i overall like all strong style statements regardless of their type. present me with a goth, a preppy boy or a drag queen and i'll admire them for creating a look from significant historical references and as an expression of personality.
but i do have a problem with one particular style: the hippie. i'm sure my comments about disliking hippies in anu's, anna's and sugar kane's blogs have caused nausea because of repetition, but the hair on the back of my arms stands up when i see a bonafide hippy style statement. my disgust applies to high street fashion, as well, and every spring i loathe the arrival of "hippie chic" summer fashion that come with the same certainty as the sailor look.
the reasoning behind my attitude is the following. i associate hippies with the narcissistic insouciance expressed by a certain group of people. my stereotypes here are vast and probably very unfair, but i find the characteristics around me too often to my liking.
a hippie is someone who creates a bubble of me-against-the-world around him/herself. they often utter hollow expressions of worry over poor people -- usually acquired as a result of a trip to india where an enlightening hit in the head seems inescapable. i may be too demanding, but if you're unaware of the magnitude of injustice in the world and need to walk amongst to poorest to grasp it, i find it something i'd boast fairly silently about.
because they are pretty much alone against the world, these hippies love to think they're doing tons of good by joining several ngo's and actively take part in meetings. their contribution to these gatherings is usually verbal pondering and a fear of tangible ideas. it may be because of this fear that they enjoy talking about problems far away: concentrating in vague grievances aids in covering up the fact that they aren't really up to more than talk and refuse taking responsibility for local issues. see, i'm a philosopher of action [sic!].
needless to say, a large part of my dislike for hippies comes from personal experience and was acquired during my years as an amnesty international activist: i actually stopped going to meetings because the hippies wanted to moan over the situation in burma for hours but were incapable and scared of planning concrete activity. in the end i showed up once a year and helped organize a fundraising concert which allowed me to do something and avoid the lengthy "discussions".
and yes, they usually wear their henna-dyed hair on dreadlocks (nothing wrong with that, per se), tie-dyed clothes of goa origin (indiska is just fine, if they haven't yet made it to india personally...), enjoy bare feet and colorful scarves. they like to appear sluggish and a little spacey because they associate those characteristics with being deep.
ugh. see, i'm a hater after all... just to add a twist to the story i do have friends, even close ones, who fit into at least some categories of the hippie and i love them dearly. but the style full-blown makes my ear drums pop and my eyes bleed and even a slight suggestion of hippie turns me into alert mode: "am i seeing hippie here, huh?"
i wore this to a presentation on a very hot day. meeting my sister afterwards promoted an instant reaction: "hippie!" which probably clarifies how rare a style choice this is. yes, the shirt is some random indian find from a second hand store, but i tried sharpening it up with a blazer, a briefcase (perfect for a 15" macbook) and ballerinas. i think it looks rather dainty. this is as hippie chic as i will go...
and here's a jam that pretty much sums up my feelings about hippies. technohead and "i want to be a hippy" from 1995.