Posted 12-18-2012 at 08:56 AM by HollyRay

What is it about the term “hippie”? It seems to be such a derogatory statement, in so much that if you are a “hippie” you probably self label as “crunchy.”

I will be honest, I’m a bit crunchy, and grew up in a homesteading/hobby farm type environment. I wear my babies, ec, cloth diaper, exclusively breast feed for a year or more, make nearly everything we need myself, and if I could afford it I would buy everything fair trade, sustainable, and organic. I also enjoy art and culture, music, dance, and the theater. I love opera, and believe that if you are going to take part in that culture you should be dressed accordingly, I wear formal attire. I  just bought my daughter a tablet, own a smartphone, shop at Target, and GASP eat fast food once a week. Some of the things I do make me more crunchy then others, and I don’t mind that, but it does make me wonder why some people label me “hippie” as if it’s a bad thing.

Here are my examples:

My father in-law was trying to find the words to describe me in a nice way, he really wasn’t trying to be hurtful, but he commented that my husband and I give our children “hippie dippy” type names, because I’m the “eccentric hippie type.” Most people don’t perceive our children’s name as that out of the ordinary, but because I am so very different from my in-laws I have at times been seen as uneducated, and for lack of a better term, a bit country bumpkin. Now I am not upset about this incident, my father in-law was not being mean spirited, and I didn’t take it that way. However, to my in-laws, who grew up during the “hippie era” but were not really hippies themselves, a girl who spins wool, names her children based on the deep meaning of the words and not just because I like them, and would prefer to have a garden over a lawn appears to be a hippie.

Another incident that comes to mind happened a few months ago. I was walking down the street wearing my toddler on my back and my baby on my front and my oldest was prancing about beside me. I was wearing cargo pants and a tank top, my oldest child was wearing a twirl skirt and woven top, comfortable clothing. A truck coming the opposite direction slowed down, rolled down his window, spit and called me a hippie and then drove off. I was perplexed,what did I do wrong? A few similar things have happened, wearing babies is not very popular here.

The last incident happened this weekend, I went to a fair trade clothing shop and found a fabulous pair of pants for my husband and they were only $10. They fit him well, and honestly he looks good in them, but he kept making jokes about his hippie pants. “I can fit in with the hippies now” and when I said “If only your parents could see you, they flipped over you not drinking soda, and now look fair trade pants!” he responded “We won’t tell them, they couldn’t deal with all the hippie.” My husband really likes the pants, but sometimes he gets caught up by the connotation it all brings. I asked him if there was a problem with the pants, and that it wasn’t like I was demanding he only wear fair trade bamboo blend balloon pants, these were straight legged nice looking pants. He assured me that it was simply the remnants of his preconceived notions about “hippie,” the left over fragments of prejudiced against something for no real reason other then the uneducated feelings of his social click.

What am I getting at with all this hippie talk?

Honestly I’m not entirely sure. A part of me wonders why it would be good or bad to be identified as hippie? Another part of me sees all this as symptoms of an even greater problem that has to do with upbringing and social class. Growing up I felt the term hippie was used to describe someone who was a drifter, one who mooched off the system, someone uneducated. It strikes me as odd that now I am often referred to as hippie, I am educated, middle class, and well spoken. I enjoy a lovely meal with perfect place settings and the proper wine to match the food just as much as I enjoy a bonfire and BBQ. Can’t we be well rounded individuals, blurring the lines of “social class” without being “uneducated”, “hippie”, or any other term? Can’t we live in the world without living in one singular “click” within the world? It is often said that the world has many things to offer, yet it appears that the costly things are too snooty and the small earthy things are too poor and trashy…maybe the whole thing is a bunch of bologna.

Filed Under: General


9 Responses to “Hippie”

  1. Pixi6s on December 18th, 2012 9:54 am

    It’s interesting. I see “hippie” as free spirited and “down with the system” I see them as earth loving and earth respecting. I would have never place an education level with that. I can see why you might have a harder time accepting a hippie label when your meaning of the word hippie more matches what the mean spirited people mean by it.

    I am babywearing and cloth diapering but I also work in the world of computers as well as my husband. We love nature and now live in the woods on a small lake. I wouldn’t mind being called a hippie but no one does. I think mostly I don’t dress the part. :) jeans and old navy Ts is my normal attire. I think being a hippie is a great thing. The only had thing comes with you think of hippies are druggies….

  2. Havah on December 18th, 2012 11:54 am

    Thank you. :)

  3. mibarra on December 18th, 2012 12:22 pm

    Interesting. I hear ‘hippie’ and don’t think ‘uneducated’ or ‘mooch’ but a person with a different set of values that focus on preservation, natural living, non-violence, and spiritual connection to the land. :)

  4. loveramongstars on December 18th, 2012 4:46 pm

    When I think of Hippie, I think of someone who is more “free-spirited” and doesn’t really care what the world thinks. I label myself as having “hippie-tendencies” even though I do eat meat and pizza a lot. But I do want a natural birth, cloth diaper, try to be organic, try to recycle, and tend to be more “natural”. I do get comments from my friends about it. I do wear jeans, but they have to be “flare” (pretty close to bell bottoms). I am more natural then most (I don’t have the latest gadgets, but do have a 2011 smartphone that is dumber my 2008 computer). But I still need my TV and internet.

    I think we all see hippies in a different light. I prefer to call myself hippie and do not associate it with a education level. I associate it more with the personality of the person.

  5. earthmama7 on December 18th, 2012 7:41 pm

    I agree with mlbarra. In fact people refer to me as a hippie all the time (especially when I had dreads), and the only thing I don’t like is the association of drugs. But my definition of a hippie is someone with a connection to nature, natural conscious living, free spirited, loving, passionate, activist, ect. All of the hippies I know are my most favorite people in the world. They are my tribe. The people of the rainbow. It’s like that line from On the Road- “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”’ My dad was a hippie in the 60’s and 70’s, and he has always called me his flower child. Can’t say that I mind at all :)

  6. jesajane on December 19th, 2012 2:13 pm

    I, too, see “hippie” as being more free spirited and unconventional. Sometimes my parents give me this label but I find I’m really not that different from the other people in our generation. I think we are just rethinking the way our parents did things. Some of what they did was fine (a little fast food is ok) but some of what they did was not fine (deforesting instead of cloth napkins). I can see why your in-laws feel the way they do about hippies because there were some that gave free-thinking a bad name, I guess. But when you used the term “country bumpkin” I thought “red-neck” might be more appropriate. I think that term has the negative connotation of uneducated or mooch. Personally, I don’t like the term crunchy – I think it’s overused. And I think as time goes on, we “hippies” will finally be seen as less of an anomaly, and that there are more of us than we knew.

  7. gingerpeachee on December 19th, 2012 2:39 pm

    I love the word hippie. To me it has very positive connections.

  8. JuanitaPuanita on December 23rd, 2012 6:43 pm

    I can totally relate to this! My husband seems to be the only one who calls me hippie in a demeaning way. It seems like every little thing I do is because I’m a hippie. Sorry I buy handmade soaps to use on me and the baby. He’s a sensi baby, so it’s necessary. Sorry I buy organic when I can. I tend to buy a lot of WAHM wares. I like supporting mothers who are supporting their families. If my husband sees me giving the baby probiotic powder or wearing him in the ring sling, he will call me a hippie without thinking twice. I’m learning to embrace it

  9. musicmom2x on December 25th, 2012 6:20 pm

    I guess it all depends on who you are talking too. People love to label me as a hippie, but I had a friend once who laughed at the title saying “You are the only hippie I know who wears Gucci sunglasses” so I can’t be environmentally conscious and fashion forward at the same time? Whatever. I babywear, recycle everything I possibly can, breastfeed my babies, cloth diaper, *gasp* eat mcdonalds on the same grocery trip to buy organic lol.
    People have different definitions for different words based on their own perceptions. I would have hollered at the guy who spit at you and called his @** a redneck idiot. Oh yeah. I curse like a sailor too. We are what we are. Don’t be apologetic :) thanks for the article!

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