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Angry Man Mistakes Stock Photo of a Hipster as Himself in Story About Hipsters Looking Alike

People logo People 3/12/2019 Jason Duaine Hahn
a man wearing a hat: Angry Man Mistakes Stock Photo of a Hipster as Himself in Story About Hipsters Looking Alike © PeopleImages/Getty Angry Man Mistakes Stock Photo of a Hipster as Himself in Story About Hipsters Looking Alike

It’s one of the most ironic moments in hipster history.

A recent report titled “The Hipster Effect,” authored by Brandeis University researchers in the MIT Technology Review, looked at how hipsters, who famously bill themselves as “anti-conformists,” all end up looking alike despite their efforts to go against the grain.

“What the study found essentially was that when a group of people decides to be different, to do something nonconforming, there comes a point when they all end up adopting the same behavior or the same style,” MIT Technology Review editor-in-chief Gideon Lichfield told NPR.

But after the article’s publication, a man contacted the magazine to blast them for allegedly using an edited photo of him in the story without getting his permission, while also blasting its premise.

“It’s a poorly written and insulting article and somewhat ironically about five years too late to be as desperately relevant as it is attempting to be,” the man said of the article, before adding that he was considering a lawsuit against the publication.

The picture in question showed a bearded man wearing a beanie and flannel.

“Your lack of basic journalistic ethics and both the manner in which you reported this uncredited nonsense and the slanderous unnecessary use of my picture without permission demands a response and I am of course pursuing legal action,” the man wrote.

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With the man’s threats looming, Lichfield contacted Getty Images, who provided the photo that was described as showing “a handsome young man in trendy winter attire against a wooden background.”

Turns out, while the picture of the model in hipster clothing may have looked like the man, it was not the same person after all.

“Wow, I stand corrected I guess. I and multiple family members, and a childhood friend pointed it out to me, thought it was a mildly photo-shopped picture of me,” the man wrote back after getting the news. “I even have a very similar hat and shirt, though in full color I can see it’s not the same. Thank you for getting back to me and resolving the issue.”

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In a thread about the incident, Lichfield admitted the man inadvertently confirmed the article’s point.

“[It] just proves the story we ran,” he wrote. “Hipsters look so much alike that they can’t even tell themselves apart from each other.”

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