps the best bit of news for the hipster parents is that they can look forward to being as totally comfortable in their unhipness as the rest of us. Want to sing the Frozen song with your kids? No problem. Want to give your children a bag of Wotsits and tell yourself it’s a healthy snack? Do it! Have a tween that wants to see One Direction at the O2? Go, enjoy! Discover Cheerios have been stuck in your hair all day? Yes! It’s all cool. After all, aren’t parents supposed to be just a little bit lame?