Date of this Version
Published in Journal of Communication Inquiry 43:1 (2019), pp. 25–46.
This article examines the online retailer Huckberry.com as a singular, centralized authority responsible for marketing “lumbersexuality” as an emergent, gender-normative taste regime. As an evolution of the devalued hipster marketplace myth, analysis reveals Huckberry promotes an adaptable taste regime to its young, educated, urban, White male clientele that unites goods, meanings, and practices across multiple fields of consumption that reconnect indie consumption and taste with a fantasy of “authentic” masculinity. We argue that Huckberry offers men semiotic resources that merge the urban with the outdoors in a way that enables the enactment of a fraught though seemingly durable masculine identity project that weaves the extraordinary and mythological into the quotidian. Implications of this gendered taste regime are discussed in relationship to the ways in which lumbersexuality is mobilized as a more authentically masculine alternative to the ironic stance of hipsterism and the supposed phoniness of mass culture.