Unicorns and Monkeys and Guitars, oh my! September 23, 2010 — by Justine Huang Permalink If you ever thought that wearing rubber bands around your wrist was a dumb idea, take a look around. Alligators, squirrels, dinosaurs, strawberries and stars are only a few of the many shapes of Silly Bandz, colorful silicone wristbands that form shapes or words. These playful accessories have become a cultural phenomenon among people of all ages, including students across the school. “My friend had a bunch [of Silly Bandz] and then she gave me one and it exploded from there,” said junior Isabel McPherson. “Plus they’re different and I’m easily amused.” Silly Bandz were originally invented in Japan in 2002. Cosmetic changes were made to the bands to make them more kid-friendly, then were manufactured and sold by Brainchild Products. These modern day Silly Bandz come in packs of 24 bands each, and are sold on numerous online shopping sites. The prices range from $5-$6 for a 24-pack of bands. The bands range from musical instruments to mermaids and unicorns. A recent pack of Silly Bandz even included bands related to singer Justin Bieber. They can be seen on the arms of students not only in Saratoga High, but all over the country. People of all ages wear multiple bands on their arms, usually creating a rainbow effect. Besides serving as decorative armlets, Silly Bandz provide cures for boredom during class. “Sometimes in class I’ll take off my Silly Bandz and look at the shapes,” said sophomore Allison Kim. “But they don’t distract me from learning.” However, in some schools around the nation, Silly Bandz have been banned from the classroom because of teacher complaints about the bands causing disruptions. Teachers who gave out Silly Bandz as prizes or incentives found that students constantly played with the bands in class, and created disturbances that resulted when students traded Silly Bandz. “I think [the ban] makes sense for younger kids because they could be easily distracted,” said McPherson. “But in high school, I don’t think they’re really an issue because we’re mature enough to know when the appropriate time to show them off is.” The popularity of these toys has resulted in the company branching out and launching several Silly Bandz-related products. Silly Ringz, Silly Necklaces, and SillyButtons are advertised on the Silly Bandz webpage, offering a wide range of selections. While most critics dismProxy-Connection: keep-alive Cache-Control: max-age=0 s Silly Bandz as a passing fad, if the ever growing number of bands showing up on high school students’ wrists are an indication of the product’s progress, these bands will be around for at least a little longer.