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The Hippie Movement Essay

1722 words - 7 pages

When the word “hippie” comes to mind, images of men with long hair and colorful clothing, women with peace-sign necklaces and fringed vests, vans with “flower power” and rainbows arrive with it. For many people, colorful clothing and peace-signs were the legacy of the hippies. In fact, the definition of a hippie is a person from the 1960s with an unconventional appearance. However, the real legacy of the “hippie movement” is forgotten completely. As Timothy Miller writes, “There is at least some ongoing impact in the three most renowned centers of the hip revolution: "sex, dope, and rock and roll” (Miller 133). The actual legacy of the movement had very little to do with appearance and fashion. Instead, the legacy has more to do with rebellion and challenging societal norms - the acceptance of, dope, premarital sex, and rock and roll.

Most hippies approved of drugs that expanded consciousness, drugs like marijuana, hashish, and LSD. These substances were called dope in order to draw the line between the drugs perceived to be bad and the drugs perceived to be good. According to the hippies “dope was good; drugs, on the other hand, included both good and bad substances” (Miller 25). The only problem they saw with dope was the “spotty quality and the high prices”. However, unlike popular misconception, the hippies did not misuse dope and used it, surprisingly very sanely. Before the hippies popularized dope and used it recreationally, it was still around, but never widespread around such large populations until after the hippies used it. By 1972, over 40% of American college students had tried marijuana while approximately 24 million Americans used weed illegally. From 1974 to 1975, 22% of men had used psychedelic chemicals while 7% of them used it regularly. This issue about drugs and dope is reoccuring again in today’s society with the legalization of pot for commercial uses in two states – Washington and Colorado.

The hippies love for nudity was brought through the famous magazine, Playboy, a magazine that placed male sexual pleasures above all, with the cover often with pictures of nude women. The hippies’ justification of their “sexual revolution” was for reasons of simple fun and pleasure. For example, nudity was an example of a free lifestyle, the lifestyle that hippies embraced with open arms. Another aspect of the hippie “sexual revolution” was liberated sexuality. The hippies thought of sex as an “expression of humanness, a means of human communication that operated at the deepest levels of the being. It was the ‘human touch, without conquest or domination, and it obviates the self-consciousness and embarrassed speech’” (Miller 54). Again, just like nudity, sex was a way for fun and freedom, but more importantly, pleasure and communication. In 1969, only 21% of American adults accepted premarital sex, but in 1977, only 34% of American adults thought that it was wrong. This is demonstrated through our society having shows such...

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