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by Jessi H '11

Silly bans on Silly Bandz

Cabbage Patch Dolls, Beanie Babies, Pokémon cards, and Crocs are some of the most wildly popular fads of the past few decades. Silly Bandz can now be added to that list.  For those who don’t know, Silly Bandz are the thin colored bands made of mostly silicone and rubber molded into various shapes. These shapes fall under any of their fourteen categories, including beach, zoo animals, Spring, dinosaurs, and others. The band is designed so that it retakes its original shape after being taken off the wrist or is no longer restricted.
The characteristics of the bands were originally selected with children in mind. The extent to which the popularity soared however, was surprising to even the creators. The company that makes this innovation is Brain Child. At the time of their creation, their company consisted of no more than twenty employees. Within the course of one year however, the company was able to employ two hundred. The popularity of these bracelets has reached even Macy’s, the department store, which is trying to determine the potential for making a float dedicated to or based on the bands.
This popularity however, does not come without a price. A price that children bear the brunt of, and of which the company may begin to feel after a year or so passes by. The bands are at the center of a controversial issue which spread out throughout a school districts as quickly as “silly bandz” did. Numerous schools across America have banned the wearing of, as well as trading of, these bandz. Educators consider them distracting.
Students, including those in their elementary school years, would trade during class or even just play with the ones they had on their desks. Teachers worried that students would be unable to process new information if their minds were never fully committed to the work. Some principals established set days in a month on which silly bandz were permitted so that they wouldn’t push the children into complete rebellion.
Unlike teachers however, other adult figures, namely parents, are thrilled with the new trend. Silly bandz are truly the ideal product for these economic times because they are cheap to produce andnot too expensive for consumers. They are also relatively difficult to break and come in great variety. One parent from Nebraska wrote to the company saying, “Thank you ‘Brainchild Products’ for offering such a great product and customer service! I purchased the ‘Zoo animal’ pack on a whim for my son for his birthday. He took them to school and they were all the rage! Kids are going crazy over these. Since then the school store has picked them up and they can’t keep them in stock. The booster club just placed an order too!”
Consumers should be wary of purchasing the product on the Internet however, as imitation products are in circulation. The official silly bandz motto goes, “Collect them, Wear them, or Trade them with friends. Great stocking stuffers for kids! Best price and Fastest Turnaround on the web!”
At BSGE, no school wide ban on the bandz was implemented but some teachers did complain.  Eventually, though Silly Bandz will join Cabbage Patch Kids and Beanie Babies in another category: fads that used to be cool.

By Mr. Lakhaney

TOK Teacher

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