A person of unconventional appearance, typically having long hair and wearing beads, associated with a subculture involving a rejection of conventional values and the taking of hallucinogenic drugs. Synonyms: flower child, bohemian, beatnik, free spirit, non-conformist, drop out.
I love hippies. I am a hippy. I always have been and have often said I’m a flower child born ten years too late. I would’ve loved to have been older in the 60s and early 70s than I was. I was telling a friend yesterday that one of my favourite things to do when I was a kid was to sit in my darkened bedroom at night, watching out of the window which looked over to the lounge room of our next door neighbours, who lived commune style. They burnt incense, smoked marijuana, lived largely topless, grew their own veggies and one even had a child and she was single, good heavens, the scandal! I loved them so much and I desperately wanted to be one of them. And oh – to have been at Woodstock!
Hippies get a bad rap and cop a lot of flak. “You bloody hippy” is a phrase that has been frequently directed at me. Bring it on I say.
So what exactly is a hippy?
I put the standard dictionary definition of a hippy in the intro and it’s true – to a point, but it’s also a massive generalisation based on the typical 60’s hippy that started the whole movement. Today’s hippy has some similarities to the original free love, peace not war revolutionary leaders, but for the most part, we are a slightly different breed.
My definition of a hippy, is someone who has beliefs that don’t necessarily fit in with what’s popular, isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo, and doesn’t follow social norms. We tend to be the leaders in unconventional thinking, eternal free spirits who live life on our terms, don’t follow current fashion, fight for what’s right, love fiercely and tend to be creatives.
A true hippy may look slightly different and we tend to like dreadlocks, tattoos, piercings and natural fibres, but not always. A hippy can look just like everyone else, and cannot be identified by how they look, but rather by their actions.
While on the topic of appearance, let me talk briefly about people who I’ll call, for want of a better word, wannabe hippies as I’ve seen a lot of them, especially when I visit certain yoga centres here in Ubud. I don’t like to be nasty or negative but these people give hippies a bad name, so they deserve a small mention. You know the type; the unshaven, patchouli mixed with unwashed scent, man bun or messy girl bun, expensive earth coloured hemp or bamboo clothing strategically hanging off the shoulders and hips, parading around doing handstands and group acro-yoga at lunchtime while at festivals, talking about ‘their journey’ with an air of extreme superiority as they sip their organic kale juice and crunch on endamame (please – they’re soy beans) while staying in 5 star resorts and not giving a shit about anyone or anything else much less the planet. But they can sit in lotus and hold a beautiful downward dog. Yep you know who I’m talking about.
What really makes a hippy is their heart. A hippy’s heart believes in and strives for a better future, they have a heart with a passion for the environment, for human beings, for nature, for art, beauty and life. A hippy will stand up and be counted when things need to change. They will stand boldly in the face of opposition, criticism and oppression to speak out for those who can’t speak for themselves. Most of all, our greatest wish is to leave the world a better place for us having been here.
I am proud to call myself a hippy. I am proud to live life on my terms, as a free spirit, optimistic about the future and believing fiercely in absolute truth, freedom and love.