How to spot a ‘Hippie’

Bob Borson —  June 11, 2010

Real Hippies don’t look like this

We all have our own version of one travel game or another. You look at someone and based on their appearance, you develop a story for who they are and how they came to be in this moment. As Michelle and I were traveling to Paris, we seemed to see a surprising number modern day hippies….bleeech. Time has not been kind to most hippies, something that I am at a loss to explain. All that love and kindness, healthy lifestyle, proper diet, What gives? So in a matter of moments I put together my list of today’s modern day hippie requirements.

They look more like this – I bet he smells like peanut butter and she smells like patchouli

  1. Dry, Long, Wiry, Kinky Grey Hair. This is not a shot at grey hair – I had grey hair before it moved through the ‘white’ period before settling into it’s current state of ‘clear’. No this is more a comment on lustre,  or lack thereof. It is most assuredly related to the same root cause of;
  2. Ashy skin- most likely due to an avoidance of consuming animal proteins. Hey man, I’m cool with you being a vegetarian, just don’t start getting on me about animal cruelty as I pan down your wardrobe and see your;
  3. Leather Jesus Sandals. Ooohh, leather doesn’t grow on trees and you can’t be a real hippie and wear any kind of petroleum product..tsk, tsk. At least today’s modern hippie can sustainably wrap themselves up in being green and wear sandals made out of recycled tires. Otherwise, go barefoot Brother Unicorn.

    Brother Unicorn

  4. They never wear new clothing – How is this true? It’s got to be new at some point but since we all know this is true, there must be some fold in the Hippie time/space continuum, the doorway to which can only be found after consuming mushrooms that show up in the alley after it rains. This clearly leads us to;
  5. Ill Fitting Clothing. I will go ahead and make the assumption that their clothing doesn’t fit them because they either found it behind the port-a-johns ‘after the show’ or made it themselves using needles made from fish bones.

    Okay, she probably did make this outfit

  6. No Make-up. Again, nothing wrong with that – just an observation but it is however, a crucial non-ingredient that defines the hippie. This of course excludes any makeup that is used in any manner other than concealing or highlighting – i.e. daisies painted on your face.

    this does not count as ‘make-up’ (and is that a budding young architect in the glasses?)

  7. Consumers of Health Food Supplements. I would even go so far as to say they are enthusiastic consumers of such hippie dietary supplements including: wheat grass juice, fish oil, oregano extract and St. John’s wort.
  8. Straw Hats. All you have to do is look at the above picture and you know this to be true.
  9. Fanny packs. What do they keep inside these things? My guess is incense and rolling papers.
  10. Pony tails on men + braids for women (or vice-versa). You can’t have short hair and be a proper hippie. For that matter, I don’t think you need a brush either. For some inexplicable reason, dirty looking hair and the hippy ‘look’ go hand-in-hand. Step one: rub dirt and potato chips/ cheez puffs into hair. Step two: take a dirty shirt and rub vigorously back and forth across head. Step 3: Sleep in Microbus. Step 4: Wet hands (saliva is most likely used because it’s free, available, and smells perfect) and work into pony tail or braid.  Perfect.

    I’m thinking ‘Tic Tac’ (photo credit Deanne Fitzmaurice)

  11. Laid-back demeanor. I assume this is either from hallucinogenics or the lack of needing to be ANYWHERE.
  12. Body Hair. Beards, armpits, legs, whatever – as long as you have it and the more the better (preferably worn ‘clumpy’ style)
  13. Unusual Personal Aromas. This doesn’t mean stinky although you say po-ta-to I say pa-tah-to. Some of the usual suspects include: patchouli, oregano extract, or licorice (or star anise as they undoubtedly would correct you), and other members from the ‘herb’ family.
  14. Neck Kerchiefs/ Head bands/ Doo-rag. Hippies start off using head bands but as they lose their hair, they move onto the doo-rag.
  15. Oral Hygiene.This is a touchy subject but I think that Hippies like to keep their teeth clean but they don’t want to use fluoride (look it up – it’s totally true). Ever heard of Miswak? It’s sorta like anise and it used in natural toothpastes, that and other delightful flavors such as Myrrh and Propolis. Mmmmm, it even sounds like it smells good.

So as I went through 6 major airports, spotting today’s ‘extreme’ version of the 1960’s hippie, I just got to thinking when did things turn so unfortunately for the hippy? How did we go from:

A real 1960’s Hippie Chick

to this

Hippies were once a symbol – a youthful subculture that grew out of counter-cultural ideologies of the Beat Generation that embraced psychedelic rock, free love and pot. Now they mostly look like homeless people which isn’t really fair to homeless people. Now that the hippies have all grown up, all I can say is stay away from psychedelic rock, free love and pot (and maybe Whole Foods Market).

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  • Cole Sanchez

    Well said @hayley b

  • Cole Sanchez

    I really like this blog! Although bob I feel Mabey you were a bit tough on the hippys! I’m sure you mean no harm but you also insulted homeless, of course that isn’t the way to be, really nice pictures! I’m used to seeing protest hippy pictures this gives you a whole new look on hippys

  • Hayley B

    Despite its negative attitude, this blog was actually very nice to read. You are very entertaining, but it would be appreciated if you weren’t so subjective in your writing. Obviously, you are not a hippie yourself, so you absolutely cannot generalize based upon one photo of a couple of old men in tie dye shirts. As in everything in life, there is way more than one aspect of a subject, so please don’t assume that all people who are labeled as hippies are all exactly the same. Try to be open to different ideas in life, and you will be much better off.