UMD student calls hippie-inspired fashion 'deeply offensive'

Amber Athey
Investigative Reporter

  • A student at the University of Maryland is claiming that mainstream fashion makes “a mockery of the hippie movement” because hippies vehemently opposed “consumerism and commercialism.”
  • A student at the University of Maryland is claiming that mainstream fashion makes “a mockery of the hippie movement” because hippies vehemently opposed “consumerism and commercialism.”

    In an op-ed for The Diamondback, senior Aiyah Sibay asserts that the modern fashion industry selfishly steals hippie clothing styles to make money while ignoring the larger implications of the hippie movement, calling it a “great irony” that hippies represented “a brave rejection of the mainstream” and thus would never be interested in popular culture or fashion.

    “For us today to commercialize the hippie style for the selfish purpose of making money is deeply offensive.”   

    Sibay argues that while the hippie movement had its roots in opposition to the Vietnam War, it soon became a “way of life” that “would not accept the rigid system of capitalism,” contending that selling clothing meant to imitate their culture “is contradictory to the values the hippie movement represented.”

    [RELATED: Student sen. calls hippie imagery a threat to ‘black mental and emotional health’]

    “For us today to commercialize the hippie style for the selfish purpose of making money is deeply offensive to the hippie movement,” she writes. “It directly opposes its original foundations.”

    Sibay takes particular exception to the price of modern hippie-inspired fashions, saying the original hippies selected clothing that “suited their life of moderation” and distinguished them from the society they sought to reject.

    [RELATED: St. Patrick’s Day deemed ‘cultural appropriation’]

    “Hippie clothes today no longer represent rebellion as they once did. Models dress in costly hippie-like fashion and are photographed in hippie-like settings,” she declares. “Yet in these photographs, little thought is given to the underlying ideology and daring lifestyle the hippies originally practiced.”

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @amber_athey





    Amber Athey

    Amber Athey

    Investigative Reporter

    Amber Athey is an Investigative Reporter for Campus Reform. She graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in Government and Economics, and is currently a member of the 2016-2017 Koch Associate Program. 

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