Are you one of the fanz of Silly Bandz? Or are you rolling your eyes over these thin silicone bracelets that come in the shapes of animals, fruit, musical instruments and other contortions?
I'm a guilty consumer, having spent last weekend calling Borders and Walgreen's to see if their Silly Bandz stock was in, just so my daughters could line their arms with these colored bands like Nubian pop culture princesses. Apparently I'm one of many because these bands are flying off the shelves. Some stores have waiting lists. Out of the top 20 Bestseller toys this week on Amazon.com, 13 are Silly Bandz. My daughter's fifth-grade math teacher became so frustrated with the Silly Bandz preoccupation this week, he issued a ban then snapped a bunch in half in front of his mortified class.
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I usually fight fads, but since these things cost hundreds of dollars less than the other items my kids have fixated on (iPad, cell phone), I'm kinda relieved I only have to plunk down a fiver to be hero for a day. It's the least we can do as parents to satisfy our kids' primal instincts to hunt, gather and trade. Besides, it's cheap fun. Still, I'm starting to hear the rumblings of a Bandz backlash. I get why schools don't like them; they can be disruptive. I'm talking about the chronic complainers who are always wringing their hands over the flaws and sins of this generation. How their priorities are all messed up. Here we go again.
They can't write because they only text. They'd rather play video games than read or run outside. They have no patience or work ethic because technology has conditioned them for instant gratification. Their music sucks. They're selfish. They're disrespectful. They're too plugged in. They're only interested in sex and the latest fashion or music craze.
Sound familiar? Seems like everybody over 40 has forgotten what it's like to be a kid. But for every Justin Bieber and OMG text message, I can find an equivalent painful obsession from the past that reminds us that history does indeed repeat itself. Allow me to refresh your aging memory:
Silly Bandz = Jelly bracelets (remember Madonna's armful in the 80s?)
Justin Bieber = Shaun Cassidy
Zhu Zhu pets = Furbies
American Idol = The Gong Show
Low-rise jeans = Parachute pants (which would you rather wear?)
Razor scooters = Big Wheels
Xbox = Pong
Dirty dancing = Disco dancing, Break dancing
iPod = Walkman
Sexting = Streaking
"OMG" = "Gag me with a spoon"
Platform shoes = Platform shoes
Hip hop fashion = Preppy look
High School Musical = Grease
Mentos & Coke = Pop Rocks & Coke
Crocs = Duck shoes
Sudoku = Rubik's Cube
"That's sick!" = "Radical!"
Webkinz = Beanie Babies
Adam Lambert = David Bowie
Music file sharing (Napster) = Mixed tapes
What childhood fad could you not live without?