The hippie subculture has often been subject to a stereotyped image over the years, which started in the late 1960s.Their culture has been an object of numerous unproven legends and myths and unreasonable prejudice. Their stereotype included long hair, men with scruffy beards, draft dodging, a “make love not war” philosophy, a displeasure for hard work, and the use of mind-altering drugs and psychedelic music has often been seen from the negative side. People used to over generalize their appearance and exaggerate their behavior or eventual drug abuse. Even though most people viewed hippies negatively they often got stereotyped quiet worse than they actually were.
When the hippie movement started it was highly debated were the culture change started. “During the sixties, thousands of people migrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, settling in the North Beach District, Berkeley, or the Haight-Ashbury.” (Wesson. 2011. P.154). Many members of the counter-culture movement were influenced by books such as The Psychedelic Experience. They blended Eastern mysticism. “Native American rituals and psychedelic drug use into what would variously be called the hippie movement or the psychedelic drug counter- culture movement”. (Wesson. 2011. P.154). Most hippies opposed the Vietnam War and the military draft, competitive materialism, and drug laws, particularly those prohibiting marijuana and psychedelics.
When hippies first came about there was but a few of them and they were laughed at by the public. They were condemned, and parents would condemn their children for seeking a different future and breaking tradition. They were hated for the use of flowers in their hair, for their love, and for their rejection of every hideous mistaken compromise that had been made throughout our hollow, money-bitten, frightened, adult lives.
Most people generated a great amount of hate towards hippies. The society even felt threatened by hippies’ “don’t give a care” free lifestyle. The counterculture was not willing to submit themselves to common standards. And even in some cities the public tried to liberate the hippies from their society such as the Love Street incident. “This anti-hippie agitation and the wide coverage given to Love Street in the media prompted a flurry of state activity. Beginning in early 1967, the police led an enforcement crackdown on Love Street with the intention of driving out, or at least containing, the hippies” (Wesson. 2011. P.154). Many people felt threatened by hippies trying to change their ways and do thing that wasn’t the norm this of course caused the public to have a bad perception of them. Hippies created their own unique fashion style, which was a sign of protest against the strict suit based society their hairstyle and untraditional style of clothing made people feel scared for some reason. Therefore, what is typical for human nature is the fact than when they fear something they hate it. However, humans did not understand the hippy philosophy clearly. They believed that hippies used their style to cover up their inadequacy and laziness and it leaded to inaccurate perception of the whole culture.
Another superstition about hippies was that they all were addicted to drugs, the media sparked that assumption and people ran with it. Television companies broadcasted some gathering during the hippie era in which they encouraged and facilitated the open use of the hallucinogenic drug LSD. This of course infuriated many adults and as one author wrote ‘‘in my experience and conclusion of the drug user is that he is slowly destroying the society that we have tried to develop and perfect.’’(Martel, 2009, p.216). This of course was before the hallucinogenic drug LSD was made illegal after that there was no more coverage’s of the gatherings. Therefore, no further events took place after LSD was banned.
The fact that hippies actually did use and spread drugs cannot be denied as their movement was