A Photographic History of ‘Hipsters’ on MTV


On Friday, Crushable and Guest of a Guest noticed an MTV casting call on Craigslist. “Do you own skinny jeans, old school chucks, cabbie hat, the 70’s vest, an ironic t shirt or hat, a fitted sweater, flannel shirt, or chunky lens-less glasses?” it reads. “Do you drink PBR, have an ironic mustache, have a blog that allows you to post pictures you took with your digital camera?” Seriously. “Been called a hipster?” That’s enough; you get the idea. The show will be called I Just Want My Pants Back. And though we’ve discussed shying away from the h-word time and time again, this seems important because it’s explicit. MTV is trend-hopping, make no mistake, but they’ve always played a role in bringing “hipsters” — of varying stripes and levels of authenticity — to the masses. Though they’ve accidentally gotten it right a few times, they’ve consistently contributed to a mainstream misunderstanding of What Makes a Hipster. Through the years, it looks a little something like this:

Kennedy, Alternative Nation, 1992

Angela Chase, My So-Called Life (re-aired by MTV), 1995

Daria, Trent, Jane, Daria, 1997

Carson Daly, Total Request Live, 1998

Jesse Camp, Wanna Be a VJ Contest/Total Request Live, 1998

Ruthie Alcaide, Real World: Hawaii, 1999

Lucas (Adam Brody), Undressed, 2000

Gideon Yago, MTV News, 2001

Craig Manning, Degrassi: The Next Generation (re-aired by MTV), 2002

Ashton Kutcher, Punk’d, 2003

Talan, Laguna Beach, 2004

Justin-Bobby, The Hills, 2007

Ryan Leslie, The Real World: New Orelans, 2009

Taylor Swift, “You Belong With Me” video, 2009

Liz Lee, My Life as Liz, 2010

Who else?