I’ve been running a series for the past week on personal brand stereotypes. The purpose of these posts is to demonstrate how we are already perceived by others, without even noticing it. Sometimes we are penalized or ostracized by society for choosing to wear and act how we do, and other times we are rewarded by our differentiation.

What I’ve posted about so far:

  • #1 – Tall people are basketball players
  • #2 – Glasses make you look smart
  • #3 – Men who wear pink are homosexual

Today I want to talk about the hippie movement, which was a subculture that began in the US during the early 1960s. It was initially said to describe beatniks who had moved into San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district. All these beatniks/hippie’s had countercultural values of the beat generation and created their own communities. They listened to psychedelic rock, embraced sex, used drugs (LSD) and wore tie-die t-shirts.

One of the most prominent and recognized bands that catered to this era and group were the Grateful Dead (they own dead.com which must be worth a fortune). In the mid-60’s they formed their group under the very famous Jerry Garcia. You might still recollect that brand name from the ties he endorsed a while back. I am not much of a fan, but every time I go shopping the ties remind me of him. His band was known for its unique and eclectic style, which combined the sounds of rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, country and more. They were known for their performances and they had die hard fans called “Deadheads.”

Before we get into a hippie analysis, I want to draw your attention to the major event that makes everyone remember this era. You might know this as the Woodstock Music and Art Fair (drug and nudity fair). The event was first held in New York and it was a gathering of hippie’s to rejoice in their culture and listen to music.



When I was in high school, I had a few friends that wanted to be like hippie’s. Immediately I perceived them as tie-die wearing druggies who were mellow and “wacked out.” I believe that drugs made hippie’s who they were because their beliefs, music choices and way of life was drawn from drugs. When people are on drugs they don’t see the world for what it really is and are deLusIOnal in their ways.

People do choose to live like this still, but the movement has been depleted and you won’t find many around anymore. Now, there are just pretenders who are actually practicing something that won’t get them too far in life. I know what you’re going to say “but Dan, if there are few of them, doesn’t that make them stand out.” The answer is that it does, but not in a good way because people associate hippie’s with negative connotations. I’ve also noticed that although some clothing comes back in style, most of the time, they are fads. Remember, we want to stand out in a good way and not time travel back in time to make the same mistakes many hippie’s made (Garcia and friends died).

Would you really want to be known as someone who does drugs, doesn’t shower, doesn’t dress professionally and is too passive to make a difference? I don’t, but I do want to hear your opinion on this.