Skinny Jeans Leading the Next Generation of Workers
14 June 2013 - Impact Hub

This is a response to an article “Youth Creative Work and the Hipster Blame Game” by Miranda Campbell for the McGill-Queens University Press. I highly recommend you check it out here.

When the memo went out that hipsters are nothing more than creative self-entitled post-grads, something was made abundantly clear. The outgoing generation is on the decline and they are becoming aware of it. To try and get themselves back in the game they are throwing up a smoke screen by blaming certain social problems on those who have an aversion for anything mainstream. This might actually be comical if it weren’t for the fact that it mask a looming issue that needs to be dealt with.

Society is being lead in one direction while the incoming generation is going in the complete opposite. Emphasis is being put on scaling and developing the current jobs that we have for a group of people that need access to a more diverse set of ones. As we continue to hold onto our old ways we are preparing for the inevitable in the worst way possible. The mismatches in the job market are aligned with the rise of creatives in the aftermath of the tech boom. A surplus in opportunities for programmers and mathematicians has been offset by a lack of options for writers and artist. Options that are available for the creative types are limited to grunt work, bad hours and unfair pay. Those who can’t even make it that far are forced to audition their work for free online through blogs and galleries while moonlighting in the service industry.

It’s unfortunate that western culture has got to the point where we have to resort to name calling and stereotypes as a way of avoiding the big picture. Certain institutions no longer reflect the population that they represent; instead they are being held in place as to not adapt to what’s coming.

The problem is what can our generation really do? The idealists like to preach about holding to your beliefs and sticking to who you are no matter what society might label you as. Yet when someone’s staring down the barrel of having their electricity turned off can you really blame them for “selling out” and doing something that will get them a paycheck. If we can raise awareness of this with our generation then maybe there’s a chance we can jump start a shift in the imbalance of available work so that it matches the labor we can provide.

So hipsters, keep doing what your doing. At least someone is fighting for the future, even if that someone has an affinity for vintage snap-backs and skinny jeans.

Make sure to stay updated on The Hub, as well as its role in the freelance movement, a cause that is in full support of “hipsters” and anybody else who want’s to follow their creative passions.

Samuel McClenney

Intern at the Hub Islington