You’ve probably seen it for a while now. Statistically speaking, there’s a good chance you’re even wearing it. The high-and-tight. The side-fade. The haircut that is has been colloquially referred to, as a recent article in The Washington Post pointed out, as the “Hitler Youth.” Sadly, though, the colloquial moniker—once used jokingly—is starting to ring a little too true lately.
Promoters of white nationalism have recently made an effort to reclaim the haircut, in part due to its historical connection to Hitler’s Germany. According to the Post article, it’s now even being referred to as a “fashy,” short for “fascist.” (Supes cute, you racist fucks.) Needless to say, for hipsters who have long sported the ‘do, it’s a troubling turn of events.
As to the genesis of the haircut’s cultural significance, part of it has to do with Nazi propaganda posters of the 1930s and ’40s—where Hitler Youth were shown sporting the cut—and part of it has to do with basic utility. World War II-era German soldiers had an easier time wearing and removing their helmets when they had it.
Since around 2010, the haircut was popularized by non-fascists thanks in large part to the nostalgia-laden aesthetic of hipster Brooklyn, as well as its adoption by pop cultural figures like Macklemore and David Beckham. Since then, the hairstyle has skyrocketed in popularity. As the Post article points out, “The tidy, chic lines that appealed to the Nazis became the choice of fashionable young men, gay and straight, because it’s both business-like and brash.”
As Long Nguyen, co-founder of Flaunt magazine tells the newspaper, however, it’s likely not a coincidence. “We call them ‘nipsters’—neo-Nazi hipsters,” says Nguyen. “It’s really important for them to make inroads into young people’s culture, in order to expand their base. It’s a lot easier to do that when they’re stealing the look of a familiar hipster style.”
Basically it’s a warning to us all then: The next time a good-looking guy in a high-and-tight offers to sell you a craft beer, make sure he isn’t trying to also sell you a dose of unabridged hate.
Nipsters. It’s a great word, with wonderful, crisp, mocking snark. I suggest this gets used. A lot. Via Esquire.