Caitlin Ferraro | Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Over the course of our short yet fruitful lives we have experienced many fads. From Tamagotchis to Beanie Babies to Furbies to pogs to Pokemon, these iconic toys were staples of so many elementary schools across the country. The hype was huge and the craze seemed never-ending.
I still have a trunk of Beanie Babies somewhere that contains an almost complete set of the mini Beanie Babies McDonald’s packaged with their Happy Meals. And a rule against trading Pokemon cards had to be enforced during recess at my school. Oh the glory days, when cleaning up your virtual pet’s poop was everything. Some might have expected us to be beyond all that wild fervor for a single item now that we are college students, but it seems that isn’t so. We have a new fad that seems to be so powerful it has followed us into our college years — Silly Bandz.
I first heard about Silly Bandz when my roommate discovered them as she was teaching a second grade class last year. I immediately thought they were awesome. Little kids could have so much fun collecting and trading them just as we did back in the day with pogs. I did not think they would become a phenomenon even among 21-year-olds.
If you do not know any young children, or if you simply never take note of your surroundings you might be asking, what exactly is a Silly Band? Simply put, they are silicone rubber bands that take shape in a design of some sort such as an animal, object, letter or symbol. They can be worn on your wrist or ankle as an almost normal rubber band, only to resume their previous shape when taken off. Pretty cool.
I also think Silly Bandz are a great fashion accessory for kids. If I was a little kid I would probably be just as taken with these colorful rubber bands as I was with Beanie Babies. But I struggle to find the appeal for young adults our age. Yes, they are cheap, but they are also easy to lose and break.
As I see a classmate, friend or stranger wearing a Silly Band around campus, I wonder where they got it. Did they steal it from some poor, innocent child? Did they bully their little brother into giving up his favorite dinosaur? Did they beg their mom to buy a package in the aisle at Target? Or did they actually buy them for themselves? That’s $5 that could have been spent on your cover at Fever.
So I ask you, students of Notre Dame who are also wearers of Silly Bandz, where you got your Bandz and why you like them? I also implore you all to visit sillybandz.com to discover the absolute wonder that is the official music video of the company — “My Silly Bandz” by the aspiring rapper Young Siege. As Mr. Siege wonders why people are “hatin’ on [his] bandz” I will say that I am not trying to do that, I am merely trying to understand why our age group finds them attractive.
Are they only cool if you get the original brand and not an imitation? Are these bandz truly as awesome as their popularity seems to say they are? Or are they juvenile and — well, to put it simply — just silly?