Hippie, tree-hugger, free-spirit, crunchy, granola. Living a Neo-Hippie Lifestyle in 2021 is a little different than the original hippies of the 60s, but there are many similarities. The key lies in a hippie’s liberal views, love of mother earth, spirituality, and a belief in freedom of the body.
Embrace love, peace, and freedom of mind and body!
Original Hippie Lifestyle: What is a hippie?
Hippies originated in California in the 1950s and 60s as a counterculture—in other words, it went against mainstream culture. People began rejecting materialism and living in communes. Their history is full of psychedelic music, sexual freedom, and the use of drugs to achieve alternative states of consciousness.
Let’s learn a little more about those original hippies of the 60s.
When it came to fashion, the hippies of the late 60s wore ripped bell-bottom jeans, long hair for both men and women, tie-dye, vests, peasant tops, and long skirts. They would often make their own clothing in protest of corporate culture (capitalism).
Men would often be shirtless and women frequently did not wear bras.Embed from Getty Images
Taboos surrounding sex went out the window with hippies in the 60s. Polyamory, homosexuality, group sex, experimentation, and sex in public all became commonplace. Sex and relationships were more open, and they were more talked about without jealousy or anger.
Many held the slogan “If it feels good, do it!”
Many hippies were seeking an alternate state of being, and they did so through the use of drugs, both natural and manufactured. Peyote, mushrooms, and LSD were all very common in the hippie culture. Cannabis use was also very prolific.
Most of these hippies were active in changing the policies of the day. They were fiercely liberal and attended marches. In fact, I even have a prior coworker whose parents were hippies and took her as a child to the march on Washington, in 1963!
It’s worth noting that many of these original hippies were actually white, middle class youth who had the luxury of being able to just leave it all and take off on a trip. Yes, they hated the Vietnam war and preached peace. They fought capitalism with their lifestyle and how they spent their money.
But it is worth noting that these types of hippies would rather spend their time hanging out, doing LSD, and going to concerts than protesting. While hippies had liberal ideals, they did not spend their time on actually changing the policy of society.
Hippies rejected organized religion in favor for more personal spiritual beliefs and religions like Buddhism or Taoism. Even Wicca, which was a religion invented by Gerald Gardner in the 1950s out of old pagan beliefs and traditions, was popular with hippies.
Neo Hippies of 2021
None of these things are to glorify the hippies of the 1960s. They may have been idealists who believed in utopia, but they also didn’t bathe and did a lot of drugs. But through their example, they helped lead the way to better policies.
For example, because of those original hippies, we have gradually (since the 60s) developed a more mainstream acceptance of the spectrum of sexuality that culminated in the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015.
We can also thank those original hippies for helping gain a wider acceptance of marijuana use, which, hopefully will be legalized country-wide this year. Oregon became the first state to legalize all drugs in November, 2020.
Things are a little different in today’s world, but many of the core values of hippies have remained. Let’s learn how to be a hippie in 2021!
Neo Hippie or Hipster
Just a note here: don’t confuse the terms “hippie” and “hipster”.
“Hipster” was a term that appeared in its current meaning in the 1990s, but it grew in popularity in the 2010s. Usually it refers to “bohemians” who exist in a counterculture and reject anything mainstream.
As “Travels Of Adam” defines it:
Hipsters try to set themselves apart from culture as a whole, while simultaneously remaining within the culture.
The main difference between a hippie and a hipster is how they relate to the world. Hippies embrace their culture fully and don’t care what mainstream people think of them. Hipsters want to appear different. Yes, they care about some important issues, but hipsters value the look over the philosophy.
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15 Sure-fire Signs You Live a Neo Hippie Lifestyle
Hippies are more than just tie-dye and bell-bottoms. You’ve seen from above the importance of some serious social issues in a hippie’s beliefs. Let’s take a look at how those translate to 2021.
Hippie Lifestyle Sign #1. You vote liberal
Political ideology is an important aspect of being a hippie. As you read above, “Hippie” is all about rejecting mainstream culture and Judeo-Christian influence. While those original hippies were more about “live and let live” in their practice, modern hippies are more involved in politics. They paved the way for us to break through many of the social structures that exist to suppress the voices of non-white, non-Christian lives.
You might believe in the legalization of marijuana.
You might believe in a woman’s right to an abortion.
Black Lives Matter, Indigenous nations’ issues, and feminism are all strong movements to support as a hippie in 2021. Tearing down the structures that contribute to religious oppression, white supremacy, climate change, and rampant capitalism are also important.
Moreover, hippies have extreme empathy and respect for all living things and generally believe that everyone should have basic rights and support to live.
#2. You’re passionate about recycling and reducing plastic use
A neo-hippie lifestyle typically means that you are all about recycling, minimizing waste, and finding alternatives to plastic. Especially one-time use plastics.
Neo hippies are passionate about our earth and things that are natural, just like our fore-hippies before us. The difference is that climate change and plastics were not in the dire state that they are in in 2021. Single-use plastics are terribly detrimental to our earth. So you might be interested in reusable metal straws. Or you might carry your own reusable tumbler to Starbucks in the morning.
Or maybe you use reusable silicone wraps in place of plastic wrap, or make your own reusable sandwich bags.
Whatever the case, you’re committed to changing our habits around plastic use.
Hippie Lifestyle Sign #3. You practice meditation
Many of those original hippies used drugs to seek an alternate state of consciousness. But we modern hippies reject drugs in favor of a more pure state of being.
Meditation is the quieting of the mind to help us live in the present moment. It has been practiced for thousands of years, and it’s scientifically very healthy for us. It can lower stress, ease pain, and lower our blood-pressure.
Mindful magazine says,
We “practice” mindfulness so we can learn how to recognize when our minds are doing their normal everyday acrobatics, and maybe take a pause from that for just a little while so we can choose what we’d like to focus on.
This helps us negate our anger, let go of fear and jealousy, and aid in our spiritual development, just like hippies of over a half century ago.
#4. As a neo hippie, you dress unconventionally
When looking at pictures from the late 1960s, there is never any doubt if someone was a hippie. But today, hippies have a wide variety of styles and might be a little harder to pick out of a crowd.
Modern hippies still dress unconventionally. Most workwear today is constructed from polyester—a fabric made from coal, petroleum, air, and water. YES- you’re wearing plastic that has been created from the same stuff that is used to make gasoline, kerosene, and other oils.
Most modern clothes have polyester. But modern hippies don’t dress traditionally because they opt for more natural fibers, like linen, cotton, and wool. Fabrics made from bamboo and hemp are also more eco-friendly and might be something you see a hippie wear.
While 1960s hippies wore long, natural hair, the men wore beards, and the women didn’t wear bras, neo hippies may not look the same, but we don’t necessarily look “mainstream”.
Bohemian styles have become more mainstream, but that doesn’t mean that hippies have given them up. Many hippies choose to wear peasant-tops, long skirts, feathers, and jeans. Some even still wear bell bottoms! But there’s a much wider variety of styles that a neo hippie employs.
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#5. Your hippie lifestyle includes a garden
As crunchy, earth-loving, granola hippie mamas, you might have a garden, particularly a vegetable garden.
Gardens are historical, but saw a boom in the 2010s as people became more health-conscious and wanted to know what was in their food.
Not only are gardens great for growing our own produce, but there’s actually evidence that gardening increases our health and longevity. And if those hippies of old wanted more reason to remain dirty and not take a bath, here’s some good evidence:
There is both good and bad bacteria in dirt, which, when our immune system is exposed to it, it develops defenses against it! So if you want a healthy, hippie child, let them roll around in the dirt all they want!
#6. You take regular hikes, travel, and visit different cultures
Important to both neo hippies and hipsters, travel is an amazing way to learn about the world. Hippies prefer to learn through immersion in a culture and experiencing it rather than reading about it in a book. This can help the development of empathy, as discussed in #1 above.
Not only that, but travel can enhance our spiritual experiences.
Travel can heighten curiosity about different spiritual practices. Sometimes, a long road trip or a secluded retreat away from home is the missing key that finally unlocks the new spiritual quest we’ve been hoping for.
Hippie Lifestyle Sign #7. You embrace Eastern or non-traditional religion ideology
Many people who are neo hippies embrace what we think of as “alternate” religions in our world. However, hippies know the real deal.
The fact is that while Christianity has been around for 2,021 years, Buddhism has been around for over 2,500 years. And Hinduism, which is practiced in India and the surrounding area, has been around for 4,000 years. Paganism—although it is not a single, organized religion—refers to polytheism and ritual practices that predate Christianity.
(Just a quick note that neo-hippies know that Native American religions are very sacred to Native American communities, which do not support the cultural appropriation of their religious rituals!)
You don’t have to adopt an entire religion. Many hippies burn incense, use singing bowls, burn intention candles, or find and celebrate gods and goddesses that resonate with their lives.
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#8. You love animals and/or eat vegan as a neo hippie
Living a neo hippie lifestyle is more apparent if you love animals.
Hippies love having fun and enjoying themselves, and what better way than to take a run with your pooch or play with your cat?
And we’ve discussed the hippie’s connection to empathy already, and people often feel a strong empathetic connection to animals. A hippie’s high value of all living things can manifest in the love of animals.
Another side to loving animals is eating vegan. You believe that animals are beautiful creatures of God, the creator, the universe, and they should be treated fairly.
Eating animals is not only detrimental to our environment, but it is detrimental to the collective spirit of the human experience.
#9. You embrace no-waste methods in the kitchen
Composting, anyone?! So much food goes to waste in our modern world, but composting can turn our food waste into beautiful gardens. Here are some things that can be composted:
- egg shells
- tea bags
- raw vegetable pieces or peels
- banana peels
- apple skins
- potato peels
- citrus rinds
No fats or meats can be composted though, so be careful.
What a beautiful way to recycle and celebrate our earth!
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#10. Your hippie lifestyle includes using public transportation, biking, or live close to work
More people are saying no to toxic fossil fuels and choosing alternative means of transportation, like biking, for example.
Burning fossil fuels like gasoline or oil is bad for the environment and bad for public health. Most families started moving away from cities and into the suburbs in the 1950s, which meant they had a much bigger commute to get to their jobs in the city.
The dependence on fossil fuels was just starting, but hopefully, with innovations like electric cars and powerful climate change activists like Greta Thunberg, that will be changing very soon.
And neo-hippies like yourself are helping to do your part. More people, especially young workers, are moving back into the cities and living closer to work, biking to work, and taking public transportation! Go you!
Hippie Lifestyle Sign #11. You believe in a woman’s right to choose
Choose to breastfeed or not.
Choose how to dress.
Choose to have sex or not.
Choose to buy her own house or not.
Choose to have an abortion or not.
Choose how to live.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, may she rest in peace, was an ultimate hippie spirit, paving the way for women of all walks of life to live as freely as men and to have total ownership of their bodies.
#12. Your hippie lifestyle includes a love of nature
If you’re the kind of person who finds themselves watching the sunrise, admiring the beauty of wildflowers, or observing the way veins run through a leaf, you might be a hippie.
Nature is all around us, but it is frequently taken for granted. In fact, nature has a lot of good health benefits.
Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. It may even reduce mortality.University of Minnesota
Neo hippies may even use nature to decorate their homes or bodies!
#13. You enjoy your body and believe others should too (their own or yours!)
One of the biggest beliefs that hippies held was: “If it feels good, do it!”
Sex was a huge part of hippie culture back in the day, and it’s just the same now. Whether you’re in a monogamous relationship, practice polyamory, or like having sex with both women and men, neo hippies celebrate pleasure. They believe there should be no shame or taboo around sex.
Hippies of all flavors support LGTBQ+ and their ability to be open, out, and safe in our society. Modern hippies are also extremely body positive and believe that we should love our bodies!
For more body positivity, check out yoga teacher Jessamyn Stanley.
#14. You practice minimalism as a neo hippie
If you’re a hippie, you might be interested in owning fewer things in your life because of opposition to materialism.
This is known as minimalism.
Hippies in the 1960s made their own clothes, ditched their body care items, and went out on the road with few possessions. Now-a-days, modern hippies have a tendency to reign it in a little while still minimizing their possessions.
The Minimalists Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, from my hometown of Dayton Ohio, say:
We focus on making room for more: more time, more passion, more creativity, more experiences, more contribution, more contentment, more freedom. Clearing the clutter from life’s path helps make that room.
Minimalism is a huge movement and it means something different for each individual that practices it. But decluttering your stuff to find more enjoyment in your life is a very hippie thing to do!
#15. You reject traditional cleaning products
Last, you might reject those awful chemicals in cleaning products. Hippies celebrate the natural world and want to preserve it, but chemicals just pollute it more. The original hippies didn’t bathe a lot anyway, so they would have supported your quest to clean a little less.
Cleaning your home and space with things like baking soda, vinegar, or essential oils is not only better for the environment, it’s actually healthier for you. While traditional cleaners can contain carcinogens (or chemicals that cause cancer), cleaning with vinegar and water is just as good.
Besides, you remember those good bacteria from dirt in the gardening example above? The same applies here. When you kill off all bad and good bacteria, you’re putting your immune system in jeopardy.
15 More Signs You Might Be a Neo Hippie
Here are some other hippie lifestyle choices that you might find yourself doing:
- You volunteer
- You breastfeed your babies
- You used cloth diapers for your babies
- You don’t wear a bra
- You collect wildflowers
- You use a bidet
- You practice natural contraceptives like the fertility awareness method
- You go barefoot or wear zero drop shoes
- You pick up litter on the ground when you see it
- You have an affiliation for long skirts, wild hair, crochet, or feathers
- You dig astrology
- You use cloth napkins instead of paper towels
- You watch what you eat… no to chemical-filled junk, yes to fresh fruits and veggies
- You’ve tried microdosing on shrooms
- You listen to ambient sound music
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