Hippies: A History Lesson

Hippies. We throw around this word in reference to the drug using, long-haired, music loving people of the 1960’s or even of today’s day and age. But what does being a hippie really mean? Although a light-hearted and generally carefree people, the true definition of being a hippie lies much deeper.

According to an article by Skip Stone on hippy.com,

Being a hippie is a matter of accepting a universal belief system that transcends the social, political, and moral norms of any established structure, be it a class, church, or government. It is a philosophical approach to life that emphasizes freedom, peace, love and a respect for others and the earth.

The hippie movement in the United States originally began as a youth movement in the early 1960’s and rapidly grew to an established social group by 1965. This was a time of standing up for your beliefs, mind exploration and sexual revolution. Many during this time, especially young adults between the ages of 15 and 25, found these ideals appealing. It was a step outside societal norms, it was something new, which led to the rapid subculture growth.

Some would say that the hippie movement like that of the 1960’s has fizzled out, but it is still alive and well today. Not only are the legacies of this movement still apparent in many aspects of today’s society, but there is also a modern hippie movement occurring.

Some things that the hippie movement left its mark on includes; religious and cultural diversity, a wide range of appearances and clothing styles, frankness regarding sexual matters, interest in naturals foods, herbal remedies and nutritional supplements.

Although less apparent, there is still a hippie movement occurring today, what some call the modern hippie movement or the neo-hippie movement. This movement doesn’t differ much from that of the 60’s, except general political activism has turned largely towards environmental activism. Over recent years, an increasing amount of people have noticed the fragility of our environment and how we are on the brink of destroying it forever. In response, we have seen an increase in environmental activism comparable to the activism of the original hippie movement. Aside from environmentalism, many of the core ideals like peace and love remain the same. I believe that in time, the modern hippie movement will reach the size of the original and people will

Once again let their freak flags fly and become all they are destined to be.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Comicdude26
    Dec 13, 2010 @ 21:06:43

    Everything of what you wrote you hit dead on the nail in my perspective. I genuinely enjoyed your Intro, “Hippies. We throw around this word in reference to the drug using, long-haired, music loving people of the 1960’s or even of today’s day and age.” This made me laugh and painted a very real and easy picture in my mind. Interesting topic and very descriptive.


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