I get it – Hanson is a “boy band” that gained fame when the youngest member was only 11 years old, and they got famous with a song composed of lyrics that border on gibberish. This isn’t news.
But when I mention Hanson is my favorite band, three things happen:
1. The person I’m talking to pauses and wracks his/her (usually his) brain for a second.
2. He/she realizes it’s THAT Hanson.
3. He/she laughs.
Usually people, especially adults, have tact when they don’t like something you like, but with Hanson, some kind of neon sign must appear over my head, flashing “YOU’RE ALLOWED TO BE A DICK BECAUSE LOLZ, HANSON. THAT’S NOT A REAL BAND.” Oh OK, I’m still a human being, but that’s cool.
This article details my experiences as a Hanson fan specifically, but it can really apply to people who are jerks to anyone who is a fan of anything others don’t deem ~worthy~ of respect. Why this is even still a thing, I don’t know, considering I’m not in middle school and people should be allowed to like what they like without d-bags getting in their faces about how it’s so inferior.
Don’t lead with the obvious (“OH, ‘MMMBOP’!”).
Yes, I’m talking about the guys who got famous with a song called “MMMBop”. The band members were 11, 14, and 16 at the time – let’s talk about what you were doing at that age, shall we?
Even if some of their lyrics were a bit juvenile, news flash: they were juveniles. That entire album is a classic – these kids took inspiration from old soul, wrote their own songs and music, and played their own instruments. Pretty amazing for kids of that age.
Also, NBD, this was their first public performance WHEN THE YOUNGEST MEMBER WAS SIX.
So maybe “MMMBop” is what you remember, but maybe consider for a second that that’s not why I’ve been a fan for 16 years and maybe I’ve heard that close to a billion times.
Don’t insult my stuff.
A guy I’d never met came over to my old apartment one time. We sat down to play some board games with a bunch of friends, and he looks at the Hanson poster on my living room wall, scoffs, and goes:
“Hanson!? Is that a joke?”
Yes, asshole. I knew you were coming over and would be the type of person who LOVED insulting people not only when you first meet them, but after being invited into their home and presented with free Chex Mix and alcohol, so I tacked it up to amuse you.
Needless to say it took everything in my power, a lot of soothing whispers from my ex, and a lot of satisfaction from snarky remarks I made to him during the game to keep me from kicking his ass out, and he was never invited back.
Don’t imply I’m a child/immature.
I was 12 when Hanson first emerged in 1997. That was 16 years ago. Y’all do the math.
These dudes grew up with the rest of us. But believe it or not, even though they were a preteen sex symbol in the ‘90s, some people actually like(d) them for their music. That’s not to say I wouldn’t at least pause to consider it for a second if Taylor or Zac Hanson (none for Isaac, bye) approached me with a request for a boning session before I remembered I was engaged to the man of my dreams and politely and somewhat begrudgingly declined.
BUT STILL – the music.
The Hanson brothers have also been through a lot of respectable shit to be who they are today. The first album they released under 3CG Records (their independent record label) — 2004’s Underneath, which chronicled their struggle to open the label in 2003 because they were tired of Island Def Jam pressuring them to make a kind of music they didn’t want to make — was some of the best music I’ve ever heard in my life, and is my favorite album of theirs. They even made a documentary about their journey, which I had the privilege of seeing on my college campus and meeting them when they came to screen it.
In 2007, on their tour for their album The Walk, they led a mile-long barefoot walk in every city they visited to help raise awareness for their Take the Walk Campaign, which is still active today and dedicated to taking action against the HIV/AIDS pandemic and poverty in Africa.
They’re also all married with multiple children – in Taylor’s case, five (they come from a large family). If all these things don’t scream “adult” – and, in fact, “respectable adult” – I don’t know what does.
You know how annoying it is when people are like, “UGH I hate that actor/actress/musician”, etc. when they have no idea what they’re talking about and just hate it because they’re supposed to, or it’s ~too mainstream~ or some other bullshit?
Hanson is not an exception to this rule, and you’re not so cool that your eardrums have been coated with some hipster lining whose Kryptonite is music that the cool kids used to make fun of. Maybe instead of scoffing, you could say, “Oh, I didn’t realize they were still around!” Which is fine – a lot of people don’t, and that’s OK.
This is a recent (a few months old) music video of theirs, and their new album just dropped a month and a half ago. Fun fact: the larger kid dancing at the end is their younger brother, Mac:
I’ve actually played Hanson songs for people without telling them who it is and then asking what they think, and nine times out of 10 they’re like, “It’s really great, I like it!” And I shit you not, when I tell them who it is, they get pissed and try to backtrack like… more than half the time.
WHY?! Like whom do you need to prove to that you think Hanson is shitty? HOW OLD ARE WE?!
I’m proud to be a Hanson fan. It doesn’t mean I’m a preteen, and it doesn’t mean I’m not awesome and strong and love good music. These guys and their music changed my life and gave me emotional strength at many different points in my life, and I have no qualms about admitting my love for them.
They also still play “MMMBop” at every single show – because they know where they came from and are thankful for it. Of course there are crazy bitches at every show who perpetuate the stereotype of boy-band worship, but 1. Hanson isn’t a boy band, and 2. There are these types of people around for every band, ever. I still get emotional at Hanson shows, and I give approximately .0031 fucks.
The band isn’t perfect – I don’t love their two newest albums as much as the previous two, I don’t agree with their political views, and I think their beer is kitschy (plus, I hate IPAs). But I’ll also never tell my children they’re perfect, so... yeah.
If you don’t like the music, that’s cool – really, you don’t have to. And that goes for the music of any band. But please – have your opinion, but don’t be a judgey, assholey moron. It’s so rude to insult something someone loves (yes, even Hanson) right to their face and in such a harsh manner.
Do any bands you love get a bad rap? How do you deal with elitist dicks who have no problem telling you how much they suck (especially when they have no idea what they’re talking about)?