Who killed the hipster?
‘Muppies’ want to take over from those with beards and thick-rimmed glasses. If they are going to flood the scene, the least we can do is find out who they are and where to find them.
A new urban tribe erupts onto the social stage. Its name is ‘muppie’, a hybrid term between ‘millennial’ and ‘yuppie’ coined by the American writer Michelle Miller. She defines them as “a generation between 22 and 35 that spends an hour a day surfing the internet, thirty minutes making purchases online and forty minutes perfecting the menu for the next day”. They are socially aware, ecological and addicted to social networks. Healthy food and daily exercise are their passions. Their entrepreneurial spirit does not seek financial ends, it seeks personal satisfaction. Will muppies manage to put an end to the hegemony of the renowned hipsters?
The restaurant Pollen is integrated into the natural setting of flowers and plants that surround it.
A bag? No thanks
Muppies support sustainability and therefore go shopping in places like Unpackaged, the first supermarket in London where products such as pasta, rice and cereals are served loose and without packaging. Customers have to bring their own containers.
Adam has three Master’s degrees, speaks four languages and is looking for premises for his new start-up. He doesn’t like being labelled, but recognises that he identifies with the muppie philosophy. While he fondly remembers his recent past as a blogger, he drinks an ecological shake made of paprika, orange and purple carrots in Daluma (Rosenthaler Platz, Berlin). It’s a new healthy cafe that is always packed. It’s not long before he takes out his iPhone with its Gameboy case to take a photo of his shake and post it on Instagram. This is the favourite social network for muppies to maintain their hyperactive ‘social life’.
Where are the members of this new urban subculture based? Spread all over the world. They choose 100% ecological restaurants to eat in. They consume kale practically every day, they order miso soup in restaurants and replace chocolate with carob. In Singapore there is Pollen, located in Gardens by the Bay. The menu is prepared using produce from its private vegetable garden. Roasted artichoke with oven-cooked celery and truffle is its signature dish.
The heat in a hot yoga class allows people to warm up their muscles in less time, preventing injuries.
Muppies go to extreme in their concern for their health. They prefer gluten-free bread and pastries, although they do not suffer from food intolerances. They choose patisseries like Milola (Barcelona), where instead of sugar or additives they use natural ingredients such as quinoa, teff and maple syrup. Manuela, a founding partner, says: “Nowadays we are much more demanding. We search for a positive gastronomic experience without having to pay for it with our figure or health”. Their carrot cake is their bestseller, which confirms that a balance between health and pleasure is possible.
Planet Organic is the first chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom to adopt the unpackaged system.
Taking exercise is a necessity for the muppie. Their favourite exercises are running and yoga. Stanley Park in Vancouver, Centennial Park in Sydney and Englischer Garten in Munich are perfect places to go running and bump into them. ‘Hot yoga’ consists of an hour and a half of poses in a room heated to 40 degrees centigrade. There are classes in gyms, such as Socal (Los Angeles), which specialises in small groups. At the Vinyasa Hot Flow Yoga Centre (Amsterdam) they claim that by practising this exercise you can lose 569 calories per session. If the muppie doesn’t wipe out the hipster, it won’t be due to a lack of strength.