I learned a new word yesterday: yuccie.
It has a ring to it, sort of. Maybe.
I guess that depends on who I ask. For most circles I run with, the first response to this term would be, “What the heck [sic] is a yuccie?” To this, I would refer to 26-year-old Mashable writer David Infante’s definition in his piece, “The hipster is dead, and you might not like what comes next.” He talks about the trend of over-generalizing in generation naming, citing examples such as millennial, hipster, yuppie, and now yuccie. Generation Y’s code word for Young Urban Creatives.
I at least have the C part down.
Infante describes yuccies as “the cultural offspring of yuppies and hipsters … 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,” he wrote.
I have been to Charleston and Portland, and Austin is on my bucket list. I can’t say I’ve ever spent $80 on sweatpants. Maybe upwards of $12 on craft beer, though.
I feel like it’s worth it.
As part of Generation X, I entered the workforce around the time when yuppies — Young Urban Professionals, remember? — were becoming a dying breed. Coming off the excessiveness of the ’80s, I wasn’t much of a Wall Street-obsessed type with dollar signs in the eyes like a cartoon character. I spent my formidable college years (safely) slam dancing to Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and wearing flannel. I sought out creative outlets through writing and art classes. Our generation didn’t want to be valley girl caricatures or Ken doll prototypes. We wanted to be taken seriously, even though we wore a lot of flannel. We wanted our angst-fueled voices to be heard.
Kurt Cobain deserves a lot of credit for that.
I’m guessing Millennials feel the same, wanting their voices to be heard. To shake that hipster stigma people are quick to associate. I’m not much for labels anyway, so I understand. If someone knew how much I appreciate artisanal olives, cold PBR and ironic T-shirts, they might assume I’m a hipster.
I’m more like a hipster poser.
With the emergence of yuccies, it sounds like the term hipster might be as dated as wearing flannel. Although that lumberjack trend has somewhat brought that ‘90s fashion phenomenon back. I might not live in an urban setting — I enjoy the quiet life out in the country these days. And young is all about perspective. So I’m not seeing myself fitting into the yuccie subgroup, even though according to Infante, I’m like-mined. “Getting rich quick would be great. But getting rich quick and preserving creative autonomy? That’s the yuccie dream,” he says.
I’m all about creative autonomy.
No matter how people choose to label this younger generation, the Millennials and yuccies are our future. Shaped by technology, this generation is the largest, most diverse in the U.S., according to the Council of Economic Advisers. Millennials have access to people and culture we Generation Xers only dreamed of when we used encyclopedias and the Dewey Decimal System to write book reports and find facts in our youth.
How did I ever make it through college without Google?
Evident in Carbondale’s Emily Bruell coming out during her graduation speech and social media firing back at the racism exhibited at a teenage pool party gone awry in Texas, Millennials have already shaped our world. Diversity, tolerance and acceptance trump close-mindedness. That is the kind of world I want live and raise children in, and I hope we continue to grow from those experiences reflected in our changing society. No matter what we call this generation making it happen.
Power to the yuccies.
April E. Clark just watched “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck.” She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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