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Mickey Mouse hats for adults

Adults already have their own version of Chuck E. Cheese

The rosiest rose-colored glasses?
  • The rosiest rose-colored glasses?
  • Tommy Wu/Getty Images Plus

Dear Hipster:

So, I guess hipster-themed Mickey Mouse ears for adults are a thing now. I for sure have a handful of adult friends who will for sure be ordering themselves a hipster Mickey Mouse hat, or some other variety of limited edition Mickey ears for grown-ups. I cannot see the attraction in it myself. I guess I think of adults buying cute Disney merch the same way I would think of a 32-year-old having her birthday at Chuck E. Cheese. To each her own, as my mom used to say when she was being respectfully dismissive of someone’s hobbies and habits. Anyways, as far as the hipster mouse ears are concerned, would you consider this legitimately cool and hipster, or shameless pandering to the hippest common denominator?

— Annie

For the benefit of time-crunched and/or impatient readers, I will say, “Not hipster.” Those who care to hear the details, read on!

I think we all do a double take the first time we recognize the significant community of otherwise fully functional, childless adults, mostly (but not entirely) women, who own hella Disney swag, visit Disney theme parks multiple times per year, and may even stage (or hope to stage) Disney-themed weddings. This is a real thing, and the marketing team behind hipster Mickey Mouse ears 100 percent has these people in its crosshairs.

Some mean-spirited folks are straight-up freaked by an adult who would willingly purchase Mickey Mouse ears. They agree with your “kids stuff” analogy, although I’d point out how adults already have their own version of Chuck E. Cheese. It’s called Dave and Buster’s. You can still play Skee Ball, but instead of getting pizza and measles from the five-year-old who sneezes in your face outside the ball pit, you get wings and a crippling hangover from downing Strawberry Watermelon Margaritas like a 17-year-old at a wedding with an unsupervised and unscrupulous bartender.

Me? I’m a cynic, not a monster, and I suspect the world’s adult Disneybounders are less a bunch of overgrown children than a segment of the population ready to dive headfirst into a world of magic, perfection, and pineapple soft serve as a means of avoiding the ugliness of la vie quotidienne. Unlike lots of modern companies, which make you feel bad about yourself so you will buy things that make you feel better, Disney wants you to feel like a princess whose dreams can come true, which is powerful stuff to some people. But in order to be that kind of person, you have to be too nice to be a hipster.

Hipsters have had a fraught relationship with Disney’s paradisiacal, aspirational promise since at least 1992, when LA one-hit-wonder Dada juxtaposed various horrible things, e.g. crashing your car and seeing a good man die, with an absurdly celebratory trip to “Dizz Knee Land.” Nothing much has changed. The kind of person who could unironically purchase, let alone wear, a set of hipster mouse ears chooses to see the world through the rosiest set of rose-colored glasses. That’s not a good look for hipsters, who can’t help but stare disapprovingly at the world through dark Wayfarer lenses and the fog of a midweek High Life hangover because it’s all so dang ridiculous. At the end of the day, hipsters believe in obscure pop culture references, not magic.

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