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10 Great Cultural Contributions by “Hipsters”

At the end of last year, we made a few cultural resolutions for 2011 — including a vow that young, creative types need to be proud of our culture. And as tempting as it is to make fun, we’ve tried to hold ourselves to it, even though a replacement for the word “hipster” doesn’t seem to be forthcoming. So, in that spirit, we think it’s time to celebrate the good things stylish, artsy, often middle-class, young urbanites — from OGs like Patti Smith and John Cassavetes to the Bushwick dwellers of today — have contributed to society. Sure, it’s easy to undermine each and every one of these trends and accomplishments, but we’d rather acknowledge the small and large improvements this much-maligned group has made to our quality of life.

Beards

Trucker hats. Cheap, awful beer. Ironic John Deere T-shirts. The hipster obsession with all things blue collar — a fad that peaked around 2003 — was so grating and disingenuous it bordered on offensive. But one good thing did come with that look: beards. For years, they were just for older guys or dirty hippies. Now, led by such beardo icons as Will Oldham, Zach Galifianakis, and Dan Deacon, guys under 40 can proudly rock adorable facial hair.

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