In Defence Of Being A Yuccie
The Debrief: It's a gross word, but don't fight it - there's nothing wrong with being a Yuccie
I’ve seen the Buzzfeed list. Read the Daily Mail article. Taken the Mashable quiz. Which makes it official. The Yuccie has entered the zeitgeist. But WTF does this gross new word mean? If you take yourself quite seriously, hate hipsters and above all loathe wanky new marketing terms, then the Yuccie is your worst nightmare. Half Hipster, half Yuppie the ‘Yuccie’ is a new word coined to describe a ‘young, urban creative’.
On first appearance, this monstrous hybrid seems like just another jumped up twentysomething city dweller. But dig a little deeper and there might be a bit more to them than meets the eye.
In Style magazine earlier this month, the big difference between the dreaded Hipster and the Yuccie was described as ‘an open thirst for personal success and financial gain (hipsters preferred everything to be ‘not for profit’).’ Mashable’s definition sums up the Yuccie even better: ‘In a nutshell, a slice of Generation Y, borne of suburban comfort, indoctrinated with the transcendent power of education, and infected by the conviction that not only do we deserve to pursue our dreams, we should profit from them.’
Which doesn’t sound so bad. Personal success? I’ll take it. Financial gain? Well, I have bills to pay and we live in a capitalist society, so, yes please, if you’re offering. And as for ‘young, urban creative?’ Young – sounds alright. Urban – just a postcode. Creative – not a derogatory label either, as far as I know. In fact, being a Yuccie sounds, dare I say it, rather fun.
To give you some context. Yuccies left uni when there were no jobs. They eventually found full-time employment, after months/years of despair and thoughts of moving back in with their parents (if they even managed to move out in the first place). It was an anti-climax after all the blood, sweat and tears, so they started doing what they really wanted to be doing, on the side.
They then quickly realised that in this digital world of social networks and agile working structures, they could actually be their own boss and get paid to do what they were good at – and cared about – full time.
And on that note, I should probably ’fess up. I recently quit my 9-5 job to go freelance. When I started writing this, I was sat on the floor of a venue waiting to help prep for an event (where I’m moonlighting as a runner for some extra dollars that will help pay for the new Mac I’ve just bought and totally can’t afford). I have a weekend social media job. I rarely work ‘regular’ hours.
This morning I went for a swim at the local Lido and afterwards I used a Nutribullet to make my breakfast. Lena Dunham is my hero. I have compared my life to Hannah Horvath’s on more than one occasion. The only TV I watch (apart from Girls) is on Netflix, (OITNB and House of Cards, natch). I do hot yoga. I work in independent cafes. A lot. And above all, I work really fucking hard because I’m lucky enough to be able to do what I want, when I want.
Yup. I think you could say I’m a Yuccie. (And yup, I’m also a walking, talking, cliche but that’s a different conversation.)
And this is something of an endemic. In my friendship group, there are artists who also work as waitresses, designers who double up as babysitters, a City boy who left his job to start up a small sustainable festival. In fact, maybe being a Yuccie isn’t a choice, maybe it’s catching. And if you’re young, ambitious and creative, you’ll probably get it too.
Yuccies are a product of the times we live in. I’ve had many an evening sitting with my friends discussing (often over an Aperol Spritz, tick) the difference between our working lives and our parents’. They had cheap rent, job opportunities and boozy long lunches.
Us millenials left uni during a recession, can barely afford to make rent, have far fewer (traditional) job opportunities and live off Tesco meal deals. But that’s where the sob story ends. We also have the chance to pursue what we want to do, outside traditional workplace structures. All thanks to the world of opportunity that is da interwebz. So yeah, I think being a Yuccie sounds fucking great. Sign me up already.
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