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Hipster Kitty (a.k.a Hipster Cat) is an advice animal image macro series featuring a fashion-conscious kitten wearing a lavender hoodie and a pair of thick-framed glasses. The image macros are typically paired with tongue-in-cheek sayings to poke fun at the self-righteous lifestyles of vintage-loving, cheap beer-sipping, Bukowski-quoting urban demographic. To a certain extent, Hipster Kitty can be seen as a self-parody phenomenon.
The original acrylic painting “Allison” was created and uploaded via Flickr by Portland-based artist Craig Wheat in early 2009. The earliest captioned instance was posted via Brittnie’s Tumblr blog on August 24th, 2009; the caption read “well, it doesn’t matter who is better because Hipster Kitty will doubt EVERYONE’S indie cred.” Since its upload onto Tumblr, this image macro has been re-blogged and liked hundreds of times on the microblogging network:
Etymology of Hipster
“Hipster” is a media stereotype commonly associated with young middle-class adults who share certain interests or values in alternative cultures, mainly independent label music, film and art. Today, the term is predominantly used as a pejorative label to describe someone who outwardly seeks nonconformity through niche consumerism and boycott against mainstream culture.
The image macro template was made available via Memegenerator on November 22nd, 2009. Since its debut on the site, the series has spawned more than 800 variations and stands at the demigod tier. The domain name HipsterKitty.com was registered on February 13th, 2010, although the website focuses on curating user-submitted photos and videos of cats bearing the characteristics of the hipster stereotype. Craig Wheat’s original artwork “Allison” was submitted to the internet humor site FunnyJunk on March 13th, followed by the first image macro submission on March 23rd. Captioned “87 degrees? / Let me get my scarf,” this particular instance became one of the first viral examples of the series.
The earliest known instance of Hipster Kitty on Reddit was submitted by user absolutecero on March 15th. Since then, more than 2,000 instances have been submitted to the site, mainly through the Advice Animals subreddit. The meme continued to pick up steam on Tumblr as well, eventually leading to the launch of the single topic blog Fuck Yeah, Hipster Kitty on June 2nd and its copycat blog F Yeah, Hipster Kitty on October 7th.
Throughout the year of 2010, Hipster Kitty was featured by various internet culture blogs including BuzzFeed on April 11th, 2010 and Memebase on November 2nd, 2010. The internet culture blog network Memestache launched its own single topic blog HipsterKittys.com in June 2011.
The Hipster Kitty artist Craig Wheat later expressed his approval and embraced the meme that was inspired out of his artwork in another Tumblr post in June 2010:
Essentially the internet ate a piece of my art and turned it into a ever collaborating beast. here is the piece entitled “Allison” collage, acrylic ink, spray paint.