Assuming most people will associate my hipster appearance with the lesser desirable traits, I had to think long and hard about a more positive spin. This is where art comes in. After personal appearance, and being sarcastic jerks, the next most common thread in the hipster community is the desire to create art. Illustration, music, film, writing, performance…these kids love to make art. Don't get me wrong, this is truly a pygmalion act of self love. Hipsters make art so that other hipsters can admire it…and the circle never stops. These incestuous communities are completely self serving. Everyone convincing the other of their own self worth.
I blurred the line between my "real" art and my "blog" art...
As a young adult, living, working and making art in Brooklyn, I had no time for Disney. Though I'd grown up loving Disney animation my sarcasm had reached feverish levels to the point of not being a genuine person anymore. I couldn't talk about Disney without being a downer. In my head I was creating real art, and Disney was nothing more that fluff for the masses. I was living for myself and literally nothing else. I was the main paragraph, and Disney was the margin. (I understand how dorky this all sounds, and it is…I was not a cool person. But what 20 year old is?)
20 old me playing bad music on the NYC subway...
As if by fate, in 2006 I was dragged kicking a screaming to Walt Disney World. The idea of spending a week somewhere that I was intrinsically against appalled me. What was there for me, a self dedicated, skinny jeans wearing, form over function hipster at Walt Disney World? I honestly believed this was going to be the worst week of my life.
Here comes the plot twist. I fell head over heals, madly in love with Disney World, to the point of being obsessed. The kind of obsession that keeps you awake at night, and drives your every thought. While the idea of Disney being fluff for the masses is not far off, it also comes with a dense storied history and level of detail that I'd always admired in other companies. You see, if anything is true, its that Disney defines form over function.
This is where the idea for Disney Hipsters come in. Take into consideration our form over function lifestyle, which places aesthetic value over everything else, and our obsessive love of Disney…who THEORETICALLY does the exact same thing. Also consider a hipster's penchant for creating things, we knew we had to do somethings with this. How could we not?
The Disney Hipster Blog (and subsequent podcast) has always come with the tagline "critiquing the aesthetic choices of the Disney company…" which sums up our endgame pretty well. We have always felt the need to hold Disney accountable for their poor design choices, as well as applauding the good ones. In addition to these critiques we also wanted to create original content as well, in the form of videos, paintings, music etc…thus strengthening our argument for our chosen "Disney Hipster" moniker.
Disney World gave me new things to be obsessed with…
Let's focus for a moment on why we felt the need to brand our online presence at all. For one, we've never felt the need to hide behind our computers. As a fan of the Disney blog community long before we started DHB I was always drawn to sites that featured real people, who I would come to associate with actual faces. Not only did these blogs seem more down to earth, but I was likely more empathetic towards them when our opinions differed. Also, we just love taking pictures of ourselves, and knew
that our blog would feature these photos, sometimes exhaustively so.
I mean, seriously we're adorable. How could we have a blog that didn't feature us
up front and center? ;)
We also needed a way to separate ourselves from others. There is no shortage of Disney fan blogs which seem to be on an endless cycle of coming and going. Many of these blogs don't make it past their first anniversary, while even fewer truly thrive. I knew for me to continue such a large project for any length of time I would have to be validated through readership. I also knew, based on my own reading habits, that the blog would have to differentiate itself for the others in one way or another. In other words, I needed to thrive, and to do so we needed to brand ourselves.
An aside to the conversation of why Disney Hipsters? As with any conversation about aesthetic choices, this blog is filled with opinions. Our opinions are often times very well thought out, and based on extensive exposure to the subject matter at hand…but sometimes its a gut feeling. Simply not liking something just because its ugly is, in our opinion, totally valid. Let us never forget that opinions vary from person to person, and opinions cannot under any circumstance be wrong. One thing you should know about Disney Hipster's opinions is that they're never forced. We would never dislike something out of shear negativity, nor falsely appreciate something out of rugged individualism.
We have always encouraged an honest open discourse concerning this silly love of Disney. At the heart of it we should never forget that this is a hobby that we all enjoy. Whether actively as a writer or passively as a reader, we all get a certain amount of joy out of our Disney obsession. The community is big enough for everyone, including anonymous blogs and branded blog personalities like ourselves. The only thing there is no room for is blatant needless negativity.