Silly Bandz. Have you seen these things? They are colorful silicone bands that are shaped like anything from animals to likenesses of Justin Bieber (be still my beating heart).
Apparently I’ve been living under some rock out in Nowheresville for the last two years. I had no clue that these seemingly useless rubber bands had become the fashion statement of the decade. Sure, I’ve noticed the droves of children with arms stacked 50 deep with these things, but I guess I just never gave them much thought. (Until now, obviously.)
This past weekend, at a t-ball game, I had the pleasure of interacting with a budding young fashionista. We played a rousing game of Hide n’ Seek. She was only about four years old, but she seemed quite helpful with the smaller children around her; handing sippy cups to babies and whatnot. I think she may have a chance at Miss USA someday down the road. But I digress … I complimented her on her “pretty bracelets.” They were colorful and happened to match her outfit perfectly. Just as quickly as the words escaped my mouth, she shot back at me “They aren’t bracelets, they’re SILLY BANDZ!” * insert eye roll here *
First of all, how do four-year-olds know how to roll their eyes at the appropriate times?! Second of all, who told them that animal-shaped rubber bands were a fashion statement?!
I can guarantee it wasn’t anyone I know!
Since this enlightening interaction, Silly Bandz have made the news. Some charitable folks decided to string 16,177 of these rubber bands bracelets to raise to raise $4,773 for a fifth grader’s bone marrow transplant. What I don’t get is why they had to link a half-mile worth of these things together just to then separate them and hand out the individual links to each donor? Couldn’t they have just forgone the linking, which I’m sure took precious time away that these kids could have been using to study! Come on, they’re fifth graders, AND it’s the middle of the school year! (This is why our kid’s test scores are so bad year after year.)
But I applaud their philanthropic spirit …
What’s better than a fashion statement that provokes charity?! Well, I’ll tell you … a fashion statement that is also a toy! However, if Silly Bandz are meant to be play things, they are pretty sad excuses for them. You can wear them as bracelets. You can use them as rubber bands. You can trade them with your friends. But lord forbid you try to use them as hair ties … you’ll rip your hair right out! Not much playing going on there. I suppose they do have more going for them than Slap Bracelets did though.
Even the name itself is sad: SILLY – for the fact that these things are SILLY stupid (and not in the “cool” sense that kids are using that word in these days), BAND – to signal that they are in fact rubber BANDS, and finally Z. But because anything spelled with a Z instead of an S is lame, it proves that these little pieces of fashion fad history should NEVER be used for any respectable rubber band-related jobs even if they do claim to be capable. (Although, if you want to impress the other folks in the board room, nothing says “consummate professional” like a pink elephant wrapped around your stack of papers.)
Why are we marketing thin silicone bands as children’s toys? I know I was told not to play with rubber bands as a kid. Isn’t there still a risk of choking with these new fangled things? I read the other day that kids don’t stop putting things in their mouths until around the age of four … which, to me is still debatable.
Silly Bandz have even been banned from classrooms because they are too distracting. I guess kids can’t seem to understand that school is not the place to be trading a blue princess for a red dog bone. Some kids have even been known to snub other children on the playground if they don’t have Silly Bandz! Plus, I also understand there is a fear of circulation being cut off from too many being placed on little arms.
Who’s idea were these things anyway? Ohhhhh, they were dreamt up by some Japanese design team eh? * shakes head * It’s all starting to make sense now.
If you ask me these things just keep getting better and better. Christmas is coming up soon, go out and buy up every package of Silly Bandz you can find and stuff them in your child’s stocking! Just don’t get into any fights with the other moms over the last package of Justin Bieber shaped Bandz.
And next time you take a rubber band off of a stack of papers and place it around your wrist for safe keeping, just remember that YOU are nowhere near as cool as a four year old!
Brandi DeLancey lives in North Carolina, where she is taking over the Internets one website at a time.