They’re hoping soon my kind will drop and die
But I’m gonna wave my freak flag high, high
– ‘If 6 Was 9’, Jimi Hendrix
These days ‘freak’ is a pretty offensive term. But it has erstwhile been a term of endearment for hippies everywhere. Sure, not everyone thought highly of freaks. But hippies bore the name proudly. And why not? Letting your freak flag fly is just another way of saying: being true to yourself, and showing the world who you really are. Which sounds good to us!
Freaks were unusual peeps. Dissatisfied with society’s norms, they were often eccentric and disinterested in the status quo. Perhaps we’re freer these days, but even so, it can be hard to raise our freak flags high through how we dress, style our hair and behave.
These things may sound superficial, but it’s not about adopting a hippy look without the substance – it’s about being authentically different, inside and out. So, here are 3 ways you can show the world your true, freaky colours:
1. Quirky clothing
It goes without saying that hippy clothes are at the top of this list! From tie dye clothing to festival wear, nothing says ‘freak’ – in the best possible way – like colourful, unique and unusual clothing.
The beauty of tie dye is that it creates something completely individual. Like us, no two items of tie dye clothing are the same (you can read our history of tie dye here). Hippies are known for their love of psychedelic colours and flower-power prints. Plus, they love authentic fashion finds from all over the globe – all things woven, fringed, knitted and patched in far-flung places such as India, Nepal and Indonesia. For reluctant rainbows, here’s our guide to colours and their meanings.
Hippies put their own stamp on jeans, too. To emulate hippy style, look for bell-bottom jeans in light blue denim, and make them your own with embellishments – patches, paint or artistic rips. Far out!
2. Lengthy locks
It’s only recently that long hair has come to represent unprofessionalism – at worst – and individualism – at best. Men and women across the globe have worn their hair long for millennia, but to the hippy counterculture of the 1960s, long, free-flowing hair made a statement. It meant that you were not part of the military, the police, the government, or any organisation that required you to be suited-and-booted at work.
Recently, long hair on men has become more popular, and few people now see long hair as unmanly or strange. Extravagantly groomed beards are also trending – plus, they keep your face warm! But if you need any more persuading, look to the Native American belief that hair is a vital extension of us, something that helps our intuitive powers. Or how about the ancient Vikings – history’s hard men? Viking men wore their hair long and decoratively shaved. They also took great care of their wicked whiskers. Women had long hair too, and favoured complex braids.
These days, hippy hair can be enhanced with an array of bright and beautiful additions: colourful dyes, glitter sparkles, feathers, beads and dreadlocks are just a few.
3. Peaceful practice
It’s all too easy to get swept up into debates about right and wrong, left and right, good and bad – especially now that we have social media to fuel the fire. The hippies of the 1960s also had a lot on their plates. The Vietnam War was a huge concern, but there were racial tensions, homophobia and the threat of nuclear warfare to contend with, too. In 1969, 400,000 people came together for ‘3 Days of Peace and Music’: Woodstock, and officials were pleasantly surprised by the peaceful behaviour exhibited by this massive crowd.
If you really want to stand out from the modern mainstream, it’s time to get serious about peace. Plenty of people pretend to be peaceful, but, as switched-on hippy folks know, tweeting an inspirational quote once in a blue moon is not the same as practising peace!
The best way to maintain a peaceful perspective is by looking after ourselves. An overworked, cranky and stressed hippy is not a happy hippy! Our bodies may want to wind down now that the colder weather and longer nights are here, but our schedules don’t always reflect this. So, take care of yourself so that you can be your best self. We’re talking long bubble baths, nourishing teas, soothing scents and solid sleep. You’ll get out what you put in, and then some.
How do you let your freak flag fly? We’d love to hear from you!