Could this lean economy mark the beginning of the end of the homebody hipster — the college-educated, post-feminist indie-rocker with her baking pans and knitting needles and house cats? Maybe so.
A story on Marketplace last Friday explored the sharp decline in the popularity of knitting, which took off just as rapidly in the high-stress years after 9/11 terrorist attacks. “Worried women knit,” one commenter said. But it seems the belt-tightening required in most households has left little room for that kind of hobby.
Similarly, the Associated Press reported yesterday that the long-running cupcake trend is, well, “slimming down” would be a weird phrase for it, but something like that. The new twist: Frosting shots. Get rid of all that annoying, costly cake and just give us the hard, sweet stuff for a buck and a half:
“It’s kind of the cut-to-the-chase evolution of cupcakes,” says Tanya Steel, editor in chief of foodie Web site Epicurious.com. “I can imagine it being at parties. It’s a great thing to have at an office party. It provides just a little bite of sweetness and yumminess without going whole hog.”
That’s right, because hogs are out of style, too. That whole bacon trend of the last few years? We’re calling “over” on that nonsense, too. In fact, let’s make that cutoff retroactive to last year, shall we? As MP Chicago Editor Helen Rosner put it, “in a sense a cupcake is the yin to bacon’s yang — totality of sweetness and nostalgia and femininity vs. totality of saltiness and savoriness and manly meat.”
So maybe we’re entering a new era of (figuratively) leaner, less-ironic/symbolic food trends, and hobbies (hopefully) borne of interest, rather than fear. Straightforward burgers seem to be holding steady, and large plates are making a comeback. This is a good direction. Just don’t take away our lolcats. That hilarious meme needs to stick around forever. You can have the word “meme” back, though.
[Photo: via Kscakes lolcat builder]