Don't call me a Hippie!

Hippie Movement

This 1960's movement put environmental protection on the society's agenda. It was led by consumers who saw the beauty of the natural and the threat industries posed on forests, mountains, and waterways. All just for corporate profit. This movement established national parks, committees to review the dangers of certain practices, and created conservationist organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency and The Sierra Club. After the 1970's, environmentalism as a "mainstream issue" seemed to be forgotten until just recently.

The hippie movement had its' roots in connecting back to nature and rejecting "The Establishment". They were living at the start of TV and with that, advertisements. Members were breaking free from the consumerist ideals they were bombarded with. The more I read about this time, I think, this is exactly how I feel. I don't want to fill my home with items I thought would help me be just like a beautiful IG influencer I follow.

I began to wonder, why did this movement lose its' momentum? I came up with two reasons.

Fake Followers - Charles Manson, an American criminal, fit the look of a hippie but his intentions were far from those of the movement. As detailed in this piece by Vice, "Manson wasn't a hippie, but by borrowing the imagery of the time and bending it for his own gains, he rotted the hippie movement from the inside."

Issue was Forgotten - "They just supported anything that was against the establishment. There was no intellectual foundation. The spirit everyone had talked about—the feeling of love and new age and progressive politics—was dying a miserable death.” - Joe Samberg, The Atlantic

Appearance - The environmental movement is largely credited to Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring, 1963. Later Stewart Udall an Arizona senator urged for government intervention in the environmental crisis. Lastly, the media pushed that "hippies" were the only people concerned with environmental consciousness.

How can we ensure that the new wave of environmental activism isn't discredited?

  1. Uniform message - It needs to be clear what changes society and governments need to make. The priority on the health of people and the Earth should be at the forefront.

  2. Uniform - An aesthetic that won't allow for the movement to be discredited. That says we are apart of society and we demand that it is different.

You have to dress like the dominant society to be able to change it.

The uniform message for people is that we need them to first buy less, in all aspects of life: buy less meat, buy less plastic packaging, buy less clothing, and buy less fuel. The next clear ask for the people is that we need to buy better: don't support companies that have billion dollar CEO's that are hoarding their wealth (Amazon, Forever 21, H&M, Zara, Luxury Fashion brands). Support small companies that are local and contributing positively to your local community.

From the government we ask that they protect the natural resources that are dwindling (unpolluted land, water etc.) and hold the companies that have destroyed and continue to destroy these resources and knowingly added to global warming financially accountable.

The uniform is important to not be discredited as the hippie movement was. So when it comes time to protest and post pictures on Instagram and rally together it's not about our appearance but the message. Let's look at two movements that had their uniform down!

Civil Rights I don't think that this movement should have ever had to happen, it makes me furious that the U.S. was founded on a history of hatred of people who were different than the colonists that came from Europe. The Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, and on should have always been seen and had the same opportunity as any white American. Now even in my age and the next generation I am frightened to see some of this same ingrained hatred towards people, at the end of the day we are all people who want to enjoy life. Now back to main point is that the African American's who lead this movement where extremely wise in the public perceptions that they created and put forward.

Vogue put out a slideshow of the dominant looks of the Civil Rights movement. " If we follow the examples set by our foremothers, we should seek out something that is bold, thoughtful, and memorable." What I notice most is that these looks are mimicking the dominant fashions at the time.

Women's Suffrage Movement When the women's suffrage movement initially started, they were discredited in the media as being single or deranged women. The depictions early on were of messy hair and clothing. The leaders of this movement knew that if they were going to make any progress they had to play the game. They became very organized in their clothing included a white dress with a golden yellow sashes. Before marches the movement would organize the colors and remind women to dress their best.

In order to make an impact and create change, we also have to play the game in organizing our attire and conforming to society to be accepted and make the changes we want to see.

Many issues could have been resolved so much sooner if there was constant action to reduce emissions, end fossil fuels and quit using plastics.

- Ashlee


Colors in Fashion by Jonathan Faiers and Mary Westerman Bulgarella