Today, I am here to argue that hippies made America better. It’s often been said that the hippie movement of the late 1960s was nothing more than a bunch of counter-culture kids high on drugs and up to no good. But let me assure you, that is a highly inaccurate representation of the era.
Special to The Roosevelt Island Daily News
How Hippies Made America Better
First, let’s consider the impact of hippie fashion on American culture. The tie-dye t-shirts, long hair, and bell-bottom jeans became emblematic of the time period. But they’ve had a lasting influence on the mainstream culture.
Fashion icons like Yves Saint Laurent and Marc Jacobs have been inspired by the hippie movement and still incorporate hippie elements into their collections. Hippie fashion was bold, vibrant and symbolic of rebellion. It brought a new and refreshing perspective on expressing oneself.
Let’s also look at the social movement within the hippie community. “Flower power” was coined during this era, representing peace, love and compassion. While these may seem simple concepts, they are incredibly powerful when put into practice.
Hippies supported the civil rights movement, the feminist movement and the environmental movement. These struggles for social justice vibrated with the activism and dedication of the hippie community.
What about the music of the hippie movement?
Bands like The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and The Doors were heavily influenced by the era’s cultural and political struggles. Their music was about more than just sex, drugs, and rock and roll. It was a means of conveying a political and social message.
The Monterey Pop Festival, held in 1967, was a perfect example of how music brings people together, promotes peace and inspires change.
Mostly, It Was About the Freedom
The positive impact of hippie culture wasn’t limited to art and culture; it also influenced the economy and politics of America.
The hippies’ emphasis on individual freedom and autonomy led to the creation of small businesses and encouraged people to pursue their passions instead of working in soul-crushing corporate jobs.
Change the world? Steve Jobs grew up immersed in the hippie movement.
Less than a decade after the hippie movement began, the Clean Air Act was passed, making America a cleaner and safer place to live.
There are those who argue that the hippie movement was disorderly and chaotic, but I can tell you, that was a necessary disruption in the status quo. Sometimes it takes a bit of chaos to ignite the spark of change.
The hippie era allowed for the expression of new ideas that challenged traditional conservative values while promoting artistic expression, peace and social justice.
In conclusion, the hippie movement unquestionably helped make America a better place. Hippie fashion, music, and social movements changed the way Americans saw themselves and the world around them.
The hippie culture gave people the confidence and courage to fight for change while promoting peace, love and individual freedom.
America would not be as it is today without the contributions of the hippie movement.