By: Hannah Karpinski
For my fourth birthday, I begged for a Furby. I wanted that cute, owl-like, talking toy, which, most importantly, everyone else in my Kindergarten class had. In grade three, it was a Tamagotchi. In grade six, Crocs. Now, as I walk through the NT hallways, all I see are Silly Bandz, the newest trend. These silicon rubbers were created in 2002 by a Japanese design team who originally planned to sell them as an environmentally sustainable office product. But due to their irresistible shapes and colors, they have attracted more than just the office crowd, and are now marketed as a fashion accessory.
But how did they get so popular? I had not heard of them at the beginning of the summer, but now they’ve gone completely mainstream. Now, I generally don’t end up following trends, but even I have to admit that I own a Silly Band, although a few of my fellow NT classmates can be seen wearing at least twenty, going up and down both wrists. The bands are filling up the school; students are going out at lunch to buy them, and trading them during school hours. The bands are, after all, great distractions from yet another dreaded math lesson or boring history class. Some schools have even gone so far as to ban them from classrooms for being too distracting. Safety concerns have also arisen after reports of children sustaining arm injuries after excessive wear of these bands. You’re probably thinking the same thing I am: how is it possible to injure your arm by wearing “too many” of the seemingly harmless rubber bands? It’s just about as dangerous as giving a five-year-old a banana. Sure, they could get hurt, but what are the odds? We’re put in potentially dangerous situations each day.
Silly Bandz are really just another fun collectable. The shapes range from dinosaurs to fruits to ballerinas. Now you can even get tie-dyed ones or some that glow in the dark. Once you buy one, it’s hard to stop. It turns into a habit, like obsessively checking your Facebook updates every few minutes or using the word “legit”. The bands are not necessarily a bad thing at all, just another trend.
I want to clear one last thing up, however. I heard through the grapevine that these bands are apparently made of recycled condoms. Well, I decided to look into this, and it’s totally false. So sleep easy guys. They are made of the same material as condoms—silicone rubber—but they are all brand new and clean. So for now, North Toronto students are decked out in Silly Bandz, just like how a few years ago, they were walking around in Crocs or with a Tamagotchi daggling around their necks. It seems that we really have gone silly over Silly Bandz.