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Hipster Edits (a.k.a. Instagram Quote Rebuttals") are a series of image macros typically designed to ridicule “profound monologue” photos. It consists of a picture, usually taken with Instagram feature and hence the term “Hipster Edit”, an ostensibly meaningful quote and a buzzkilling remark denoted underneath in red text. It can be seen as a mockery of hipster culture in similar vein to Hipster Kitty and Hipster Ariel.
Artistic photographs with profound quotes have been circulating online prior to emergence of this series, most notably through online art communities and blog platforms like LiveJournal and DeviantArt. Making custom postcard images made a leap in 2010 with the advent of filter-equipped camera apps like Instagram and Hipstamatic, providing easy ways to take pictures and upload them via photo-sharing websites like Tumblr and Flickr. By December 2010, both apps reached the one million users mark and thousands of sentimentalist, ambient postcard images continued to emerge on Tumblr.
Self-uploaded vanity shots of emo, hardcore and hipster youths have been a staple subject of internet humor since the late 2000s, further boosted by the launch of Tumblr blog “Look At This Fucking Hipster” and Demotivational Posters. The style of using red text as the buzzkill or “Hipster Edits” can be attributed to a series of images posted by Tumblr blog tumblr4men as early as on August 23rd, 2010.
On January 1st, 2011, MemeBase’s Go Cry Emo Kid posted an instagram photo of a crowd hanging out in an empty pool with the rebuttal highlighted in red text.
Similar style of “redline editing” captioned images has since spread to other media aggregator sites like Reddit, Tumblr and BuzzFeed as well as internet humor blogs like 9gag and FunnyJunk. This sarcastic practice has become especially popular on Tumblr, where there are several single topic blogs dedicated to curating such examples. As of April 2012, there are over 650 posts related to the keyword “Hipster Edit” on Reddit and similar images can be found on Tumblr under the hashtag “hipster edit.”
A non-photographic variation popularized on sites like Tumblr4Men edits text only images with buzzkill replacement words in red text. A similar variation takes “text in space” derivatives and edits them with the same red strikethrough and replacement words.
On April 11th, 2012, a group of four graduates from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) launched Depressed Copywriter, a single topic blog featuring Instagram photos of print advertisements in which the original copies, slogans and tag lines are altered to serve as commentaries and criticisms on their overly optimistic messages.
Stylistically similar to previous culture-jamming projects like Jack Napier’s Billboard Liberation Front and Matt Mechtley’s “Citation Needed”, the idea was conceived by Tedd Wood, Mariana Oliveira, and Whitney Ruef who all studied copywriting at VCU’s Brandcenter copywriting program. The blog was fairly received within the Tumblr community and subsequently picked up by a number of internet culture blogs as well as ad business blogs like FastCoCreate, Ad Week, Adland and Business Insider.
Business Insider – These Ads Say What Depressed Copywriters Are Actually Thinking