Graphic by Emmy Lindfors
By Emmy Lindfors
Executive In-Depth Editor
My family and I were vacationing in South Carolina and Georgia this past April when we decided to stop by an outdoor mall near where we were staying. As I was shopping through the many stores, one storekeeper asked me if I was looking for rubber bands. I looked at her confused and thought to myself, “Do I look like I’m eight?”
I had previously encountered these Silly Bandz
when I stayed with my auntie Wendy during spring break. Her son, Carson, had shown me these rubber bands shaped into animals. He had them laid out on his bedside table, in his room, where I was staying.
These rubber bands were the most popular trend down in the South. The popularity of the rubber bands began in the Alabama-Mississippi area. Kids of all ages have these rubber bands on their wrists.
There was such a craze over these items that schools in the South around my aunt’s house, that teachers and administrators had asked parents not to let their children bring them to school because of the kids were so obsessed about them, and since they were so hard to find, kids would get overly upset if they lost one or one snapped. Also trading them was an issue because if kids were to trade one they didn’t mean to it was meltdown central.
All I could think of when I was introduced to these rubber bands was “I’m glad these rubber bands aren’t back home and people aren’t crazy insane about them.”
But that quickly changed when one day in my dance class, girls were comparing what rubber bands they had. They would argue about how the bird they had was a flamingo because “it’s standing on one leg.” When really according to the official Silly Bandz site, it’s an ostrich.
Throughout that day I noticed odd-shaped, colorful rubber bands on everyone’s wrists. Everywhere I looked some one had a bright blue rubber band on or someone was pulling off one to reveal a red hippo or some other animal. I had a flashback of the store clerk in South Carolina asking me about the rubber bands and my aunt’s son laying out each rubber bands on his nightstand, looking at me as if I would steal them.
These rubber bands are ridiculous as is the trend that falls with them, like the past trend of Furbies. Except these you can carry multiple with you and show them off to everyone you know.
The rubber bands are overall stupid, but the fact that when students see their friends with the rubber bands they feel the need to go out and purchase a pack and put the rubber bands on their wrists. I know from experience. In fact, as I am writing this, I am wearing a rubber band:a pink pug dog. The rubber bands put people in situations where they feel like they need to join this club of Silly Bandz/Wacky Bandz.
It is easy to tell which people are obsessed with the rubber bands compared to people like me, who just have them on their wrists and will occasionally pull them off to show to their friends.
When we buy these rubber bands we are falling into a trend that most of us don’t necessarily want to fall into.