Enter the Yuccie: The Latest Thing to Ruin Your City
First hipsters, now this?
Image via Complex Original
Hipsters, yuppies, and now yuccies? It's common knowledge that -insert hip city here- has been overrun with young, white creatives who gentrify neighborhoods in search of satisfying their creative passions. Anyone would call that a hipster, and carry on with their day. But what if that person is simultaneously a savvy businessperson? Well, that's a Young Urban Creative, or Yuccie. *Commence disappointed sigh*
To define a "yuccie" is like defining a hipster—you know one when you see one. They're definitely not hipsters (which, for the record, is totally dead):
"The hipster — the real hipster, not the bullshit marketing facsimile that still dominates advertising today — is dead. He’s traded warehouse parties for yoga retreats; she’s become a tool of corporate marketing shilling compact cars and fast food. The conspicuous consumption that once set hipsters apart — American Spirits instead of Marlboros, iPhones instead of flip phones, pork belly instead of bacon — has gone mainstream. Hipster is generic."
And they're not yuppies either:
"I have no tattoos. My credit is good. Hell, I’ve got dental insurance. My basic, unwaxed mustache, like the rest of me, wouldn’t have rated in the heady days of hipsterism. Hipsters themselves might have scorned me as a yuppie. But that isn't right, either. “Yuppie” conjures Sharper Image catalogs, clean condos and piles of new money pulled from the pre-recession stock market. It doesn’t capture the sense of creative entitlement that defines the yuccie."
But as Mashable points out:
Yuccies are the cultural offspring of yuppies and hipsters. We’re intent on being successful like yuppies and creative like hipsters. We define ourselves by our purchases, just like both cohorts, sure. But not by price or taste level; we identify by price and taste level: $80 sweatpants, $16 six-packs of craft beer, trips to Charleston, Austin and Portland. How much it costs (high or low) is immaterial if the material bought validates our intellect.
So we've been getting it wrong this whole time! "Hipster" is just a blanket term. In actuality, it's a subculture of a subculture.
Simply put, yuccies are effectively "hipster businesspeople." But it's not like this group of individuals sprang up over night. Time's spotlight on the book Hipster Business Models in 2014 proves that a handbook for the yuccie lifestyle already exists.
But perhaps the most, uh, yucky, thing about the "yuccie" is that they're inherently privileged:
"Almost by definition, yuccies possess enormous privilege. [A] professional drift towards a creative field (writing) is an implicit statement of privilege. Being a yuccie is synonymous with the sort of self-centered cynicism that can only exist in the absence of hardship. It’s the convenience of being unburdened by conviction; it’s the luxury of getting to pick your battles."
And absolutely reliant on the digital recognition of others:
"[They] write for validation: of peers, of parents, of the followers who retweet [them], even of the commenters who say cruel things in my general direction beneath every piece I’ve ever published...But [they] need to be told, repeatedly and at length, that [they] have valuable ideas. That [their] talent is singular."
So what does this mean for your average city-dweller? Well, if you see more people leaving their stuffy “fuh-nontz” jobs to start an artisanal chain of meatball restaurants, or a colorful sock factory (or are simply migrating in droves to Austin, TX) then you know you've stumbled into yuccie territory.